The far reaching implications of Covid-19 have turned Kenya's economy upside down. The country's debt level is at an all time high. Kenyans' default rate has gone through the roof. Recent statistics put the default rate at a shocking 14% and projections expect it to rise even higher in the coming months. People are losing their jobs every day and Kenyans are becoming more uncertain about meeting daily needs. With the nations labour force standing at a mere 56.8%, the country's economic future is far from blissful. Also, the Kenyan shilling has been on a steady decline against the dollar, which has resulted in inflation. Meanwhile, fuel prices have skyrocketed further exacerbating the problem. The prevailing circumstances play a depressing tune for most Kenyans and have left many besides themselves in fear.
While most people have felt the pinch of Corona, many others have seen it as an opportunity. Crafty Kenyans prepared themselves to ride the Corona wave and emerged millionaires. As is expected people found unscrupulous methods to amass wealth because of the pandemic. In Kenya, the term "Covid billionaires" has become synonymous with wrongfully amassing wealth by misappropriating funds allocated for the pandemic. Such practices have raised questions over the possibility of surviving during the pandemic through ethical business practices. Moreover, the undeniable economic slump coupled with the highest levels of unemployment has proved problematic globally.
However, despite these unfortunate turn of events, many businesses have set an example of how to navigate during these tough times. The year 2021 has presented businesses with numerous growth opportunities owing to the changing economic landscape. Moreover, the global crisis has necessitated organizations to restructure their business models and approaches. As some businesses close due to the Covid-19 effects others have opened and flourished in the same environment. The pandemic has shed light on the importance of flexibility and adaptation to remain relevant in the fast paced economy. The most profitable sectors during the pandemic were those that perceived the client demands and adjusted to meet those needs head-on. Naturally, businesses that insisted on romanticizing traditional business approaches were quickly driven out of business.
Today, practices such as remote work, video conferencing, and online collaboration have become increasingly common. The pandemic has shifted the business landscape and created an increased demand for innovative products and solutions. Individuals that fashioned their business models around the demands of the pandemic have reaped great benefits. That can mean either adjusting existing business models or completely changing the company's business model. For instance, businesses such as delivery, shipping and handling have registered high revenue as demand for such services has increased. Similarly, the country's ICT sector is rising steadily due to the increased need for internet connectivity.
One of the greatest needs during the pandemic is the need to communicate effectively and efficiently. With more people working from home, businesses must ensure they engage their employees and customers regularly. Effective communication is key to business success, particularly during the Covid-19 pandemic. In the past, businesses could rely on face-to-face encounters and word-of-mouth for growth. In other cases, businesses used traditional marketing methods and online marketing to reach the target audience. Additionally, businesses must think of targeting individual customers directly during the pandemic to increase sales. Through personalized messages, businesses can reach their target audience and relay their desired message.
Bulk SMS is a powerful communication tool that has become increasingly popular during the pandemic. Unlike other forms of messaging that require the recipient to have internet access or specialized equipment, bulk SMS requires recipients to have a phone. During these harsh economic times, businesses can use them to remain relevant through constant communication. Importantly, businesses can use bulk SMS to communicate with existing customers, potential customers and even staff members. Statistically speaking, SMS is the most effective communication tool compared to online marketing, email campaign or traditional media. 98% of messages are opened within the first 5 minutes. In contrast, only 30% of marketing emails are opened at all. Also paying for TV or Radio ads is very expensive and thus not feasible for most businesses in the country. Bulk SMS services such as SimpleSell SMS offer affordable pay as you go SMS bundles.
Research shows that SMS use is on the rise since the start of the pandemic since most people own at least a feature phone. Moreover, the prevailing culture is phone-centric as people hardly part with their mobile phones. Kenyans tend to carry their phones with them and check them multiple times a day. Kenya's mobile phone penetration in the country standing at 80%. As such, it is clear that SMS is the most effective approach to effective communication in the country. Smart business owners are quick to implement marketing strategies that can ensure their conversion rates. SimpleSell bulk SMS increases versatility by enabling users to send out customized messages through the app. As such, businesses can schedule messages for different target audiences and purposes.
With the Covid-19 pandemic ravaging the nation’s economy, businesses must become conscious of ways to navigate the challenges. Effective communication through Bulk SMS enables such businesses to reach their intended target. SMS marketing is the most effective approach to increasing business success despite the pandemic and the limited movement and interactions that came with it.
By Christine Njoki - Published 5th May 2021, 10:00pm