Last year, Safaricom made Ksh63.3 billion in full-year profits making it the blue-eyed boy of Sub-Saharan Africa’s telco world.
Since its inception, the company has after teething problems continued growing in leaps and bounds raking in billions in profits.
The super-profits which benefit majorly the investors come from a majority of poor Kenyans living under the poverty line or those who would fall slightly above it.
Safaricom’s mobile money arm, M-Pesa, rakes in most of the super-profits as Kenyans continue complaining about the exploitative costs of using the service.
Most of the complaints come from being charged twice for the same transaction in the form of charges for sending and withdrawing the money by the recipient.
But on the brighter side, the service offers convenience which many banks have not yet managed to do in a country where more than 60 per cent of the adult population has access to a mobile phone.
According to the World Bank, Kenya is the highest user of mobile phones for money transactions in the Sub Saharan Africa region.
Safaricom’s M-Pesa has won global acclaim for being an innovative solution that has managed to make financial transactions easier. M-Pesa has also managed to provide a system where money in the economy is easily traceable while also streamlining financial taxation for the government.
At the same time, the company has had to keep innovating and spending to keep the brand visible. In even the remotest shopping centres in Kenya, it is highly unlikely that you will fail to notice the company’s brand colours.
In 2017 Safaricom announced that all 47 counties in Kenya were covered by its 4G network with customers having access to the service standing at one million.
The telco was also covering more than a third of the country’s population with 1,400 4G sites since the launch in December 2014.
As of 2017, the sites using the enhanced 4G+ technology were around 224 and it is this growth that the company has to ensure is unmissable.
Last year, the company’s media spend was Ksh63.3 billion which was on different means and platforms to keep it in people’s consciences.
Total ad spend on different platforms
Safaricom advertising spend in November 2019 was more than half a billion shillings.
In an Ipsos & Synovate report released last year, the giant telco spent Ksh625 million but which was less 2% from October 2019’s spend where the company spent Ksh638 million on brand visibility.
The November Advertising Industry Overview report shows that the company’s heavy spending could be attributed to its new campaign seeking to boost trust among Kenyans.
Other big spenders included Marketing and Public Relations firm Oxygene which spent Ksh272 million on adverts in November.
Cocacola spent Ksh294 million in the same month of November while Equity Group spent Ksh230 million, Kenya Breweries Limited (KBL), Ksh200 million while the government spent Ksh192 million.
Supa 5 Lottery, Reckitt Benckiser East Africa, Beiersdorf East Africa Limited, Pwani Oil and Glaxosmithkline spent Ksh163 million, Ksh133 million, Ksh131 million, Ksh119 million and Ksh114 million on adverts in the same month topping the list of big spenders on.