The use of internet advertising by the Kenyan mobile telephone industry
Otieno, Everlyne Otieno
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Advertising models are now changing from 'interruptive marketing' to ‘engagement marketing’, which promotes interactivity and dialogue between brands and audience. Companies use internet advertising, which allows for chats, emails, computer games and more. This interactivity now enables marketers to track communication trends and establish positive relationships between customers and their brands. The mobile telephone industry today is characterized by an ever-changing operating environment and stiff competition among the major players as each seeks to establish itself in the market. This calls for players in the industry to constantly be innovative in advertising forms and other marketing strategies to keep up with competition. The purpose of this study is to demystify internet advertising, find out if it is used by the mobile telephone industry in Kenya, the forms of internet advertising used and the successes and challenges faced with its use. This research was conducted through a survey of the four mobile telephone companies in Kenya: Safaricom, Airtel, Orange and Yu. Both Primary and secondary data were used for the study. Questionnaires were administered to the marketing managers of the four companies to collect primary data. Being a descriptive study, SPSS and qualitative technique was used to analyze data. From the study findings, the researcher concludes that the mobile telephone industry in Kenya uses internet advertising throughout the day. Search engine and viral advertising are the most prevalent forms of internet advertising. Video and affiliate advertising were least used. From the findings, internet advertising is most preferred because of its wider reach. Penetrating rural areas poses a major hindrance to internet advertising due to limited internet access. The study recommends that the mobile telephone companies should constantly build the capacity of their staff to put them in a better position to enable them effectively use internet advertising; The players should consider increasing budget allocations for internet advertising to increase its use as the world embraces internet as a basic communication medium.