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[More] on social media and QR codes in Kenyan print advertising.

No. I am not going to preach on how social media is going into overdrive in Kenya – you already know that, or you should know that already? In addition, as in my recent post on QR codes coming into print advertising in Kenya, I do not intend to go “gaga” over the same.

So, social media and QR codes are “happening” in Kenya. I want to cite three cases of this happening with local Kenyan brands over the last couple of weeks in leading newspapers. The first in this case (and no special prizes for guessing) is Safaricom.

Safaricom is really getting social media “mojo” as seen with all their recent media campaigns that embrace Twitter and Facebook. They use these channels for customer service and sales. Have a look at the picture on the left of the print ad. In addition, in what is probably one of the first for QR codes for a local brand is the QR code on the right image in the print ad. This is really good.

But it’s not just Safaricom that’s doing interesting stuff with social media, QR codes and print ads. Take a look at the ad on the left that ran in the newspapers for Bata Kenya. They had a nice print ad with some their recently launched shoes for women. However, they also leveraged this (expensive) print ad and dropped in mentions for their Twitter and Facebook profiles (however, no QR code here, yet?).

It goes to show that Bata Kenya takes social media seriously for marketing and customer service (incidentally I tested them recently after buying a pair of shoes that collapsed after a few months and got in touch via Facebook – they actually responded and showed serious concern to sort the issue out for me).

My last example of some interesting use of QR codes is a business called NikoHapa. NikoHapa is a business that operates on the basis of using QR codes and SMS via mobile phones to generate sales using loyalty points.

This in itself is nothing particularly new – it’s the same as a discount card or a loyalty card for a business like frequent flyer miles work for many airlines. However, it’s a souped up approach using mobile technology to work.

I think NikoHapa is an excellent idea but I worry as to how well it will scale over time. It means signing up lots of businesses and issuing lots of printed QR codes linked to a database as well as SMS charges for sending notifications for loyalty points. However, its a novel business concept and it could really grow if it catches on.

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1 Comment

  1. Hadija Mwadime
    September 7, 2011 at 7:10 am — Reply

    The QR code is a new thing in Kenya, for Kenyans who understand the concept seem to be accepting it and using it. I have seen them in several website such as http://dvplaza.co.ke using it.I have also seen it being used on business cards. I believe with time it will be an accepted factor.

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