Women in Wheels | How a people-centric approach got Charmagne Mavudzi to Volvo Car SA

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Charmagne Mavudzi (MotorPress)
Charmagne Mavudzi (MotorPress)

• Charmagne Mavudzi has always had a people-centric approach to marketing.

• Mavudzi is the Head of customer experience at Volvo Car South Africa.

For more motoring stories, go to www.Wheels24.co.za

In 2018, Volvo Car South Africa acquired the services of a gem in the form of Charmagne Mavudzi.

In the marketing world, Mavudzi is a revered player - well-respected and admired for her forward-thinking, and hands-on approach to projects.

Following the successful completion of her studies in Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing Management at the University of South Africa (UNISA), Mavudzi followed it up with a qualification in Master of Business Administration at the Gordon Institute of Business Science. But like many who are calling the automotive space their home, Mavudzi began her career outside of it; yet she always knew that pushing the status quo was her ammo.

A keen eye

One would probably not believe it, but Mavudzi has been a part of several big companies in her career. And what made always drawn companies to her is her keen eye.

She says: "My eye for merging traditional- with new digital-media brought me to marketing managerial stints at Child Trace Initiative, an NPO that leverages digital techniques in the fight against child trafficking, and later at TR8 technologies, the tech engine behind it."

READ: Meet Natalie Weston, one of the most skillful drivers in SA

She explains how these experiences paved the way for bigger and greater things, but that the most significant gain was the more profound understanding of the effectiveness of technology in African markets. This further opened doors for her, because she identified with the African content; which made it easier to understand what each market and audience needs, as well as creating products and campaigns that speak to them.

Mavudzi notes: "Experience in these diverse fields has given me a deep understanding of the effectiveness of tech in African markets. Positions at Handel Marketing and Fortune 500 listed Accenture followed, allowing me to apply my insight to a traditional agency setting, as well as conducting campaigns on a global scale."

An important two years

It wasn't long before the marketing road would lead her to Ogilvy & Mather, one of the biggest marketing agencies in South Africa. In 2017, when she joined the agency, she formed a part of the task team that oversaw the restructuring of the organisation as it transitioned to a more integrated modern marketing agency.

However, 2017 was also the year of listeriosis here in SA. While at Ogilvy & Mather, Mavudzi was brought in as a key strategist in the successful repositioning of the Escort meat brand. Her people-centric approach and ability to identify critical areas for improvement led her to Volvo and joining the Swedish automaker as head of marketing and communications in South Africa in 2018.

Two years later from that move, she was promoted to Volvo Car South Africa's Head of customer experience.

Customer first

Volvo Car South Africa quickly identified Mavudzi as someone who puts the customer first. Not only in terms of how a brand she represents is seen, but how the public interacts and engages with said brand. She has done it throughout her career by having that people-centric approach to everything she touches.

She says: "In my new role, I am responsible for the entire consumer journey from acquisition through to customer satisfaction and ultimately a returning buyer. Furthermore, I play a key role in transformation within the organisation through a change in management."

As Volvo moves ahead with its 2025 global agenda - which includes sustainability and electrification - Mavudzi is tasked with enhancing the automaker's footprint as a premium luxury brand on local soil.

A task, we believe, she'll manage with aplomb.

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