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 arenâ€™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!