What drives Bean Interactive CEO Martin Kiarie

May 8, 2015

, “There is a misconception that companies need to be on Facebook and Twitter. On the contrary, there are companies that do not need to be on those media because of the nature of their businesses, for instance business to business businesses,” he explains.

Facebook and Twitter, he explains, are all about creating a relationship, just like they are used socially. “If a company uses Facebook and Twitter to drive sales, then they are possibly using the wrong digital marketing approach,” he says.

Through the company’s research, technology savvy Kenyans search for products online first before making purchases. This, he says, is where companies seeking to drive sales should head to.

“If for instance you are looking for a moving company or even an insurance policy, chances are you will go to Google and search it there, which is what many people do. That is where companies, especially functional ones, should strive to be,” he explains.

To achieve this, Bean either creates online adverts for the company which ensures that it is on the first page on search items, or optimizes the company by using frequently keyed in key words.

“Different companies require different kind of digital strategies. There are some which can purely thrive on Facebook especially is it has a relationship sense to it,” Kiarie explains.

Digital marketing, Kiarie continues to explain, is largely untapped. According to a PwC research that he quotes, more than a half of Kenya’s population, at 53 per cent, is online. However, only 4 percent is spent on digital marketing annually.

“Digital marketing is the most efficient and result-oriented type of marketing yet. Through traditional marketing, a company hopes that people get to see their billboard or TV advert or hear it on the radio. There are no definite numbers. However, the advantage of digital marketing is that it gives all the data, number of people reached, where they were reached at, and if they liked the idea by making a follow up,” Kiarie explains.

The difficulties

Bean interactive has however experienced challenges whereby people assume that their work is solely on Facebook and Twitter. Kiarie explains that the problem lies in the industry whereby it is assumed that a person who owns a laptop and has many followers on social media can easily pass for a digital marketer.

The company’s other challenge has also been having enough resources to carry out their various projects.

Bean interactive is not going anywhere anytime soon as it has major plans ahead. These include fully establishing their offices in Tanzania and Uganda.

The company also wants to continue offering digital marketing diplomas which it has been offering in conjunction with South Africa’s Brand School. “Our digital marketing diplomas are especially useful to company digital marketing teams.” The course, which was introduced at Sh.96,000 per person, is ten weeks long.

Part 1 | Part 2 | Part 3

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