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Nairobi set to host historic digital marketing conference

SCI & TECH
By | December 20th 2010

By MARK KAPCHANGA

Africa is set to host an Internet and digital marketing conference in Nairobi that will bring together industry experts across the globe.

The event, to be held in June next year, targets professionals who think that today’s marketing industry is in need of change.

"We are bringing the world’s best experts and specialists together to discuss the future of marketing, social media and advertising as well as new technology," Afri-Tech President Bernard Sanganza, said.

The three-day exhibition and "highly engaging" conference will be held at the Kenyatta International Conference and will provide the attendees with a mass of new knowledge and new contacts.

It is projected to feature more than 150 leading minds from the local market, most of whom are brand advertisers, traditional and interactive agencies, portals, on-line publishers and technology providers.

BANKING INDUSTRY

Among the key speakers are one of Africa’s finest bankers, Dr James Mwangi, who is globally credited for transforming the continent’s banking industry.

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Also in the speakers’ list is Kenya’s information and technology permanent secretary Dr Bitange Ndemo, Fady Ramzy, the Country Manager of Interact-Egypt, John Brigden, Senior Vice President, Europe, Middle East and Africa Geography, Douglas Mboweni, the chief executive officer of Econet Wireless Zimbabwe and Edmund Katiti, the head of the Nepad e-Africa programme, among others.

According to Mr Sanganza, marketing executives from brand organisations, agencies, publishers and solution providers "attend our events in order to stay on top of the most important content, network with industry leaders."

"The conference will also provide understanding on how firms can work with the latest technology and media. Our events truly answer the needs and wants of those passionate about digital media," he said. Statistics show that Afri-Tech is Africa’s first and most established Internet and Digital Media institution.

Marketing experts say the June summit is timely, especially at this time when the continent is fast embracing technology.

Key subjects of discussion include the future innovations in Internet and Digital. This, the Afri-Tech President says will focus on the latest innovations in digital, what the future holds for investors and what one should look out for in the ever changing communications landscape.

BUILDING BRANDS

"More interesting will be the building of brands through a digital platform. Here, experts will take a look at the agency’s role traditionally companies built brands in the offline world through television and print media. But today some of the most well known brands, Google, Facebook, Skype all originated online. How can agencies help organisations build a successful online brand and are they currently equipped well enough to do so?" he told Tech.Insight.

According to McKinsey Quarterly survey, companies that make the deep strategic and operational shifts required to become effective digital marketers can become more agile, more productive, and accelerate revenue growth.

"Since the dawn of the Internet, marketers have regarded it as a vast laboratory, launching experiment after experiment to crack the code that generates sales and customer loyalty. Not surprisingly, most have failed.

"Consumers adopted digital technology as they themselves saw fit, in the process fundamentally altering the way they make purchasing decisions," the study found.

Released in November this year, the findings show that companies that understand this evolution are now moving digital interactivity toward the centre of their marketing strategies, rethinking their priorities and budgets and substantially reshaping their processes and skills.

"Through our work with dozens of companies navigating this shifting landscape, we have found that the most successful digital marketers focus on managing four core sources of value as they increase the percentage of marketing and channel spending that is directed to digital activities," the McKinsey Quarterly reports.

SYNDICATING CONTENT

First, they co-ordinate their activities to engage the consumer throughout an increasingly digital purchase journey.

Second, they harness interest in their brands by syndicating content that empowers the consumer to build his own marketing identity and, in the process, to serve as a brand ambassador.

Third, they recognise the need to think like a large-scale multimedia publisher as they manage a staggering increase in the content they create to support products, segments, channels, and promotions.

Finally, these marketers strategically plot how to gather and use the plethora of digital data now available. "This is a landmark conference that Africa, and the globe at large should attend," Baruti Fenyang, a marketing expert based in South Africa, said.

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