In the last issue I wrote about how small companies (and even big ones) can utilize social media in service delivery. Some of ‘The ServiceMag’ readers thought that I probably should have probably broadened the subject to cater for how all on-line platforms can be utilized …not only in service delivery but also in marketing.
The year 2013 offers far larger opportunities in that aspect, probably because we are a little more enthusiastic about the growth of a Rwandan on-line community and data packages. However investing in such trends requires smart timing and consumer analysis.
Very many times our trend-marketing returns are only as good as ones ability to make educated guesses but one needs advice to avoid turning educated guesses into marketing messes. On-line marketing hasn’t seen a revolutionary trend in Rwanda platforms like Facebook, Twitter, Group emailing, group txt-ing etc … etc.Lets take group emailing for example. Here you collect all emails of your consumers and once in a while you can send them product information in a group email. It isn’t hard to justify an investment in email marketing as well because the cost of sending group emails to a targeted group of your consumers or a customer is so low.
One mailing Yahoo group called KigaliLife has built a self censored, reputation being a user friendly on-line marketing one-stop center where one can easily market or browse for a unique product or service in Rwanda.
Most of Rwandan consumers I have personally talked to still consider email to be their primary form of communication even though there are several alternative ways for consumers to subscribe to periodic source of information from small businesses.
When one looks at a number of company son-line platforms one still wonders whether marketers ever brainstorm strategies to effectively promote their product.
Social media for example has one redeeming quality for marketers – lots and lots of eyeballs. This can be attractive if you are a major brand, but profitable interaction will continue to be the exception for small businesses rather than the rule.
What about mobile marketing? Demand is increasing for mobile applications and web-browsing due to wider adoption of smartphone … it is estimated that there are thousands of smart phones in Rwanda. However as more people adopt them, a small business seeking to market its services has to look for small business marketing services to start proving low cost market solutions like text messaging, mobile email marketing, mobile websites, mobile applications development and location based marketing.
You can use tools like Google Analytics to see how many people are visiting your website using mobile web-browsers. Begin testing by sending a few mobile coupons via text or building a mobile micro-site for one of your products.
Lastly it is important to note that Internet marketing trends develop and evolve quickly. Your business may need or might not need to utilize on-line marketing. Don’t be too quick to jump on bandwagons because consumers move more slowly than marketers and technology. Stay focused on attracting relationships with your brand and solving problems for people. Those are the trends that never fail small businesses.
The writer is Managing Partner of Beehive, a Rwandan a PR firm based Kigali.
To read his personal blog please visit