Find Advertising, Marketing and PR expertise in Malawi
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Malawi has emerging advertising, marketing and PR sectors. Ogilvy and Mather Africa, the continent-wide network of the global agency, operates in Malawi from their office in Blantyre, as does the pan-African ZK Advertising. Both handle a number of local and international clients, such as Bharti Airtel Malawi and a World Bank-funded sanitation programme for Lilongwe and Blantyre Water Boards. Additionally, there are numerous local advertising and marketing companies operating in Blantyre and Lilongwe. The biggest advertiser in the country is the government.
Marketing is increasingly a popular career choice in the country, particularly amongst young women. The Institute of Chartered Marketers offers diploma courses. Entrance into a marketing course in most colleges requires a Malawi School Certificate of Education as well as good grades in English and business studies.
The relatively undeveloped nature of the advertising industry in Malawi is reflected in the World Economic Forum’s Global Competitiveness Report (2012-13). In terms of the extent of marketing the country was given a score of 2.9 out of 7, placing it 128th out of 144 countries and below the world mean of 4.1. This indicates companies in the country are less likely to use sophisticated marketing tools and techniques. The statistic was mirrored by the level of buyer sophistication in the country, valued at 2.7 out of 7, again below the world mean of 3.5, and coming in 122nd position. The figures suggest that buyers are more likely to make purchasing decisions based solely on the lowest price, rather than on a sophisticated analysis of performance attributes.
Malawi’s press is heavily reliant on the revenues it receives from advertising and this remains a vital part of the advertising industry. Competition surrounds the field and in 2011 one of the most prominent dailies, The Nation, faced a ban on advertising. Additionally, television attracted over half of advertising investments in 2010. The government-controlled Malawi Broadcasting Corporation dominates the broadcasting sector, and has the ability to limit the proportion of airtime devoted to advertising.