The awards say that Mondelez Africa was the natural sponsor for this award category, as it is a purpose-led business committed to building an organisation of marketers with diverse skills, incorporating both technical and visionary approaches.

Nadia Mohamed, marketing director at Mondelez Africa, says, "The company views creativity and a strong ability to visualise the 'brand dream', supported by analysis of data to draw meaningful consumer insights, as critical skills to a marketer's success."

Mohamed adds, "Our current landscape is in constant evolution, further complicated by a highly competitive environment."

Mohamed says, "The most successful marketers are those who are able to leverage a balanced skill set, which encourages transformation through thinking holistically about growth, enabling both the now and next while future-proofing their organisations."

"We believe so strongly in this approach that internally, we refer to marketing as 'humaning'. This places equal emphasis on the importance of creativity as a lever for deeply connecting with our consumers, and on data analysis as a skill to be leveraged, to better understand our consumers and anticipate their current and future needs," Mohamed adds.

Mondelez International says that it invests disproportionately in capability programmes that:
  • are designed to address business challenges
  • are measured by impact on business growth, and 
  • enrich a marketer's journey in the company.
As such its key marketing capabilities include:
  • building expertise in data analysis, data management and analytics
  • improving insights proficiency
  • building e-commerce expertise
  • cultivating strategic and creative excellence
  • building muscle behind innovations strategy, and
  • strengthening connections planning and forecasting proficiency.
Mohamed says there are a number of areas within marketing that are critical for delivering sustainable long-term growth.

"Purpose-led marketing is one such area. We need to elevate our brands beyond just products to become vehicles for change that positively contribute towards society and the environment while delivering against the bottom line," Mohamed adds.

Mohamed says, "Empathy at scale / digital innovation is another area which highlights the importance of leveraging first-party data as a tool to unlock our ability to connect more meaningfully with consumers — while still achieving scale and driving commercial growth."

Mohamed adds that marketing remains an exciting, fast-evolving career.

Mohamed says, "Remain curious and open to what is most relevant to marketing today but also to where future growth will come from so your skills may evolve accordingly. The best marketers are those who are commercially minded but complement this with cross-functional breadth. Be brave! It's those who are brave enough to TRY to shift culture who eventually do."

The awards say that the 2022 Mondelez MAA Rising Star of the Year finalists demonstrated exactly this, simultaneously reflecting 2022's MAA theme, 'Marketing that means business'. The theme and finalists speak to the potential of strategic marketing as a critical tool for business success.

The finalists for the Rising Star of the Year Award are as follows:
  • Fanelwa Xhiphu, brand manager at The Prestige Cosmetics Group
  • Taryn Jankes, social media specialist at Discovery
  • Neliswa Mncube, head of marketing at LexisNexis South Africa
  • Pertunia Mabotja, marketing manager and customer experience at Nando's, and
  • Jared Patel, head of marketing at Sea Harvest Group.
The Mondelez MAA Rising Star of the Year Award aims to celebrate great marketers on the rise — future leaders who will serve as role models for other young marketers in years to come.

The award says that these individuals think differently, they disrupt the status quo, challenge the way we think and redefine the business of marketing.

Searching for all of this and more in the 2022's Rising Star entrants were judges:
  • Doug Mattheus, independent marketing and leadership consultant at Doug M Consultancy
  • Madéle Tait, professor in the department of marketing management at Nelson Mandela University
  • Gugu Mthembu, chief marketing officer at Telkom, and
  • Serisha Pillay, senior marketing manager at Sage and the 2021 winner of the MAA Rising Star of the Year Award.
Speaking on behalf of the panel, Mattheus says the judges were looking for a marketer with an edge. One was who was shaping the future of marketing, and pushing the discipline forward while demonstrating leadership, innovation, forward-thinking and the ability to strategise for impact and growth.

"The panel had its work cut out for it, sifting through all the remarkable submissions received to select just five talented finalists. While it was quite a task to whittle these down to the Rising Star of the Year Award winner, we are confident that we have found the right young marketing luminary who best fits this description," concludes Mattheus.

The Mondelez MAA Rising Star of the Year Award winner will be announced at 2022's presentation of awards taking place on Wednesday, 13 July.

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