Paulwell Urges Local Producers to Increase Efficiency


Minister of Commerce, Science and Technology, Phillip Paulwell, has reminded Jamaican producers about the effects of globalisation and increased competition, urging them to enhance efficiency and put key marketing strategies in place, in order to remain viable in the marketplace.
“Jamaican goods and services are going to be under increased competition. It doesn’t matter which market you are trying to supply, because tariff barriers are no longer there to protect local companies. You are going to be faced with competition from imports,” Mr. Paulwell told the gathering at the second annual Marketing Challenge Competition, at the Knutsford Court Hotel in Kingston.
“The challenge really is to see how we can differentiate and enhance our efficiency so that our prices are more reasonable and also how we present ourselves to the world. To a large extent, the community of marketers will have to come to the fore,” the Minister pointed out.
The competition, first launched in October of 2002, is the brainchild of Ashchar Consultants Limited.
Minister Paulwell commended Ashchar for making marketing the focus of the competition, noting that this was critical.
He said that the solution to dealing with challenges posed by globalisation was the way technology was used, pointing to the effective utilisation of the Internet and telemarketing.
Addressing the issue of false advertising, Mr. Paulwell reminded marketing agents of their responsibility to ensure that their clients were honest and loyal in their dealings with customers.Managing Director of Ashchar, Earl Ashley who gave an overview of the competition, said that the results of the previous year’s competition had been good. “We, the organizers, were very surprised by the response we got in terms of entries to the competition and also in terms of the content that was produced at the end of the competition,” he said.
The Director emphasised Ashchar’s reason for initiating the competition. “When we looked at our nation and looked at the fact that we were going global.and competition was coming in, we saw a lot of industries closing. We were not dealing with competition very well. The analysis said that we really needed to become competitive and in order to become competitive we have to be able to sell what we have.and outsell the competition.and we have to do that by marketing. Marketing must drive the process, so we started the marketing competition to bring that appreciation to our students and also to introduce marketing as a career choice..”
He stated that the teams this year comprised of two persons, as against last year’s, which had four. This was in a bid, he said, to cooperate with the sponsors who felt it was easier to give packages and prizes to two winners.
Richard Greenwood member of the 2002 top marketing team (from Campion) also spoke at the launch. “It was a different experience altogether.” he said, noting that being in a competition with tertiary level students, the group thought it would have been very difficult to win. “It does show, that regardless of what level you are, marketing is all about creativity, it’s all about concept, it’s about whatever you can come up with better than your other competitors.” He pointed out that winning opened many doors of opportunity in terms of scholarships, a reputation as being capable and creative, and direction for a career choice, which for him would be marketing. Ashchar was to be thanked, he added.
Dennis Harris, Deputy Managing Director and Director of Marketing, at Courts Jamaica Limited, who also spoke at the launch and will be the chief judge for this year’s finals said, “one of the things that amazed me last year was the amount of effort, hard work, skill that was put together by the students. Marketing is about innovation. In our marketing landscape, you have to create things that stand out from the crowd.and create a lasting impression.,” he said.
The competition, which is open to students registered at or above the sixth form level, allows students to develop a full marketing plan for a local company. It aims to provide the students with maximum exposure to marketing, essentially in the areas of advertising, public relations and promotions. It also allows them the opportunity to develop and improve on the basic areas of co-ordination, presentation and teamwork.
The date for the final competition is January 15. Teams must provide an audiovisual presentation, a copy of the print advertisement or the graphics to be used in the campaign. Media practitioners will judge. They will be judged on product analysis, market analysis, use of talent, quality of production and print, awareness of advertisement placement and the cohesiveness of their marketing plan as well as budget management. Prizes include a scholarship of $250,000 awarded to the top team to further their tertiary studies, books and computers, $100,000 from Quik Cash, as well as hotel weekends.

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