Leading techies and corporate organizations have projected fundamental shifts in the digital landscape that will transform consumer behavior, e-commerce, digital marketing, and mobile communication in 2019.
A forum held on November 28 on Digital Trends 2019 held in Nairobi noted that new aggregated mobile apps, creativity in content marketing, and artificial intelligence will be the key differentiators in the digital landscape.
Although a lot of developments have been realized in the landscape in 2018, new trends that will redefine consumer behavior and service delivery will be witnessed in 2019, some of the top speakers in the Digital industry agreed.
According to Safaricom Chief Customer Care Officer, Ms. Sylvia Mulinge, the increasing demand by consumers for convenience and simplicity when interacting with apps, will force developers to introduce super apps that aggregate several applications into one that is more user-friendly.
“There is a high probability that for every application that one installs on phone he or she is likely to delete another one because of issues to do with phone memory, so the apps that will tick in the market are those that can deliver more than one service and is easy to interact with,” she said.
Ms. Mulinge further noted that artificial intelligence will revolutionize customer service in 2019 with many service providers using chatbots which acts as virtual assistants within mobile applications.
The chatbots, already employed by several corporates, can reduce customer service costs by up to 30 percent and speed up response time by 80 percent in answering routine questions. Safaricom uses the Zuri chatbot to answer customer queries.
Ms. Mulinge said companies on the e-commerce platforms will also have to personalize customer experience if they are to remain in business. About 48 percent of consumers, she said, spend more money when shopping online if their experience is personalized and this can bring up to 15 percent profit boost for companies that personalize e-commerce.
East Africa Breweries Limited (EABL) Head of Media Futures and Digital, Ms. Waithera Kabiru, said content will still remain key in 2019 and a lot of creativity will be required to successfully deliver messages to the target audience.
“Apart from the increase in the use of consumers as influencers to push content online, we will continue to see a rise in video marketing, but the success will depend on the content and creativity employed,” she said.
Joe Njeru, Zilojo Chief Executive Officer, said that marketers will also go back to the basics where the key thing is to offer solutions and not just to bring on new innovations just for the sake it.
Top 25 Women in Digital 2018 were unveiled at the same event and it included women from corporate, sports, media and entertainment among other industries. For the first time this year, the Top 25 Men in Digital industry were included.
More than 80 percent of the honorees are career women creating a great need to invest more in entrepreneurship and innovation. On the other hand, more than 70 percent of the top men are entrepreneurs, a great indication of diverse interest between men and women and the need to bridge the gap.
To create a pipeline of Top women in digital and offer them an opportunity to impact the society, Digitalk Africa Limited has introduced a mentorship program that focuses on impacting girls in universities.
The transformative nature of the program is unprecedented since it dives deep into knowledge transfer, the discovery of girls interested in digital innovation, entrepreneurship and career, knowledge transfer and linkage with the right ecosystem for economic empowerment.
The forum was sponsored by Safaricom Limited, Expeditions Maasai Safaris Limited, and Valentines Cake House and BIZNA Kenya.