Saturday, 24 March 2012

Internet marketing in Kenya businesses

Economic survey of Kenya and effects on Internet marketing
According to data from the Economic survey of Kenya report 2013 Kenya recorded a decrease in inflation from 14.0% in 2011 to 9.4% in 2012. Total electricity generation increased by 3.9% in 2012 (7,851.2 GWh) as compared to 2011 (7,559.9 GWh). Number of connections under the rural electrification increased by 23.7% in 2012, this explains the sustained growth in mobile subscriptions and internet connectivity.
In regards to internet marketing the data shows opportunity for companies and businesses to invest in internet marketing. This is because the number of people with access to mobile phones is increasing and their ability to connect to the internet is improved. This means it is important to capture this traffic by paying attention to the changes and growth currently being realized in terms of connectivity. This can also be attributed to consumers growing purchasing power given the drop in inflation and increased in electricity access to the rural parts of the country.
The need to enhance connectivity to the entire population is entrenched in Kenya’s vision 2030 under the economic pillar. Within its objective to improve infrastructure the country seeks to improve telecommunication networks and in turn provide internet connectivity to all.
Forms of Internet Marketing In Kenya
In this case, business owners of various kinds employ web developers to develop for them websites and they advertise their products there. This is a very powerful form of Internet Marketing in Kenya because as the web users come across the site they are interested in or the products they are looking for, they get in touch with the web owners and the business deal is sealed. Nearly all the organizations in Kenya are employing this technique of web development in their marketing strategies.
Another common form of online marketing mostly used in Kenya is the use of social media. Internet Marketing in Kenya via social media has been very effective especially in the fashion industry. Many organizations have opened social pages like face book and twitter where they interact with their clients and respond to their views. Some of them design specific products for their customers and hence social media has become an effective tool of marketing.
E mail marketing is also very common in Kenya. Internet Marketing in Kenya is sometimes done by business people sending messages to the target population randomly to their phone numbers or e mail addresses. The challenge is that this method has been used by many fraud stars to steal from the general public. There are many other forms of Internet Marketing in Kenya, but these are the most common ones. 
Challenges of Internet Marketing in Kenya
As a developing country, Kenyan infrastructure is not well developed. Internet connection heavily relies on internet connection and power supply. Research shows that a very small population of Kenyans has a 24 hour access to the internet. This means that very few people can be reached on Internet Marketing in Kenya. A very big population in Kenyans also leaves in the rural areas where there is limited or no power supply. This renders the population that can get access to computer use to be very few.
The challenge of infrastructure in Kenya makes online marketing to mainly reach the people in towns and a few people in the villages. Given that a big population of Kenyans lives in rural areas that have been connected with the fiber optic cable and lack power connection, poor infrastructure is a major drawback to Internet Marketing in Kenya. The other challenge is that many Kenyans live below the poverty line, thus fighting for basic needs cannot allow them visit the internet. Information posted online ends up reaching only part of the target market.
Benefits of Internet Marketing in Kenya
One advantage with e marketing in Kenya is that with the arrival of the fiber optic cable, it has become very cheap and fast to advertise on the internet. Internet Marketing in Kenya is becoming one of the cheapest forms of marketing that is available within the region. The other advantage is that there are several institutions country wide that trains the basics of computer use at very reasonable price. A high percentage of Kenyans are therefore computer literate and thus accessing information on Internet Marketing in Kenya is not a challenge to many Kenyans.
However, firms are rolling out different solutions to reduce the gulf between payments and e-commerce. In February this year, Safaricom launched the M-Pesa prepay safari card which allows its users to transact business online. In September Airtel and MasterCard launched payonline, a platform that enables the former’s subscribers to buy and pay for goods and services online using the latter’s cards. And down South, MTN launched paid, a system that facilitates South Africans to pay for goods and services online using a pin-based debit card.
These efforts are commendable, but insufficient if they are not complemented by measures to persuade Kenyan online shoppers to consider shopping and paying for goods using these cards. This festive season is a great opportunity about to vanish for Kenyan businesses to do that. They are offering an abundance of Christmas offers and even advertising them on their websites, but there’s neither information nor incentives to encourage customers to shop and pay for these offers online.
On December 16 2011, Safaricom concluded a nationwide tour to promote its products/services. These events attracted crowds similar to those who attend political rallies. They were not only entertained by comedians and musicians, they also won freebies such as tee shirts, hats and umbrellas. Why can’t Safaricom conduct a similar initiative to persuade (and reward) its subscribers with internet connection in their homes to use its safari card? Why hasn't Airtel Kenya added information regarding its Payonline solution to its website? Both mobile phone service providers account for approximately 80% of Kenya’s 25 million subscribers. Imagine the effect their efforts to convince a substantial number of these subscribers to sign up to their respective offerings would have on online transactions in Kenya. One result is that the number of cards (Visa) will increase from the current 2 million. In addition, none of these companies have displayed the energy to update the public on the successes and challenges of these initiatives, compared with the enthusiasm they exhibit when they regularly update us on the progress of their other promotions, particularly those that have to do with winning cash.
Kenya cultural effects on digital marketing
Globalization in Kenya has led to a digital awakening. Kenya is now an IT hub in Africa with some of the greatest innovations being born as a result. Mobile money transfer and mobile banking services have revolutionized Kenya. There are more people online using their mobile phones in Kenya than in any other country in East and Central Africa.
Communication has been much easier across Kenya with the advent of technology. This has also made it to interact more with her neighbours if not the whole world. Diplomatic relations with other countries has been made much easier through the use of technology. It is easier to have a Skype/video conference with someone thousands of miles away in real time. Countries are now connected and have bilateral relations.