MARKETING AFRICA MAL 18/17 mal 18:17 online - Page 23

superior marketing war chest does not seem to faze the competition as some simply resort to the ‘me too’ approach to counter the resources of much larger companies. Just like drug dealing, the key to a successful marketing strategy in the midst of all the competition is positioning. You simply must be the best or make yourself appear to be the best at satisfying your customers’ needs. So, the question remains, how do you bring your customers to the realization that you are the best option for them in the market? This is especially a challenge to new entrants into the industry fighting for market share with competitors who have had years to establish their dominance. The answer lies in the marketing tools you choose to get to your customers. Many companies in Africa today – especially Kenya – from start-ups to large corporations that have been around the block for a while, are making the big mistake of blindly pouring huge money into internet and social media marketing just because it seems to be trendy. Probably ninety per cent of the marketers taking this approach are not even in a position to outline individual customer acquisition costs as well as ROI. Their pitch is often based on the fact that internet penetration in Africa has just surpassed the 27 - percentile mark and is on the rise whereas in Kenya, internet penetration is quickly approaching 80 per cent. They however do not accurately factor in the distribution of their various consumer segments as well as their level of activity in relation to the percentage of internet penetration. The failure of any marketing strategy starts with the selection of the wrong marketing tools. In my opinion, it would be unwise to invest in a website or in hiring a social media marketer if you as a business owner are not in a position to accurately pre- determine the value, both monetary and publicity that this investment will fetch you. Going where your customer is requires doing your homework. First, fully understand your customer and his/her needs then figure out the right tool to use in letting them know that you are the best placed to satisfy these needs. Eugene Wanekeya is currently the Communications Officer, Welthungerhilfe Kenya Country Programme, and a Marketing/ Communications Consultant. To get to interact and know more about this trend spotter you can reach him via mail at: