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Kenya: Global Digital Marketing Conference comes to Nairobi

By | December 17th 2010

By Mark Kapchanga

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

The landmark event, to be held in June 2011, targets professionals who firmly believe that today’s marketing industry is in need of a change.

"We are bringing the world’s most influential digital marketing experts and specialists together to discuss the future of marketing, social media and advertising as well as new technologies that could be harnessed for the holistic growth of Africa," 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 wealth of new knowledge and an unprecedented opportunity to interact with some of the pioneers in the digital marketing field.

The conference is set 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.

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. Mwangi is the Equity Bank CEO.

Also in the list is Kenya’s Ministry of information and Communication 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.

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

"The conference also provides an insider’s view 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 and the marketing avenues that can be tapped and maximized," he said.

Statistics show that Afri-Tech is Africa’s first and most established Internet and Digital Media institution.

Analysts say the June Summit is timely, especially at a moment when the continent is fast embracing technology. One of the key subjects of discussion will be ‘The future innovations in Internet and Digital Media Marketing’. This, the Afri-Tech President says will focus on the latest innovations in digital media, what the future holds for investors and what one should look out for in the ever changing communications landscape.

"More interesting will be the building of brands through a digital platform.

Here, experts will take a look at the digital media agency’s role where traditionally companies used to build brands in the offline world through television and print media.

In a deviation from the past, some of the most well known brands, Google, Facebook, and Skype have all originated in an online ecosystem. How can agencies help organizations build a successful online brand and are they currently equipped well enough to do so? He said.

Vineet Singh, Managing Director of CopperBridge Media, one of the most innovative and grassroots digital marketing firm in Asia and the strategic partner of Afri-Tech firmly believes that, "Africa is at the threshold of an economic resurgence, and digital marketing technologies will play a big role in deciding the leaders and followers."

He also mentioned that, "Pioneering organizations like Afri-Tech will play a big role in the shaping of a healthy economy based on the quality of product and services".

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 surprising, 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 said. 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."

First, they coordinate 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 or her own marketing identity and, in the process, to serve as a brand ambassador. - Third, they recognize 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. "I will ensure my firm sponsors its team to this epic event."

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