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Nairobi is set to host the second annual East Africa digital Marketing Summit & Show, an annual event designed to bring together key players in the digital marketing space from the East African region.

The Digital Fair to be held on 9th and 10th April 2015 congregates digital marketing companies, communication and marketing managers in both public and private sector and providers of digital products and services under one roof to showcase the latest digital trends at a time when the online audience has been on a meteoric rise occasioned by increased penetration of internet enabled phones.

Mobile phone and tablets remain the internet access point for majority of Kenyans, standing at 13.9 million subscriptions as at the end of 2014, a 5 percent rise from the previous year.

The penetration is largely driven by availability of low cost smart phones which are expected to further rise by an average of 40 percent per year between now and 2017 according to a report by Pricewater house Coopers. This, even as the global purchases are projected to also grow at 1000 per cent in 2015 alone according to Deloitte.

“Smart phones have opened up a whole new market. Consumers, after all, almost always have their mobile devices with them. The challenge therefore is to create products that will capture their attention and give returns on investment,” said Martin Muli, from Eyeballs Marketing.

But the penetration has equally birthed customer and company oriented applications with applications such as Facebook, Whatsapp and Twitter dominating. However the last two years has seen an explosion locally developed functional applications such as M-Farm, EasyTaxi, Hello food, OLX which have gained grounds among local customers. The insatiable appetite for such apps will see four times as many mobile apps developed in 2015 than current offerings according to Mobile Response, a US based mobile application development company. 

The growing mobile money market has also encouraged eCommerce retailers and digital marketers should focus on created a smooth mobile shopping experience for customers. Statistics show that about Sh7 billion is transacted through mobile phones in the country every day. With Safaricom’s M-Pesa being a world leader in these services and succeeding at it, an increasing number of investors are eyeing the mobile money transfer space.

“Digital Fair brings together key stakeholders in the digital marketing industry to share ideas, understand the market dynamics, approach the market from a common front while showcasing products and services. We have over 50 exhibitors comprising developers and digital marketing agencies from across the region who have already booked their stands,” said Mr. Muli. The exhibitors at the Digital Fair will showcase the latest digital trends and engage marketers from different organizations. Last year’s event had 25 exhibitors from East Africa with more than 1000 visitors.

For marketers, applications and online presence has a profound effect, to better understand the impact of smart phones and online information on in-store shopping, according to an online survey conducted by Google in partnership Ipsos MediaCT and Sterling Brands. The study revealed that 71 percent of in-store shoppers who use smart phones for online research say their device has become more important to their in-store experience whereas two in three shoppers who tried to find information within a store say they didn’t find what they needed, and 43 percent of them left frustrated.

However as more companies invest in their own applications, the challenge is to create a product that will remain relevant to the consumers’ daily routine and as a result be constantly used and accessed.

Digital Fair is designed to bring together different providers of digital products and services under one roof to showcase their offering to marketers. The exhibitors will showcase the latest digital trends and engage marketers from different organizations. Last year’s event had more than 25 exhibitors from East Africa with more than 1000 visitors to the show. Some exhibitors included Safaricom – Business  solutions, Scarlet Digital – digital PR, Ma3Route, M-Farm, Google – Beba pay, Nailab- all start ups and WASP Africa- sms solutions and gadgets.