Econet Wireless Zimbabwe is smart. But it doesn’t take an Einstein to figure out that NO ONE invests $200 million dollars without a seriously solid ‘money back’ (plus profit) plan. On the other hand…many Zimbabwean businesses are sadly…not smart.
When I told some Zimbabwean businessmen – early 2009 that it was time begin seriously investing time and money into understanding and leveraging the internet, they laughed. My prediction wasn’t brain surgery, it should have been obvious for any decent marketer (SA World Cup soccer and all) Anyway, about 6 months later, August 2009, Econet launched the much anticipated 3G technology to Zimbabweans.
Their subscription base was full before most people even knew what it was – and in usual Zimbabwe fashion, these ‘internet activated lines hit the black market almost immediately. Pain to your wallet? $150usd. Ouch!
Still, a new era has began. More significant than you might realize. (Just ask the big cell phone dealers, it’s never been easier to sell a smart phone in Zimbabawe)
Consider 3 simple factoids
- Econet introduces 3g and is capacitating give a lot more subscriptions
- Telecel is joining the party.
- Even Netone has plans ‘under way’ for 2010.
Add to that the mega fibre cabling Econet’s working on… that you’ve got a changed situation.
For the first time ever – Zimbabweans are online in a real way. Dial up will finally die it’s overdue death and communication throughout the country makes a quantum leap forward.
And YOUR Business?
Imagine how much more important and relevant the internet becomes when all of a sudden 1 million more people have a new and super convenient way to communicate and search for local information.
3 Things You Can Do to Get Ready
- Wake Up. Keep your eyes open. New online marketing opportunities are already emerging. Online classifieds, banner ads, email marketing, social networking etc…it’ll start to grow from now onwards. Businesses will for the first see the relevance of an internet presence. The competition
- Build Your OWN online real estate. A really successful online pretense means you’re leveraging online sites and services, whilst developing your own. Even better, it means using online sites and services TO grow your own (read that again and think about it).
- Learn About SMS advertising: It’s hard to separate mobile advertising from what’s happening. It’s also stupid. Up till now though, SMS advertising in Zimbabwe has been pretty useless for the average business. Culturally, technologically and strategically not very feasible. That will start to change gradually and then rapidly. For now, just learn the basics of what, where, when, how and why.
Snooze you lose.
P.S. Oh and if you’ve got a reasonable working budget and you’re ready to build a local internet empire, contact me…I’ll show you how.