It almost feels like there is an app for everything. A normal conversation now goes like:
“Hey boss I need new shoes do you know a good place?”
“I think there’s an app for that ebu Google.”
“Boss I’m tired of being single.”
“There’s an app for that.”
“Boss I’m hungry where can I get food?”
“There’s an app for that.”
The internet has become a thriving market place. Devoid of menacing council askaris wielding rungus and parading around in rickshaw excuses for pickups that should’ve been used as scrap metal during World War 1. At your fingertips you have the whole world at your beckon. Everyone thrives here from the coffee farmer accessing weather patterns from an online database, to the stock broker monitoring financial markets, even to the Oga sending out emails saying he is a twenty three year old girl millionaire heiress from Turkey and thinks you’re a saved man of God that can help her situation. It’s touch and go – literally. You never have to meet the buyer neither the seller. It saves time and is convenient.
A decade ago businesses would be scrambling for the few media agencies to have bill boards around town. They’d spend millions on their advertising budgets and for the smaller brands without the financial muscle they were bullied out of the markets. Now? Bill boards haven’t been ruled out, yet, but eyes are no longer looking out of windows unless you consider an open tab a window – wait. People are glued to their phones for whatever reason and this has given rise to a new type of advertising – digital advertising. It gave rise to a new market frontier that is flourishing in bounds and leaps. Bill boards became digital banners. Corporate entities registered for social media – an alien concept – and begun interacting first hand with their market.
Conversions became a reality. It has become easier to know who is interacting with a brand and what they want. Product differentiation has never been easier. Unlike mainstream advertising, on digital platforms it’s easier to target a particular niche. Bloggers have been able to tap into this flow of resources by carving niches and molding a crop of followers that appeal to different brands. In the process they’ve found an audience that appreciates their talents as writers and what they have to offer. They don’t have to go running after publishing houses, newspapers or magazines and engage in the strenuous process of marketing their books or articles. Now? They type away, proof read, attach images and post. They share the links with their friends and on social media and bam! It doesn’t stop at writers, talented individuals from across the planet have formed congruence and shared ideas to grow their skills. With a ready audience all you have to do is show up and shine. We have had overnight internet sensations from Psy to Bieber and our very own ‘Just a band’ with their Makmende video.
The internet of things is a huge cake, I mean enormous, and everyone is scrambling for a piece of it. But right now everyone is doing what they think is right. There’s no real strategy. It’s more of trial and error. Without proper structure the digital economy will crumble and fall. People will become susceptible to unscrupulous characters out to harvest where they did not sow. So now, more than ever, there’s need to learn how to optimize the opportunities this economy offers. We need to reach out to those arranging booty calls on what’s app – the bro Ocholla’s and the like – and those posting selfies on Instagram. They need to know how to turn Instagram into a cash cow, use what’s app to grow a business idea they’ve always had into reality. This, like any other resource if channeled in the right way could mean endless possibilities. It could potentially end unemployment, build the economy, eradicate poverty, and trigger growth in the art sector plus much, much more.
The internet is powerful, but only, if you know how to use it.
*The author of this article, Shadrack Landi, wins a ticket to the Digital Camp Kenya 2015 at Crayfish Camp Naivasha from the 6th – 8th November.