On Saturday, January 25, 2014, I delightfully bumped into a group of MTNers in the town of Mongu running various “market clinics” around the district. A market clinic, I was told, is a strategy of the company to get interactive with existing and potential customers.
A formal query which remains unanswered was made via email to the Team Lead coordinating the clinics. Some of the questions we asked, among others, are: what were people’s reactions or reception to the market clinic; how many people did you target; and how many did you actually reach or interact with, customers and non-customers?
It was baffling not to find any kind of information regarding this campaign on any of MTN Zambia’s sites, social networks or otherwise. One would assume that if the goal was to interact with the people then every opportunity would be taken to publicise the locations of these clinics in order to draw crowds. From our point of view, the opportunity presented by the internet is just too big to be ignored. Social media allows for a very ripe opportunity to advertise and disseminate campaign information for free, especially that it can be done on mobile phones as well. We all know how much people love Facebook in Zambia, therefore, it wouldn’t hurt to say, “Hey guys we’ll be in so and so town, on so and so date. Stop by our booth to take advantage of amazing promotions!” Speaking of which, sim cards were being sold for half price at only K2.50, with a bonus of having it registered instantly. What a great mysterious limited offer! I would definitely still be oblivious had I not consciously stopped at the booth to ask questions out of curiosity that day.