MamaMikes discovers YouTube

I’ve written about Mama Mike’s before, a terrific online store that lets expatriate Kenyans support their families and friends at home by remitting goods instead of cash. (The quick version of why this is important: it’s cheaper and more secure than transmitting cash through services like Western Union.) It’s my fondest hope that either Mama Mike’s will start moving into other African countries, or that other companies will start mimicking the model, making it easier for people outside the continent to send digital vouchers for groceries, petrol and mobile phone minutes.

The folks at Mama Mikes are on the cutting edge of Internet technology in more than one way. They’re experimenting with YouTube videos as a way to advertise their services, starting with this very cute three minute film about the service bailing out a forgetful boyfriend. It’s an advertising medium that makes a lot of sense, as expat Kenyans are all over the world, not concentrated in a single media market… and because when you run an online service, you need your customer base to already be online. Worth thinking about for anyone else trying to reach customers in the Diaspora…

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