NAIROBI, Kenya Jul 6 – A survey released by mobile advertising network InMobi on Friday shows that digital media will be a key platform for politicians keen on winning the March 2013 General Election.
InMobi Sales Director for Africa Region Moses Kemibaro said the poll which captured 719 respondents showed that online and social media platforms could no longer be ignored.
He said while TV and Radio were still the preferred way for people to receive political information, the mobile phone was catching up fast.
“We think that the campaigns in the coming year will be the most digital ever in this country. We think there is going to be socially integrated campaigns, meaning they will be using Twitter, Facebook and Youtube to aggregate voters especially with the youth who are most active,” he said.
Kemibaro added; “Friends trust friends, and that is how they make the decision. So, overwhelmingly digital media is looking like it’s going to be a key aspect of the political aspect and campaign process as we head to the elections next year.”
According to the InMobi study, 33 percent of Kenyans prefer receiving messages via TV, with 20 percent preferring to hear their news via the radio; this is likely to be in the form of news broadcasts.
He explained; “The challenge remains that only around 750,000 Kenyan homes actually have a TV, and using these two channels as a mouthpiece can prove costly. This leaves the gap wide open for mobile, which is catching up fast as the preferred method of communication from political parties.”
On the content, the poll suggests that 75 percent of Kenyans want to know about party policy, closely followed by 74 percent who were interested in the key issues that would be addressed by the party. 58 percent were even interested in receiving party memorabilia such as wallpaper for their phones.
He explained; “Interestingly from the research undecided voters want the same thing as those who have decided.”
Kemibaro said only 10 percent of voters looking to vote the same way as they did in the last elections. The poll shows that women are more likely to shift the support for the candidate they backed in the last polls.
At the sametime, the survey suggests that Kenyans at the lower end of the income bracket are optimistic about the future of the country than their counterparts in the high income bracket.
Kemibaro said 72 percent of respondents were of the opinion that the situation will improve. While among the higher income earners, who are classified as those who earn over sh10,000 per month, were on the fence, with 24 percent believing the situation would radically improve.
The poll suggests that a similar 23 percent think it would get worse.
The poll which was geographically targeted to capture only users in Kenya was conducted between the last week June and first week of July. It was run through InMobi’s advertising network numbering 12,000 sites.
InMobi has offices in Bangalore, Johannesburg, London, Nairobi, New York, Paris, San Francisco, Seoul, Singapore and Tokyo.