Monday Moments Ep 10 – A Content Hungry People!

How have you been? Well I hope.

The majority of East Africans are middle to lower class income earners. I know; that’s an obvious fact. The greater part of their year is spent at their jobs, working hard for that pay increase, or just until they get that job that they actually want. The occasional day off is either spent with family, on a drinking spree or for the majority, cooped up on their sofa, tugging on a pillow so hard you’d think it has been trying to escape, watching re-runs of the same TV show since they have exhausted all the DVDs in the house, and are either too broke or too lazy to go out and get more.

Thank God for the likes of Tusker Project Fame and Churchill Live which provide that 45 minute reprieve from the usual routine, hence forming the highlight of many a people’s weeks!

  1. The Medium is the Message
    The group that I just described watches a lot of TV! Why no one is worried that this means the next generation will just be a bunch of couch potatoes still beats me. But that’s not the sad part. The sad part is that we believe almost everything we see on TV. People have changed religions, moved house, changed diets, changed careers, switched support for political leaders etc. all because of TV. And you can understand why; for decades, TV has been the only screen that gave us a glimpse of the world we never get to see in person. Why wouldn’t we trust it? Surely they can’t make up all that stuff!! I have a prophecy to make. A new screen is making its way in, and already has a wider reach than TV. With the innovations coming in and a growing list of mobile evangelists, in 10 years time, this will be the screen we all trust. I’d rather my child is glued to this screen on a hiking trip to Mt. Kenya, than building up body fat on my couch in the House!!!!!!!
  2. A Hungry People
    I will preach this message for as long as my Intervangelist lungs are breathing. Africa is Hungry for local content, local innovations, local solutions and local success stories! The days where we had to put up with third rate products that were meant for other Continents are coming to an end. The best examples once again are on TV! It’s now a legal requirement for Kenyan TV stations to have a minimum percentage of screen time for local shows. While the TV stations complained about this when it came into effect, those who almost instantly jumped on board like the Royal Media Services group are reaping big time from popular shows that attract premium Ad spend! Tahidi High, Tusker Project Fame, The Wedding Show, Machachari you name it.
  3. The great confusion of the brands
    Have you seen the boring ‘Avoid congestion’ Ads that Airtel is putting up? If I’m not wrong, those traffic jams they have in those Ads are from Indian roads. Just when we thought Zain was finally getting to understand the local market, now they sound strange again. Yu and Orange are still playing runner up with confusing Ads that don’t seem to clearly state why I should change providers. Safaricom on the other hand has pulled a vintage Safcom move with this new Ad which once again positions them as the only mobile company that truly understands us. A note to Advertisers; East Africans respond well to only two things: ‘A sense of belonging’ and ‘Value for Money’.
  4. A Marketers Dilemma
    Now this one I experienced firsthand. If you believe that shifting your budget for a half page Ad in the dailies to an online marketing campaign is worth the risk, put up your hand! Or let me know in the comments. Traditional advertising is firmly rooted in this region; that is one fact I can’t object to. I know we preach day in day out how online advertising has the additional advantage of being measurable and giving room for longer term engagement with the customer, but today I would like to add a new dimension. In addition to the above stated, it is now possible to have a mass reach, with an almost instant reflection on your sales margins, through online advertising. I have figures to prove it, but I’m working on an actual case study to cement my point. Keep visiting.
  5. My take on African Innovations
    I am an ardent reader of Whiteafrican’s blog, and if you are passionate about Africa, Technology and innovations then you should too. The Nokia Sponsored Open Innovation Africa Summit is on in Naivasha as we speak and he will be one of the speakers there I believe. Judging from the stories he gives on his blog, I have gathered one nugget that I’d like to share. If you are an African innovator, or looking to be one, don’t look around for ideas; look within. Your personal, family or village’s story. That’s your source of innovation ideas, and oh, how many they are!
  6. Group Shopping! Is TV taking over?
    In Monday Moments Last week I pointed out a couple of Group shopping websites that are cropping up. Yesterday I’m in the house, doing my part in building the couch potato nation, and I see this Feature Ad on GBS television! They were featuring this new LG Town series. These two marketers were rambling on about how they had only 100 of those, and if you called in at that time (they also had shots of the guys taking calls from viewers), made your order, and paid through M-PESA, you would get the phone at a discounted price, and have it delivered within 48 Hours. Given the cost of pulling such a stunt on TV, I’m not sure LG made money from the 15 minutes or so that this was on, but it sure got my attention. If brands start using their fat budgets to do this on TV, i’m worried for my online group shopping webpreneur friends.
  7. Passionate about Web Marketing?
    This is not a sponsored post. Though I hope to get some of those on this blog one day :-). Creative Edge is looking for a seasoned Business Development Executive for its New Media department. This person should have wide experience in marketing web and digital technology related products. I’m talking at least 5 active years of excellent Business development service in this industry. There are other requirements of course but I’m guessing if you have this kind of experience then you have the other requirements in place. For more information or to send in your C.V use

Off to work on my case study! Have a Great week ahead.

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