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How to Target Kenyan Consumers

Updated on June 14, 2016

Market entry entails a lot of research about so many factors among them behavior of consumers. Behavior shapes how products will be supplied in the market. I have been following think with google articles on how mobile phones and in particular smartphones are changing behaviors across the globe. Here I share with you how you can target Kenyan consumers in a more abstract way.

This is purely opinion and not research based but it brings out very important considerations that you need to have in mind when thinking about this market.

Before making any purchase Kenyans "Google"

When Ogolla, a colleague wanted to buy a new phone, he asked Koimet another colleague,

"which is the best mobile phone that will cost me about 20,000 shillings?"

Koimet answered while busy on the computer monitor, "Google it"

Google has become a synonym for search online. Any products that tries to permeate Kenyan market must have recognizable presence online. Kenyans will first search for a product before making a decision to purchase. Not necessarily make an online purchase, but decision to purchase is largely influenced by what is available on the internet.

Googling foods or favourite recipes has become common
Googling foods or favourite recipes has become common

Keeping innovating and lock in, Kenyans like trustworthy suppliers

When M-Pesa was introduced ten years ago, the aim was to help groups of women be able to repay their micro loans more effectively and efficiently. Then it possible to make mpesa useful for everyone since mobile phones were shaping how people work. Today even rival companies try to fight Safaricom from voice call and data, not from money transfer side. People trust M-pesa even when its charges are higher than other mobile money transfer services.

Kenyans will not pay you online.

After having online presence, you need to have physical presence. Kenyans will rather walk to the store down the street to make a purchase. They don't trust their money on the internet. Unless they are wiring money overseas and importing goods, large number would rather look for directions to where to find a particular good. Its only Jumia that is trying to woe the kenyan consumer but on condition that I pay when you deliver. Otherwise they come to your shop.

Have you ever received any payment online from Kenya?

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Large number of Kenyans use smartphones

Smartphones are like personal assistants for Kenyans. If you wanted anything about people in Kenya, ask smart phones. While considering an advertising medium that will reach intended audience, think Mobile. If you cant afford the budget of having adds running during prime time on TV think about ads running on smartphones during the same time. It is cheaper for you but if a kenyan is not watching TV, then that Kenyan is on the mobile phone. If a kenyan is bored during a meeting, they get in to the pocket and start scrolling.

Smartphones seem to engage people more. I travelled from Nairobi to Mombasa few weeks ago, and I did not even speak to the lady nest to me. She was on whatsapp throughout the journey except for instances when she dozed off. I tried but my phone kept complaining battery low.

the ariel view of second largest Kenyan city
the ariel view of second largest Kenyan city | Source


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