Jonah Owade – Keeping it Kenyan Sn 2

Keeping it Kenyan hosts Jonah Owade Chairman MSK (Coast Chapter)

Unless you live under a bush, you have probably come across a marketing campaign on television or a social media platform that amuses you or annoys you. Sometimes you will be amazed by not just the creativity behind the campaign, but also how readily the campaign invites you to the company at hand and its call for action, but there are times you are completely gutted by the poor salesmanship you see. If the word on the street is right, there is a consensus that nobody wants to be “click-baited” and no one wants to follow “bland” brands. Interestingly, marketing is that thing everyone knows but few are really in the “know” when it comes to the finer details.

The rise of digital media has made some campaigns worth pursuing, while it has also brought in rogue individuals posing as professionals with the intent of profit making. To make it worse, entrepreneurs find themselves in a tough spot when there is need for marketing but all they get are quacks ready to milk their budgets dry. Covid-19 pandemic also made it worse for entrepreneurs whose businesses previously relied on foot traffic,  (this season) has been characterized by a significant decline in foot traffic and sales. New and seasoned entrepreneurs are slowly realizing that online marketing is not a preserve of established brands, it is the backbone of every enterprise. It is on this backdrop that Keeping it Kenyan, the premier show of  Mombasa Magazine podcast, the audio platform of Mombasa Magazine hosted Mr. Jonah Owade – Chairman Marketing Society of Kenya (Coast Chapter) to discuss on issues and successes of the season.

Keeping It Kenya: How has digital marketing supported businesses at large?

Jonah Owade: Digital marketing has meant that businesses can restrategize their marketing priorities with maximum return on investment (ROI) at lower costs. Today, anyone can start a business online, market it and even make deliveries without ever seeing their customer in person. The crowd and mass strategy is being replaced with digital campaigns which reach more. We as professional marketers are seeing beyond the current trends into the future trends that will assist businesses of every size. Businesses need companies that will support their campaigns in the long run with targeted benefits, not just tactics that will not offer much for their ROI.


Keeping It Kenya: What is the difference between tactics and strategy for the campaigns, and which one works best?

Jonah Owade: On most times, especially for the Small Business Enterprises (SMEs), the business owner wants quick returns for their marketing investments, but the professional marketer knows how to make campaigns that have a lasting market effect to build a brand. A good marketing campaign takes time but has a much beneficial value to the ROI than a set of quickly put together tactics that the business owners may prefer for short term gains. Get good strategies that will make the customer buy again and again, to keep a momentum that once it is started, you have a good client loyalty. Business owners need good strategies for the long run and not just a tactics here and there that will bring about brand awareness but no real rewards to the bottom-line.


Keeping It Kenya: What market trends have you seen taking place recently?

Jonah Owade: Business owners and professional firms are going for long term gains over quick returns, as a result many firms are hiring brand managers, professional marketers and some even creative teams that are tasked to build a brand beyond the individual (usually the founder) and to make the focus shift towards the company itself. The professional services like Doctors, Contractors, Engineers, Lawyers have benefited much from this set up. This is an opportunity for young budding marketers to join firms with the agenda of building the brand image. It is creating jobs and offering a broad professionalism. Some firms have gone a notch higher and outsourced their communications to outside firms that have a wealth of experience in these communication matters. In my opinion, this is a good case of long term value against quick but unsustainable results.


For more about this interview, the podcast will be launched on our website this week. You can share your views or questions which will be answered directly by the  Chairman MSK (Coast Chapter)

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