marketing as we know it has changed. Going through the marketing schools, we were taught about the contemporary marketing and promotional techniques. Sales promotion, advertising ,personal selling and public relations have dominated the promotional aspect of the 4 ps of marketing. They still do ,but the delivery process has changed. Whereas we do acknowledge that marketing is all about identifying and satisfying customer needs profitably,there is a different approach to delivering this objective.
Traditionally,to win over customers and increase sales and profitability, companies would develop carefully crafted messages and send them out to customers through mass media, hence the word outbound marketing. This was mostly done through advertising on billboards, television,radio stations amongst other channels. Companies actively went out to seek customers for their products and hoped to find as many as possible. Whereas this method of marketing still exists and is still effective, the media of communication and delivery channels are usually one way(Barry 2015).
The changing consumer
Todays consumers are actively seeking information about products and they rarely make purchase based on the promise offered by advertisers. Consumers go all-out to seek approval from their reference groups, actively listen to word of mouth and e-WOM ,make comparisons between products and eventually make an independent and informed decision. The consumer is well informed thanks to the internet and social media.
Organizations have now realized the complexity of the present day consumer and have been forced to return to the drawing board in as far as marketing is concerned. Social media sites such as Facebook, LinkedIn, twitter,Google +,instagram amongst many other have become essential tools for communicating with the market. Companies have been forced to come up with innovative mays to win the trust of consumers and lure them to our products. Consumers have found out a way of building trust and confidence in our products without depending on our information or our word. They actively seek this information from other neutral or third party sources, analyze our behavior and decide to engage us on their own volition. Companies have to earn the attention of customers and make their products,brand or companies easier to find by use of online platforms.This has led to a new form of marketing called in-bound marketing.
The Kenyan story
Many organizations in Kenya have caught up with this new trend with media houses being on the forefront of this new phenomenon. Institutions such as the Nation media, Standard media, Royal media and amongst others are very active online with inventive ways of gaining online presence and appear more credible and accessible to the current day consumer.
Organizations are now becoming inventive in ensuring they are found by using both generic SEO and PPC. in the online world.
Bloggers who have large following are also being paid to mention or develop viral threads about a company with the aim of creating awareness through third party endorsement.Organisations in Kenya are now competing to get found using google and social media platforms. Institutions are also using webinars to get found online besides content based web page development and optimization.Marketers are now getting judged through their expertise in search and social media marketing.
The local scene is not any different from what is happening globally. The future of marketing lies in online marketing and social media marketing. Local organizations are fast learning this and are quick to adopt this method. Institutions that have already embraced this technology have overtaken already established institutions. Organizations such as google.ke, Jumia, Olx Kenya amongst others have grown in leaps and bounds out of nowhere due to inbound marketing and buzz marketing. Institutions that haven’t embraced this form of marketing does so at their own peril.