5 growth marketing hacks for Kenyan businesses – PART ONE

Amid the Covid-19 pandemic, a lot has been said about the appropriate brand response. One of the best resources I have come across is Ogilvy Consulting’s take on the matter. Across the globe, there has been a growing concern from brands, not to be seen as a predator taking advantage of this for commercial gain.

This led to such similar communication that it was hard to distinguish between brands. Brand managers got a lot of flack for this from analysts but the message was one of unity, reassurance and safety. It would be difficult to be different in this situation without coming off as tone deaf.

The Kenyan Government eased a number of restrictions in July, 2020. Domestic travel is possible; international passenger travel will resume on the first of August. Social gathering remains limited, with players in the entertainment industry most affected by the restrictions. If you’re a business owner facing revenue pressure, possible layoffs and slashed marketing budgets, this article is dedicated to you.

Having worked in start-ups, I understand having high-growth expectations but with limited funds to execute. The sexy term for this is, Growth Hacking. Basically, it’s doing marketing without a budget.

Let me list out a couple of tactics that have worked for me.

Partnerships: There are a number of ways you can approach this. Today, we’ll discuss three.


Once you categorize your target market, you’ll understand your customer’s needs and motivations like, what they like to do with their free time. Then, you’ll be able to identify other businesses with the same target market. For instance, you may partner with them to share the cost of renting out a billboard. Split the cost 50/50 to give both of you visibility.


You may approach a complimentary business owner to develop a revenue share agreement. This will make for a stronger value proposition to a prospective client. Examples of complimentary goods are bread and margarine, sugar and flour. When your customer buys from you, ask yourself what else will they need together with your product. If she’s buying a new TV, she’ll probably be in the market for a new sound system as well.

A word of caution on this. If you decide to take this route, ensure the legal paperwork is well understood by both parties and have clear exit clauses.


Another way to do partnerships is through non-monetary exchange of goods and services. This is pretty straight forward. Meet and agree on the details. It should be of equivalent value, for instance, hand washing soap worth 100,000 is exchanged with airtime worth KES 100,000.

So, look around you and see who you can work with. This is an opportune time; people are open to unconventional ways of doing business. Previous competitors are now working together, Apple and Google partnered on Covid-19 contact tracing technology.

Lastly, partnerships give you an opportunity to meet like-minded people who may eventually become good friends.

PART TWO Coming Soon…