Welcome to the Mall Game

I recently came across an article titled “Well Executed Social Media Strategies will be Game Changers in Kenya’s Retail Market War”. I was intrigued, with the opening of The Hub Karen and the upcoming arrival of Two Rivers, in addition to Garden City, the mall market in Nairobi is booming.

There were three main points made in this article.

Point 1:

A successful social media strategy is dependent on only one thing; a great business plan.” I agree wholeheartedly. When we begin working with a client on their social media, or any other aspect of their marketing plan, we first want to establish what the brand stands for, who the core audience are, what they are interested in and what are the brands core differentiators. This then dictates the communication messages and the mode of communication.

Point 2:

“Getting together the right team – a team that understands customer needs and expectations” We believe this means people within the organisation who’s job is as much about customer service as it is content development.

Where I start to differ is on point 3.

“These team members should be able to visit stores in the mall and capture content such as new products and services, launches and sales”. A mall is much more than the collection of its tenants. If there are 70 tenants within a mall even posting one item per month for each of them on Facebook is not realistic. What if some tenants have better offers than others – how do you maintain balance? And what if those tenants run the same offers in all the malls they are in, this does not differentiate one mall over another. It is also up to the individual tenants to promote their own products and brands which in turn drive people to the mall. I would ask what are the tenants doing to understand how the clients between one mall and another differs and targeting their marketing strategies, products and offers accordingly?

The malls job on social media is to create an experience. For example someone will come to The Hub Karen because they have the stores AND they offer something extra, whether it be events, local community involvement or a relaxed outdoor atmosphere. It is my belief that the malls social media is not best utilised promoting it’s tenants offers but promoting the overall mall experience, of which their tenants are only one part.

Sam Crosthwaite-Mboya

Email: sam@twentytwentymarketing.com