The Effectiveness of MSPs advertising in Kenya : An exploratory study
Ng'ate, Patrick Nyaboga
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In the eight years that Kenyans have enjoyed mobile phone services, the industry has grown in leaps and bounds to become one of the fastest changing and largest industries in Kenya. In 2007, Safaricom Ltd, currently the leading mobile phone network in Kenya, overtook East African Breweries Ltd as the largest contributor to the Exchequer — effectively making it the single largest contributor to the country’s economy. In the same breadth, Mobile Service Providers also became the top advertisers in all media in this very fast growing industry. This research was intended to study the influence of advertising by Mobile Service Providers on the subscriber. It studied the relationship between advertisements and the consumer’s reaction to the advertised product and/or service. As such, a total of 105 subscribers was targeted vide a combination of ‘convenience sampling’ and ‘stratified random sampling’ where the author targeted subscribers from different residential areas as a research sample. These were chosen by social class. Out of the 105 subscribers, 4 media houses and 4 Mobile Service Providers, a total of 87 subscribers and all the media houses and Mobile Service Providers responded. However, the Communications Commission of Kenya did not respond. The study found that most respondents felt that they were indeed influenced by advertisements of the Mobile Phone Service providers. They felt that some of the more basic and important features of the phone were not advertised enough but the Mobile Service Providers concentrated more on those that made money for them. However, they also felt that this was necessary especially in the area of promotions as it kept the Mobile Service Provider visible and the subscriber stood to gain from these activities. In effect, they continued to subliminally look out for those advertisements that would ultimately benefit them directly and take those into consideration. It was found that subscribers were mostly influenced by word of mouth.