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How Can Digital Marketing Improve East African Development Outcomes?

By Wayan Vota on June 28, 2013

More and more East Africans are going online every day. Many of these new netizens are also key development actors – from the wealthy and connected who can direct resources and change policy to the poor and underserved who we are often trying to reach. In our efforts to mobilize them, find new BOP markets, and expand opportunity, what technology medium works the best?

digital marketingInMobi research says that mobile media influences Kenyan consumers more than TV, radio, or newspapers (not that they’d be biased). Which brings up a few questions:

  • Do SMS ads to mobile phones work?
  • What about mobile ads on social media?
  • Could voice and FM radio still be the killer app?
  • Or is new media micro targeting more effective?
  • And is print or TV still relevant, particularly with youth?

Regardless of medium, should we be “selling” development outcomes, or the inputs and outputs to achieve them? And when we do, what messages should we be sending? Does “empowerment” work better than “self-interest”? What about the ethics involved with marketing? Is micro targeting beneficial or just Orwellian?

RSVP now to join Gareth Knight, founder of the UK ecommerce company WEDO and the South African conference Tech4Africa in a wide ranging conversation to drill down into what works and what doesn’t when using digital marketing to reach development outcomes.

Digital Marketing for Development
8-9:30am, Thursday, July 4th, 2013
Population Council, Kenya
Ralph Bunche Road & Ngong Road
Nairobi, Kenya (map)

We’ll have hot coffee and mandazis for a morning rush, but seating is limited at Population Council’s office in Nairobi. So RSVP ASAP to be confirmed for attendance – once we reach our 30-person capacity there will be a waitlist.


About the Technology Salon

The Technology Salon™ is an intimate, informal, and in person, discussion between information and communication technology experts and international development professionals, with a focus on both:

  • technology’s impact on donor-sponsored technical assistance delivery, and
  • private enterprise driven economic development, facilitated by technology.

Our meetings are lively conversations, not boring presentations. Attendance is capped at 30 people – and frank participation with ideas, opinions, and predictions is actively encouraged.

It’s also a great opportunity to meet others motivated to employ technology to solve vexing development problems. Join us today!

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Written by
Wayan Vota co-founded ICTworks and is the Digital Health Director at IntraHealth International. He also co-founded Technology Salon, MERL Tech, ICTforAg, ICT4Djobs, ICT4Drinks, JadedAid, Kurante, OLPC News and a few other things. Opinions expressed here are his own and do not reflect the position of IntraHealth International or other ICTWorks sponsors.
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