Wednesday, October 1, 2008

American e-commerce firm set to open shop in Uganda

Fact finding tour on the state of eCommerce in East Africa

September 28, 2008



Public Relations




Fact finding tour on the state of eCommerce in East Africa: KinConsult’s findings in Kenya and Uganda are encouraging

Sunnyvale, CA USA --- KinConsult is an online marketing consultancy that is capable of delivering solutions and services that enable corporations and institutions to connect transform and extend their businesses online through the creation, development and delivery of leading-edge solutions and services by leveraging online tools that help customers, suppliers and partners manage their needs more efficiently and effectively.

The company is strategically headquartered in Sunnyvale, California in the heart of Silicon Valley. This places KinConsult next to the most high-tech businesses in the world thereby giving it an advantage in having access to the latest technological trends. Plans are underway to set up offices in East Africa to cater to the growing demand for its services

From August 28, 2008 until September 23, 2008 KinConsult’s CEO & Founder Kinoti Gituma was in East Africa on a fact finding mission on the readiness of the East Africa region to embrace eCommerce given that plans are at an advance stage to improve internet connectivity in the region with the laying of undersea internet cables in the coming years. Mr. Kinoti Gituma has over 12 years managing large online projects in Fortune 500 Companies. Coupled with his experience Mr. Gituma has an MBA in eCommerce from USA.

KinConsult’s sojourn to the East African region was inspired by the call of Ambassador Eric van der Linden. Head of Delegation European Union who has called on the tourism stakeholders to embrace eCommerce in marketing tourism in Kenya. Mr. Gituma of KinConsult met with officials in the Kenya tourism sector to assess their readiness to market tourism in Kenya and discussions were held on the best way forward to embrace online marketing to promote tourism in Kenya.

In addition Mr. Gituma went on a fact finding mission to Uganda and met with various stakeholders interested in promoting and marketing Uganda as an investment and tourist destination and discussed solutions on how to position and market the region to the rest of the world. During the Kampala visit Mr. Gituma also had a chance to interface with various stakeholders in the private sector. Mr. Gituma’s assessment is that Uganda’s private sector is eager to embrace online marketing but what is lacking is the expertise and know how in terms of implementation. KinConsult is in the process of giving concrete recommendation on the best way to market the East Africa region to the rest of the world more so to the more developed nations.

KinConsult’s has a 2-prong strategy to set up shop in the African region. First to identify organizations in the public or private sector that have an interest in promoting and marketing their services in the more developed markets of North America and Europe.

Demographics and statistics show that the consumption of media has evolved rapidly in the West. In the USA where KinConsult has its headquarters almost 80% of the US population has access to broadband. With the increased broadband speed their computers are always turned on and this has enhanced how they socialize, consume media and manage their lives. Instead of getting summarized information they can get the full story from the internet and on top of that they are using their computers for personal entertainment, as a consequence traditional media such as newspapers, magazines and television are proving to be ineffective in terms of reaching the consumer. On average a consumer spends 4 hours on their computer and less than an hour reading newspapers or watching television. Organization that have not embraced online marketing are suffering a great deal in that they are not being efficient with their advertising dollars and they are not getting the best bang for their buck. Traditional marketing involves interrupt marketing whereas online marketing focuses on interactive marketing what this means is that the consumers are now empowered more than ever and they have a say in the brand equity of an organization. The ease of communication and the viral effect of marketing can have a positive effect if managed well or very negative consequences if managed poorly. It is imperative that organizations manage their brand online so to take advantage of the goodwill of their consumer directly.

The second strategy is that in the coming years once broadband is ubiquitous in Africa many companies will now see the need to use online marketing methods to push their products and services to the masses. KinConsult predicts that with greater access to broadband media consumption that is being observed in the west will be embraced in Africa with the only change being customization to suit the local market. Mr. Gituma believes that the next wave of the digital revolution after the explosion of the cell phone industry in Africa will be the explosion of eCommerce.

Developing a successful online marketing strategy is essential for any marketer today. In order to succeed, one must develop and implement a strategic plan that includes all of the following:

• Great product

• Web site designed to promote your offerings

• Comprehensive online marketing strategy

KinConsult can provide a comprehensive online marketing strategy through search engine marketing , e-mail marketing, social media marketing, online video marketing, consumer generated media, display /banner advertisement and online marketing contest solutions. KinConsult as an organization works closely with large internet brands such as Google, Yahoo and Facebook in providing current and up to date solutions. KinConsult understands how consumers interact with content online and strives to provide the keys that will help unlock brand interaction and user intent by being:

(i) Thorough in analysis

(ii) Having a clear cut strategy

(iii) Activating programs in the right online channels

(iv) Engaging customers across the vast internet landscape and

(v) Ensuring that we measure our results while attaining the highest Return on Advertisement Spend (ROAS)

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