By Paul Barasa
We live in interesting times. In today’s world of crisis and scandal, all we look up to is an avenue to unleash our positive or negative energy.
We have evolved as a species. But so has the media we consume. Forget about the chariot-led armies that ruled the world. We now live in or are part of the strong-fingered, yet faceless online army.
Once upon a time, all you needed as an adman was to feature a product with a short description of its uses. For the platforms, all you needed was to plug the commercial onto any television channel.
In Kenya, digital migration gave birth to tens of new television channels, from a nation that thrived on very structured news segment that was dominated by political, business and sports news to targeted channels that are sector-specific in terms of content.
In 2015, Elimu TV became the first channel to deliver digitized educative programs that are aligned to the country’s curriculum. The launch of Farmers TV, which is purely an agriculture-based station, has opened up a direct forum for engaging farmers in the East African region.
As we migrated Kenyan eyeballs to segment-specific television channels, the ever rigid print publications were also on a revolutionary trend, moving from the typical full page adverts to customized special covers with defined numbers of issues set for delivery to certain towns. Furthermore, publishers have taken it a notch higher by mapping databases that can deliver the specific publications to the relevant target. How about running a cough syrup advert in a daily that will be delivered to all the new mothers in all the leading hospitals in Nairobi and Mombasa? Clearly, market segmentation has moved a notch higher.
What we are experiencing in Kenya is an evolution of communication channels. With digital embedded into more traditional channels where most radio, TV, print channels now have an active social media page, always competing to broadcast their content online while engaging their consumers.
Programs on radio and TV are keen to push their Twitter and Facebook assets as the points of engagement rather than the usual call-in sessions that we were accustomed to.
With over 70 per cent of the county’s population being youthful, the entreprenual nature of Kenyans will drive media consumption to another level, whether you either target your communication to the right audience or your brand will perish. Truly, the combo of a devolved government and a fully digital television platform riding on our high internet connectivity is poised to drive this youthful economy.