One of the tacit rules of marketing technology products and services is that when you have business momentum you don’t let up. The reason for this is that generating momentum is hard to do in technology markets because of the pace of change. Just when you think you have a great new product or service someone comes along and ‘one ups’ you and you’ve lost the initiative.
Bell Mobility is a great example of a company that lost the initiative to Rogers Wireless through a series of blunders and mishaps. Through the 90’s and early 2000’s Bell was the market leader and led the wireless market with a series of innovations that included new rate plans, value-added services, introducing the Blackberry to the launch of PCS services at 1.9 Ghz.
Since that time there hasn’t really been much to talk about from Bell and all the while Rogers has lead with major investments in their network, launching the iPhone and a slew of new services like My5 and Call Manager.
Bell is attempting to regain some of that lost ground by launching a new HSPA/GSM network with broader coverage and faster download speeds. Great initiative but the test will be what follows on the heels of this launch to generate further interest. I hope the powers that be have thought about more than just one step in the process. To be really successful in re-establishing momentum and shifting market share they need to have 2 or 3 things to follow up with to capture consumers attention.
Think about all the hype and interest they’re going to generate with this first launch….how do you sustain it? Major shifts in market share won’t come after just one swing of the bat…think about Bell Mobility’s billing fiasco with the switch from CSG to AMDOCS billing system….how long did it take consumers to forgive Rogers for negative optioning on their cable TV service…the answer…years!
So if you’re thinking about a major corporate launch in the technology/telecom sector, think past the initial big bang and ask…what do we follow with? And you should have an answer.