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    Chicken Licken's Chantal Sombonos-Van Tonder named marketer of the year at IMM Awards

    Chantal Sombonos-Van Tonder, CEO of Chicken Licken, has been named the marketer of the year by The IMM Institute South Africa (IMM) at the IMM Marketing Excellence Awards.
    Pat Mahlangu was named emerging marketer of the year. Source: Supplied.
    Pat Mahlangu was named emerging marketer of the year. Source: Supplied.

    The winners received their awards at a gala dinner held at The Venue in Melrose Arch on Wednesday as part of the 2023 IMM Marketing Conference.

    The Awards recognise and honour those individuals and teams who have made significant contributions to the marketing industry.

    Marketer of the year: Chantal Sombonos – Van Tonder

    Sombonos is the CEO of Chicken Licken, under whose tenure the brand has garnered numerous accolades, including 133 Loeries and seven consecutive 'Brand of the Year' awards, alongside eight D&AD Pencils and a Bronze Cannes Lion. In 2020, Sombonos won the prestigious Loeries Marketing Leadership and Innovation award.

    Emerging Marketer of the Year: Pat Mahlangu

    Mahlangu is a marketing media entrepreneur with over 12 years of experience. In 2020, he launched Lerato Agency, serving both local and international brands.

    His commitment to inspiring young people led to the creation of the Top 16 Youth-Owned Brands Awards, celebrating youth excellence in brand building. Also in 2023 he was recognised as one of the Top 200 Young South Africans by Mail and Guardian and became a Play Your Part Ambassador for Brand South Africa.

    Marketing Student of the Year: Dhashika Ramgolam

    Ramgolam is a digital marketing manager with 15 years’ experience; she is an academic achiever who consistently excels, currently pursuing her honours degree while managing a full-time role as a digital marketing manager.

    Corporate Marketing Team of the Year: Tiger Brands’ Albany Brand Team

    The Albany Brand Team is the driving force behind one of Tiger Brands’ most cherished brands. Albany is a bread brand woven into the fabric of South African culture. The Albany Brand Team is passionate about preserving this legacy while meeting the evolving needs and preferences of South African consumers.

    Lifetime Achievement Award: Brand Pretorius

    Toyota South Africa’s Pretorius has been selected as the recipient of the Lifetime Achievement Award for his outstanding and unparalleled contributions to the field of marketing. With a career that spans decades, he played a pivotal role in making Toyota a market leader in both sales and customer satisfaction.

    His impressive track record continued as he took the helm at McCarthy Motor Holdings, skillfully rescuing the company from financial distress and saving thousands of jobs. His journey has been characterised by unwavering integrity and a commitment to literacy through initiatives like the Rally to Read.

    Angela Bruwer, Academic Head of IMM Graduate School and a judge, congratulated each of the deserved winners, noting the decisions had been tough choices. She observed that classic marketing strategies are no longer enough to move businesses forward, which was the theme of the conference.

    Conference highlights

    The 2023 IMM Marketing Conference, held at the IMM Graduate School in Parktown Johannesburg on 8/9 November 2023, this year ventured into the realm of AI, exploring its potential in marketing. It also delved into the evolving landscape of influencer marketing, redefining its impact. Delegates were given hands-on tips on how to navigate the intricacies of user-generated content - striking a balance between its vibrant energy and potential risks.

    Attendees enjoyed an array of practical case studies, panel sessions, and insights from international and local industry giants as they shared what it means to be a marketer in 2023.

    A highlight of the conference was a Brand SA session looking at ways to position the South African brand. It commenced with the keynote presentation, Creating a Compelling Brand Story for South Africa: Unleashing its Global Appeal, followed by a review of global trends and innovations in destination marketing, and a panel discussion.

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