Social media helps to connect Kenyan businesses

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BY BRIAN ADERO

“Social media networking is the only tool that can help the marketing fraternity reach their targeted clients,” this according to Kenya’s leading industrialist Chris Kirubi.

Kirubi has come out advocating for the use of platforms such as Facebook and Twitter, saying that it will not only enable marketers reach and attract more customers, but also help firms cut their marketing and advertising budgets.

“You must cut wastage. A lot of people advertise without knowing who they are talking to but today through social media, the horizons have changed,” he stated.

Traditional ways of doing things are no longer tenable and businesses must evolve with the times if they are to survive the increasingly competitive market, the business mogul stressed.

Kirubi, who is also the chairman of Capital Group, cited his own initiative of streaming events as they happen through the Capital FM website, which he disclosed has helped to change the way news is consumed and how to engage consumers.

“We broadcast instantly to the world. We make an event that is happening in Kenya to be connected somewhere in Canada, Japan, USA or anywhere else and people can comment on whatever is going on there,” Kirubi proudly said of his new ‘project’.

Speaking at the launch of a research tool dubbed ‘Engage’ by Consumer Options, Kirubi said that his new innovation was a demonstration of a company trying to better understand and meet the consumer needs.

“Any company that wants to succeed must engage with their consumers. You can only serve your consumers if you understand them,” he said.

But while appreciating that majority of companies collect views on their customer needs by contracting research firms, he threw the challenge to these institutions telling them they also must strive to transform themselves to reflect our changing world.

Kirubi lauded Consumer Options for launching ‘Engage,’ saying it was a step towards helping firms to better understand a customer’s needs and how well to cater for them in an efficient and effective manner.

Consumer Options Managing Director Jane Nzomo explained that the customised and packaged tools help researchers to observe consumer habits in order to provide their clients with insights from real life settings.

This, she explained, translates into innovations, ideas and opportunities to grow business.

“It’s a different way of doing research and focuses more on observation. With this tool, we go to the consumer, follow them as they shop as they go about their activities at home or school or place of work,” she explained.

There is a huge potential in this industry if the seven multinationals that have come into the East African market is anything to go by, which means that players have to leverage on whatever their competitive edge is as well as remain innovative.

“We have made it through those years because we do understand the local market and the consumer insights better and we have also been able to identify the gaps that others have not,” a beaming Nzomo said of the secrets of their trade that have enabled them to remain relevant and competitive in the market.

 

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