Advertising and marketing guru, Paul Mwirigi has upon publishing entrepreneurial marketing tips illustrated through Zoe Fellowship vision bearer, Prophet Elvis Mbonye stated that his analysis is not aimed at validating or pulling down the brand that is Elvis Mbonye “but, rather, unpack the lessons business owners can learn from a marketing perspective of this brand.”
Paul Mwirigi, who is the Director, Public Relations Association of Uganda (PRAU), said that every product consumers buy, every store they visit, every media message they receive and every choice they make has been shaped by the forces of marketing.
He used the word ‘product’ to refer to Mr Mbonye’s prophetic revelations, stating that in business, a product must be available in the right place, at the right time and in the right quantity, while keeping storage, inventory and distribution costs to an acceptable level.
“Elvis Mbonye uses his Zoe Fellowship at Kyadondo Rugby Club which allows one to physically experience his product through praise and worship, testimonies and finally his preaching where he will deliver his prophecies. With the fellowship being held on Tuesdays, he enjoys the benefit of having members from other churches attend it, which is a very unique tactic!”
Mwirigi said promotion is the way a company communicates what it does and what it can offer customers.
“Elvis Mbonye uses a plethora of channels to promote his product. They mostly include digital options; website, mailing list, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Google +, You Tube and email. He also uses TV to promote his fellowships,” Mwirigi stated, quickly noting however, one of Prophet Mbonye’s most efficient promotional tools is word of mouth courtesy of his fellowship attendants.
“Why pay for influencers when thousands are standing up for you? This is called brand love,” he explained.
Mwirigi added that in business, many customers no longer simply buy a product or service but, invest in an entire experience that starts from the moment they discover your brand and lasts through to purchase and beyond.
“The Zoe Fellowship has a good arrangement of teams that do all the work – reception, praise and worship, service hosting all the way till when Elvis Mbonye takes onto the stage. They also have a fairly credible online team to handle the offline interaction,” he said.
He also stated there is no point in developing a product or service that no one wants to buy.
“Elvis Mbonye’s core product or service is prophecies. According to his website, he has had a ‘consistent record over the years of startling prophetic revelations and predictions accompanied by their confirmation and fulfillment’. From this, it is clear what product is being marketed and from his followers, who swear by it, the product works!”
He on the other hand purported that Elvis Mbonye is the only person who is known to provides these prophecies at Kyadondo Rugby Club .
“Remove him out of the equation and all you have are volunteers, choir members, ushers and pastoral assistants. This is, also, another area Elvis Mbonye has to work on,” he said.
Paul Mwirigi’s discussion was entirely based on the 7Ps of marketing – People, Product, Price, Promotion, Place, Process and Physical Evidence – which he said help a company to review and define key parameters that affect the marketing of its products and services.
“So, how does Elvis Mbonye fair with regard to this?” Mwirigi, who was head of marketing, Knight Frank Uganda stated.
He said a lot has been said about Prophet Elvis Mbonye, but very rarely has good marketing practice been attributed to him.