INMOBI: Mobile is fast rising as an authoritative channel to communicate to voters

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Inmobi Moses Kemibaro
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Moses Kemibaro, InMobi Sales Director for Africa

In a research conducted by InMobi on 719 respondents, mobile came out strongly as a new and unavoidable channel to reach voters during this campaign period. This was a survey done fully on mobile via InMobi ads placed on mobile sites. Respondents were 55% between 18-24, 24% between 25-29, 11% between 30-34 and 10% of then beyond that age bracket.The research showed that Tv awas still the best channel that voters would like to recieve infoemation from with more females than males opting for this channel. Radio came second as a choice channel with more males opting for this as their choice. A surprising third was mobile, with expectedly more males willing to recieve information over this channel than women. Mobile beat Newspapers which came fourth, more males preferred this channel than females. Web and billboards came fifth and sixth respectively, more females want to recieve information on web/desktop than males, the gender difference was equal on billblards.

Now, considering only 750,000 Kenyan homes have Tvs, and Tv/Radio are a costly media to use, mobile is bound to be the choice channel to reach users for an effective campaign. Mobile has been a clear game changer in the money sector, and this is mainly due to access and penetration, so this could also be a sure success in the political landscape too. People want information – they want clear, concise messaging and they want it regularly. A survey done following Obama’s notorious campaign asked people what one word they would think of when they heard his name, the word CHANGE was mentioned by the majority of the people surveyed. And Kenyans are looking for this information, in face – 46% of the people surveyed said that they would welcome daily information from the party of their choice.

75% of Kenyans want to know about party policy, closely followed by 74% who were interested in the key issues that would be addressed by the party. Interestingly, 58% were even interested in receiving party memorabilia such as wallpaper for their phones – difficult to imagine a more effective marketing tool than being on the face of hundreds of mobile phones. Innovation in the mobile space has extended to social media, and most Kenyans access social media sites via their phones. Effective campaigns need to deliver information to people online as a primary tool, not an afterthought. Citizen journalism also can’t be ignored, and the power of their messages over social media. The bottom line is that friends trust friends, and Kenyans across income brackets are influenced by their friends’ political views. 52% of those asked said they were strongly or moderately influenced by their friends’ views.

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