3 Ireland should have a blog – cont'd

Michele has written an interesting follow-up to the articles I wrote yesterday on 3 Ireland’s launch here and here.

In Michele’s article he compares 3’s launch here with their launch in Italy back in 2002:

Prior to the launch in Italy in 2002 the marketing spend was gigantic. Their marketing department had a pre-launch budget of 30 million euro.
What did they do with it? Built brand image of course.

Ireland’s launch was rather low-key in comparison – this is a good thing to my mind. The low-key launch means 3 won’t be saddled with a large debt as a result of their marketing spend and will be able to spend their budget on more important things like getting the network right – something it took them a while to get right in Italy according to Michele:

3 had to rollout their own network across Italy at a time when the other telcos were backing away from UMTS. The likes of Telecom Italia and Vodafone were still in the testing phase, while 3 were putting in their equipment in the major urban centres.

They also had severe issues with their roaming on other networks, which resulted in loss of coverage in even the most builtup of areas

Maybe they have learned something from their Italian experience then.

Or maybe not – 3 Ireland’s initial offering has no free web text, charges to call voice mail (15c per minute) and they only have roaming agreements with 10 countries (Australia, Austria, Belgium, Cyprus, Denmark, Hong Kong, India, Italy, Spain, and the United Kingdom).

Michele goes on in his post to say I am being a little naive:

Maybe they are aware of boards.ie, maybe they aren’t. I sincerely doubt if they care, as they are not going to be easily influenced by posts on a bulletin board or on a blog. 3 Ireland is part of a much bigger company which has invested billions in 3G. They are working to a plan which is not going to be easily influenced by a few people whining on a blog or a bulletin board. I used to pay them good money. I should know.

Maybe I am being naive – but I’d like to think that because the “few people whining on a blog or a bulletin board”, as Michele put it, are potential customers of 3 Ireland and companies regularly pay small fortunes to marketing agencies for market research, this kind of (potential) customer feedback would be invaluable to them.

Whether they think this way or not is another matter entirely!

9 thoughts on “3 Ireland should have a blog – cont'd”

  1. Can’t believe there’s no free web text, absolute joke as far as I’m concerned. Call me scabby, but that’s one reason why I wouldn’t sign up with them. Now to find two more…

  2. I’d add that the fact that few people read a blog or board doesn’t matter, inasmuch that they can be influenced and spread a message they agree with to a wider audience, eg Irish media/tech journalists….

    Also that, while say in a larger country like the UK or Italy it’s harder to cause a stir, ripples in the little Irish pond can soon have a noticeable effect in it as a whole… Keep on with that Blogging 🙂

  3. Absolutely PJ,

    the ability of blogs to amplify a message is well documented at this stage and, as you say, in a country as small as Ireland, it is easier still.

    3 Ireland should be at least monitoring blogs so they can participate in the conversations but even better, they should be blogging and in that way, leading the conversations!

    Thanks for stopping by,


  4. I disagree Antoin,

    in this case, the real issue is about reaching 3 Ireland! If 3 ireland had their own blog, people would be able to tell them directly all the things which suck about their offerings.

    In fact 3 Ireland obviously doesn’t even have a blog monitoring strategy and that is unforgivable – and they won’t be forgiven easily for it!

  5. Well, it’s not really. Three Ireland isn’t really an autonomous company. It doesn’t have a management team. For better or worse, it’s really a branch of Three UK.

    I was talking about the point of weblogs and discussion boards being to talk to and listen to influencers, rather than the public at large. At the same time, a lot of what is said on discussion boards is rubbish, so you have to know how to take it.

  6. it’s really a branch of Three UK

    Sure Antoin – but that doesn’t preclude them from having a blog (even if it is only a sub blog of the 3 UK blog – if there was such a blog).

    I was talking about the point of weblogs and discussion boards being to talk to and listen to influencers, rather than the public at large

    Fair enough, but in this case I think the real influencers could be 3 Ireland/UK! Or at least they should be.

    What I think will happen is that one of the mobile operators will cotton on to blogs, start a blog monitoring strategy, start replying to a few blogs, and then start a full fledged blog of their own. This will force the hand of the others to be as open and transparent allowing comments on their site.

  7. The question is, could Three afford this kind of transparency at the moment. Having something akin to http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/showthread.php?t=2055115306 or any of the Three Ireland related postings at http://www.boards.ie/vbulletin/forumdisplay.php?f=411 on their own internet real estate could hardly do them any favours.

    Three Ireland should be well aware of their presence on blogs and boards at this stage. I have personally spoken about it to Rachel Channing, their Head of Communications. Whether anyone there has the vision to understand the ramifications for their business of their image in these new media formats or care is another question. Given that one of the investments in their web presence would be in search engine optimisation I would think they should care and also because, with their data orientated offerings, they are more attractive to a segment of the market that would be familiar to a large extent with the use of blogs and boards when making an informed consumer choice..

    Furhtermore, whatever about Three’s attitude to these publications, they do serve as a rallying point for their customers and provide bodies such as the NCA with a gauge of the extent of the dissatisfaction customers feel with a particular product or service.

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