Digital marketing takes a leap in Kenya

By Eric Latiff

NAIROBI, Kenya, Nov 9 – Kenya, like most countries in Africa, is classified as a developing country. But if the growth rate of internet and mobile telephony were to be used as the yardstick, then Kenya’s story qualifies for an Ivy League study.

According to a survey by internet usage across Africa has grown by about 1,400 percent between 2000 and 2009. In Kenya, it has more than doubled in the last two years making it the fastest growing media, now with more than 3.5 million monthly users. 

The same study found that the duration of daily internet usage in Kenya is now close to that of television. 

Kenya is also trailblazing the world in the usage of mobile phone technology. In 2009, 45 percent of internet users in Kenya access it via mobile phone, compared to 13 percent in 2007 as indicated in a study by local research firm Synovate. 

The missing link, you might ask? Well, it seems Kenyan companies are yet to hop onto this huge medium of Digital Marketing for their marketing campaigns.

According to Waithera Kabiru, head of Capital Digital Media (responsible for the web portal) many marketing managers are yet to see how to convert the millions of internet users into brand loyalists.

“Internet advertising has for a long time been looked at only in terms of placing a dormant banner on a website. It’s just like a billboard,” she says.

“However, brand and marketing managers are now seeing the benefits of online advertising (Digital Marketing). On the internet, you capture the full attention of your audience, and the most important bit about it is that the audience communicates back with you – they click, respond to queries, make purchases, giving you instant feedback,” explains Ms Kabiru.

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