it’s not all the same

Marketing that is. 

It may feel that way especially when you’ve lived and worked in one location.

For example, living most of my life (ok, all of it) in the western world (aka Toronto, Canada) I am subject to very innovative and experiential marketing campaigns.   These days, it seems everything is about the social web and how mobile technology is changing how companies are marketing new services and products.

Yet, in places like East Africa (I’m presently in Kenya) it’s a little bit different. 

While more people in Kenya have a mobile phone (per capita) than in Canada, it’s not all about the social web experience on the mobile phone.  That’s because smartphones are not as ubiquitous as they are in Toronto.  Affordability is one example. 

However, this does not mean that people in the “third world” are not entrepreneurial.  Fact in point is Kenya’s M-Pesa service which I blogged about on Techvibes.  This service let’s the user transfer and get access to cash via their phone using SMS. 

There is not yet a market (nor a need, I think) for cool smartphone banking apps.  The operative word is yet.

So while SMS might seem “old” in Canada, it’s very much in use here in Kenya.

And marketing should be the same.

Sometimes we’ve been in a place for so long that the only marketing plans and schemes we can think up are the ones that have already been done or are presently being done.  What can we do to ensure we don’t keep copying and doing the same thing?

Use your imagination and start learning to think a little different.  Ask questions like what are the people in my market doing?  How are they interacting with one another?  What tools are they using that will allow me to communicate with them more effectively?

Remember that people are people and while we all may do similar things we are also not all the same.