Marketing has potential to spur economic development – Prof. Amartey

Vice-Chancellor, University of Professional Studies, Accra (UPSA), Prof. Abednego Amartey, has urged government to adopt marketing principles as a vital tool as part of efforts to speed up the economic recovery process.

He indicated that marketing plays a pivotal role in attracting investment, fostering entrepreneurship, promoting innovation and enhancing competitiveness. It also has the ability to highlight a nation’S unique strengths, resources and opportunities, as well as effectively capture the attention of investors and businesses – ultimately stimulating economic growth.

Speaking on the topic ‘Marketing as a tool for economic recovery’, the VC highlighted some practical marketing ideas and strategies that would play a significant role in sustainable economic recovery if properly implemented.

In an era of globaliSation and intense global competition, effective marketing has never been more crucial for national economic development. “By harnessing the power of marketing tools, government can create robust marketing campaigns that attract foreign direct investment, promote domestic businesses and foster a culture of entrepreneurship and innovation,” he emphasized.

Key among the various ways government can use marketing for national economic recovery are promotion of domestic tourism, investment attraction, industry-specific marketing, small business support, and Green and Sustainable Initiatives.

“By strategically using marketing initiatives, government can play a vital role in rebuilding and revitalising the national economy. For instance, the promotion of domestic tourism; governments often launch marketing campaigns to promote domestic tourism. These campaigns encourage citizens to explore their own countries, boosting revenue for local businesses in the hospitality and tourism sectors. Governments often support local events and festivals through marketing to attract visitors, boost local economies and create jobs in the tourism and hospitality sectors,” he said.

In the area of investment, he explained that government can use marketing to attract foreign direct investments (FDI) and encourage multinational corporations to establish operations within their borders. This involves marketing the country as an attractive destination for business, emphasising factors such as a skilled workforce, infrastructure and a stable regulatory environment.

Prof. Abednego urged government to work hand in hand with marketing professionals to boost the economy by delivering tailored, marketing strategies that align with economic objectives and attract significant investment.

Support for SMEs

The small- and medium-size enterprises (SMEs) sector has been classified as the backbone of local economies. According to the UN, SMEs are the backbone of economies, particularly in sub-Saharan Africa (SSA) where they are estimated to constitute 90 percent of businesses – employing 80 percent of the workforce and contributing 70 percent to gross domestic product (GDP); and nearly half, 46 percent, of these are owned by women.

To help these SMEs recover, government must provide marketing grants or assistance. These programmes enable SMEs to enhance their online presence, reach wider audiences and compete more effectively in the market.

This can be targetted at promoting sustainability and environmentally-friendly practices, highlighting green investments, renewable energy adoption, and sustainable consumer choices that contribute to economic recovery while addressing environmental concerns.

Government can also focus on specific industries crucial for economic recovery; such as bolstering the housing sector, manufacturing, or renewable energy and consumer spending in those areas.

The VC made these remarks at the 34th Chartered Institute of Marketing Ghana (CIMG) Awards, and shone the light on how some countries – including Japan, Greece, United Arab Emirates (UAE) and Jamaica – have successfully employed marketing as a tool to achieve economic recovery by attracting tourists, investors and businesses; thus promoting local culture and assets, and instilling confidence in their economies during challenging times. “Ghana can do the same,” he concluded.