Career focused

SHARE   |   Tuesday, 06 September 2016   |   By Staff Writer
Career focused

Komissa Burzlaff
BIC - Strategy Development & Marketing Manager 

Your responsibilities?
This professional field is dynamic and continuously evolving, especially with the integration of innovation and technology. My core responsibilities however, consist of business intelligence by understanding the market demographics, socio, techno and geographic landscape, with the aim of disrupting business models to create and
develop business solutions for our various target markets. I also work on strategic planning for business differentiation, process reengineering, return on marketing investment analysis and the development of strategic affiliations for sustainable business partnerships. I also develop marketing strategies and oversee the implementation of an integrated marketing plan through a mix of print and electronic media channels. Key expected outputs are to increase market share, brand positioning and to improve revenue generation and shareholder value.

When did you join the company?
I joined BIC in 2013.

What challenges do you meet in your line of work?
Every day in strategic marketing is different, it certainly is not monotonous and neither are the challenges. Financial versus marketing matrices are usually a key challenge. Measuring the return on marketing investment is not straight forward and unfortunately marketing is often regarded as an expense. However, with technology, justifying marketing spend is becoming easier but we still have a long way to go. Consumer purchasing and behaviour patterns are also rapidly changing and keeping up with the psychological value to maintain loyalty, improve the customer lifetime value and find the right solutions to attract the evolving customer is not only a financial challenge, but requires one to think and act differently, step out of the norm and remove the boundaries. Marketing does not only require one to change perception and influence behaviour patterns of potential and current clients, it also requires a lot of internal, peer-to-peer convincing. An important challenge, but can be looked at positively, is the competitive landscape. One always has to step out of their comfort zone, and learn to do things differently with limited resources. Creative intelligence is vital and this sometimes needs one to work in different spaces, benchmark and adapt to unusual business practices – stepping out of the red ocean and into the blue ocean – one of my favorite business strategy concepts.

Career highlight?
Exposure to work with private, public and non-profit organisations. I have within a 10-year period been given the opportunity to work in completely different areas and this has given me insight and the inclination to use what I have learnt in an unorthodox manner, and apply techniques that don’t always ‘fit’. This has given me competitive edge and the push factor to achieve.

Are there equal opportunities for female and male colleagues in your work place?
BIC has created a conducive and stimulating environment, where I can proudly say that gender is almost invisible. The focus is on continuously improving our products and services to ensure that our customers and partners have a pleasing experience. This requires a collaborative team effort; where women play a significant role in decision making and setting the directive.

Does working in a male dominated environment limit you as a woman?
Even though I don’t work in a male dominated environment, I think it’s imperative to accentuate how in Botswana we have a robust gender equality policy in place, non-biased, non-discriminatory initiatives that empower, educate and create platforms for women to succeed. Young women need to tap into these supporting structures, believe in themselves and maximise their own potential.