GBG Case Study

A travel magazine from Uganda goes global thanks to a mobile Android app

About The Pearl Guide

• thepearlguide.co.ug‫‏‬ • Kampala, Uganda • A media company comprising a magazine, a website, a social media presence and an app that enables people to make the most of Uganda • 16 employees • Launched in February 2008

Uganda is known as the ‘Pearl of Africa’. Inspired by this, The Pearl Guide is dedicated to promoting the travel possibilities in this beautiful, exciting country, offering the insights and tools that people need to experience the best of Uganda. One of the ways The Pearl Guide does this is through the ‘holidays at home’ idea, promoting Uganda as a tourism destination for its own people. The guide began as a free, purely ad-supported magazine before evolving into a website and mobile Android app. Now the company is developing and moving into television.

“70 percent of visitors are returning to the site, which indicates high relevance and high value for every visit. This is a fantastic improvement.” — Philip Kalibwani, Director and Business Development Manager, The Pearl Guide Uganda Ltd.

From the beginning, the Internet offered The Pearl Guide a key advantage over other media channels. Only up to 10,000 copies of each issue of the magazine were printed every month while the Internet gives The Pearl Guide the opportunity to reach this number of people in just one day. At the same time, the capacity of the Internet is unlimited, which means the market is also more or less unlimited. Of all the Google products used by The Pearl Guide like Gmail, Google Docs, Google Maps and YouTube for promotional videos, AdWords is the most important. This is because The Pearl Guide’s niche offering needs to be actively promoted. The Pearl Guide started using AdWords in 2012 and found that it immediately generated extremely effective results, providing a manageable way to advertise with easily quantifiable benefits. The Pearl Guide launched its app a year ago, and the company is excited about the fast growth rate on Android. For Philip Kalibwani, the Business Development Manager, the most exciting thing about the response to The Pearl Guide is that “70 percent of visitors are returning to the site, which indicates high relevance and high value for every visit. This is a fantastic improvement compared to when we first launched the website back in 2011. Now we need to get mass market exposure across Africa with our TV show.”

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The Pearl Guide Uganda Limited, Uganda

Android app. Now the company is developing and moving into television. From the beginning, the Internet offered The Pearl Guide a key advantage over.

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