The effects of the continuing depreciation of the Kenya shilling have been felt by the entire economy. Oil importers, manufacturers and consumers are paying more because imported components and finished products and services have become expensive. On the other hand, exporters of horticultural produce and the tourism sector are benefitting because our produce and destinations have become more affordable.
Internet marketing will undoubtedly experience stiffer challenges because of the depreciating shilling. It’s unlikely that ISPs will reduce bandwidth prices further, for their claim will almost be that they purchase wholesale bandwidth prices in US$ which has strengthened against the Kenya shilling.
So, what are the likely scenarios of the weakening shilling on Internet marketing?
- If Kenya can’t grow the current 4.7 million Internet subscriptions because of high prices, then Internet marketing is in trouble.
- If prices of computers and mobile phones and accessories rise, then Internet marketing is in trouble.
- If mobile phone service providers increase their Internet access prices like Safaricom recently did, then Internet marketing in Kenya is in trouble.
- If brands can’t market their services online through platforms like paid search because they can’t forecast what they will pay tomorrow, then Internet marketing in trouble.
- If Kenya can’t attract seminars and other events that are about the Internet, or if only a few people can afford to pay to attend, then Internet marketing is in trouble.
- If multinational marketing services companies set up Internet marketing subsidiaries in Kenya because it’s cheaper for them, but they pursue alien marketing tactics because they don’t see the need to understand the market, then Internet marketing is in trouble.
Kenya won’t realise the much hyped vision 2030 if a basic requirement like Internet access is still a luxury to most Kenyans.