Kenya businesses urged to think ahead

May 13, 2009
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, NAIROBI, Kenya, May 13 – Kenyan business owners have been urged to embrace smart and innovative insights to improve business operations and expand their operations.

Chief Executive of global research company Synovate, Adrian Chedore, said on Tuesday, that despite constant reports of a failing global economy and fears that certain market strategies were not favorable for Kenya, the world had not stopped.

“In markets such as Kenya there has been a reluctance to employ new strategies saying they don’t apply to us. Those techniques such as the internet for interaction with customers and consumers are readily available but greatly under used.”

Mr Chedore was cautious about marketers who focus on cutting costs and offering promotions on products saying they had to be weary of the timing to benefit effectively.

“Whilst cost-cutting is the number one priority of CEOs in Kenya, 68 percent claim to be looking at new products and services to meet customer needs.  That’s a lot of potential new products.  The timing may well be right, but most will still fail.”

Mr Chedore also argued that waiting for the market to improve in due time would be ill advised.

“I think it is a huge mistake if business owners would be to stop and wait for things to improve because by the time things stabilise, new players will have taken up market space, changing market dynamics by the time you go back in,” he explained.

Synovate is a leading global research company that recently acquired Kenya’s Steadman Group.

“We needed a strategic partner that would support the methodologies we had, to link us with global practices. With globalisation and increased focus in Africa we needed to protect our business in the future,” said Group managing Director for pan Africa George Waititu.

The company generates consumer insights that drive competitive marketing solutions and provides a broad range of market intelligence services using powerful and established methodologies, as well as innovative and tailored solutions.

Business mogul and industrialist Chris Kirubi hailed the use of the internet to interact with consumers.

“I have a Facebook page with over 5,000 friends where I’m able to talk directly to them about certain issues and they are able to give feedback which is very encouraging,” he said.

Also emerging was the use of research to gauge customer reaction to trends which often provides a fast return on research investment, but should be used for the intended purpose.

Mr Chedore said it would be wrong to use qualitative analysis to find out what people think or what they plan to do because they probably don’t know and can’t answer comprehensively. 

It should be instead used to focus on their problems. 

“If we understand consumer’s pain points, we can know what problems to solve.  It is our joint task to come up with the solutions.”

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