Welcome to a journey into the marketing world through the lens of Wanjira Ng’ethe, the Product Marketer at Kwara. In this exclusive interview, we dive into Wanjira’s experiences, insights, and the dynamic marketing landscape she navigates daily as part of #TeamKwara. From her roots at Unilever to her current role at Kwara, Wanjira shares the intricacies of her marketing philosophy and the lessons learned along the way.
Start of the interview
David: Welcome! Let’s start with a brief introduction of who you are.
Wanjira: I am Wanjira Ng’ethe, a Product Marketer at Kwara. I look after everything related to marketing at Kwara, from brand to social media marketing. I work closely with the product team and support the sales and account management teams on collateral matters they need.
David: How did you get into marketing?
Wanjira: Leading up to where I am now, I was interested in what influences people to do what they do, what they purchase, and what they introduce into their lives. Making some of the pivotal decisions around which courses to take and which career path to choose was what had me pursuing a degree in marketing and choosing to work for my first employer, Unilever, a global FMCG leader. This same interest came to mind when I decided to transition industries—specifically product marketing. I feel that marketing is at the heart of influencing behavior.
David: What are some learnings you’ve picked along the journey?
Wanjira: For anyone keen to venture into this field, not just this one, but anyone trying to solve a problem, listening is something one must hone. The art of listening to the person you are presenting information to is crucial to my work. Whether you are trying to persuade them to purchase or change their behavior, this is a must-have skill. I actively listen and process what and how the person I am trying to communicate with articulates the challenge or problem they were facing. With this in mind, when pushing out an Instagram story, captioning a LinkedIn post, or drafting a blog, I constantly reflect and factor this into how best what I am delivering can resonate with my target audience.
David: Now that you’re doing marketing at Kwara, what has been your main takeaway?
Wanjira: Working at Kwara has been an opportunity to work with brilliant people and learn from them. Coming in as an expert in your field can easily make you think you are the one with all the answers or all the answers come from you. On the contrary, working at Kwara has given me a different perspective. To deliver the kind of output visible to all our stakeholders, I have to work closely with product, sales, and customer success, which, as a result, allows me to convey what we offer in the best possible manner. Problem-solving is crossfunctional, and how best to communicate this to our customers and other stakeholders lies with me and everyone who plays a crucial role in building and delivering our products and services.
David: Out of the stories you’ve written, what is the story to you that’s most memorable?
Wanjira: We’ve yet to write this story; however, Nicola shared it at the company town hall. Initially, when I started, we were closely speaking with members to understand the adoption of our then-recently launched airtime feature on the Kwara App. Christine, one member from Planned Parenthood SACCO, was very open to sharing her experience with me. I dare say she has been one of the super users of our airtime feature to date. Hearing from a customer who had found value in our products was fantastic. To date, Christine still reaches out to me whenever she has questions regarding the airtime feature and her SACCO and Kwara experience. This story stands out because it is a constant reminder of how Kwara’s products aim to bring and interface SACCO members’ activity with their day-to-day.
David: In your words, how would you describe what Kwara does?
Wanjira: I would say it’s a growing giant. It’s the engine behind some of the most significant institutions in saving, borrowing, and, consequently, investing. Being at the heart of transactions flowing through a financial institution’s ecosystem, in this case, cooperatives and credit unions is no small feat.
David: What are some things members or SACCOs have shared that resonated with you regarding the benefits and the difference Kwara has made?
Wanjira: From my interaction with members, SACCOs, and even partners who’ve interacted with Kwara, one common word or theme that stands out is how they see its positive impact on society. Injecting technology in a financial institution’s ecosystem that has been overlooked and raising it to levels where cooperatives and their members get access to best-in-class services and products is seen in a very noble light by people I have gotten to see their reaction to what Kwara does. We arrest many fears and concerns the minute we go in and are part of SACCOs’ and its members’ experiences. Whenever someone hears what we do, the impact and disruption we are and continue to have, they are more curious about our work. They are even eager to join the cooperative movement if they are not already part. Their commitment and resolve to engage with their SACCO is reignited for existing members.
David: Being at the heart of Kwara’s marketing, what can you tell us about how things work internally? How do stories form? How do you work with other team members so that we get to see what is pushed out on matters of marketing?
Wanjira: The thing about working at Kwara is that the team is constantly doing amazing things, which can feel like the norm. After making these observations, I have actively held up the mirror to the team to say, “Hey, what you’re doing is terrific. People need to know how, for instance, implementation is done, security is handled, or features are released.” As a result, we have the content we have out now. We have taken those moments and success stories that feel normal and turned them into stories to share with our potential and existing customers so they get a glimpse of what we do at Kwara. This is one way I have turned some of the internal events and initiatives into stories and content we put out. From feature release blogs to partnership and customer events and stories.
David: What is an important message to share or a vital thing to know if any person, clients, or team members will be working with Kwara?
Wanjira: If you are joining Kwara, interacting with Kwara as a partner, or coming on as a client, one of the experiences you’ll get that’s part of our core values is the user and customer obsession. You’ll immediately know our desire to solve problems and delight those we build for. A culture of high performance underpins this. The team is wired to problem solve, and everyone across functions does jump in to close out on challenges and pain points; that’s something to expect when you come into Kwara or interact with Kwara; it’s in the organization’s DNA.
End of interview
As we concluded this insightful interview, we gained a deeper understanding of the marketing landscape shaped by our product marketer, Wanjira Ng’ethe. From the significance of active listening to the power of storytelling in marketing, Wanjira has given us a glimpse into her strategic approach at Kwara. She also writes these stories and creates excellent content, so stay posted for more!