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I don’t think you’ll see anything big in 2010 for Jamaica online.

" I don’t think you’ll see anything big in 2010 for Jamaica online. Not being negative but just realistic. For anything big online, it’s going to cost some cash to get it built and marketed. That kind of money exists with the Internet Ignorant and while they are slowly gaining

  • Tanya

    Maybe, maybe not…the truth is in the physical world that would apply but each time something seems to squeeze progress online, something else that was there before but ignored or new inspiration blossoms. So let us see what is up for 2010…Google seems to have a lot going on especially in the cloud computing, collaborating (WAVE) and mobile sections, Apple seems ready to break out another innovation with the tablet and who knows what samples of HTML5 we may encounter this year. So to predict as the wave crests once more into new territory may not be the best thing. 2010 may send us to the offical world of web 3.0 and bring a hailstorm of changes or…not:-)

  • Great post Ingrid, it brings to the surface a lot of issues related to the Jamaican online business model. This article says it all http://www.blackweb20.com/2009/05/01/web-20-services-shutting-out-developing-countries/.

    The scalable business models just doesn’t exist rather than targeting “Jamaican or Caribbean markets” why not target the “mainstream”. Otherwise we will be limited to “pet” projects and hobbies.

  • Read This

    “I know of at least one big thing in the digital space in Jamaica in 2010 and a big company is behind the push.”

    A wonder if we a think di same thing? a better nuh say nutten.

    “We must create new technology that will help companies improve bottom line costs, increase off line conversion rates, launch new products and create buzz….”

    M-commerce. So me can order grocery from the corner shop over mobile phone, and just stop by later and make a pick-up. No more hide from the neighbours and slap mi back fi buy a pound a chicken back. Me just pick up di grocery bag and step. Yuhzimi? lol.

  • Wow Colin….now that’s a veddddyyyy thought provoking analysis..I wonder what David thinks of this!?

  • Hi Debi, you are right. There are quite a few smart Caribbean companies out there. You just gotta find them and hook them. Loads of opportunity in the Caribbean

  • Amen David…where there are complaints there are opportunities so jump on them!

  • I know of at least one big thing in the digital space in Jamaica in 2010 and a big company is behind the push.

    The key in my opinion is not to spend time complaining about the lack of big projects or projects with big ideas, it is about involving yourself in those projects and helping to drive them.

    I know I am playing my part in trying to advance things. What are all these others doing?

  • Awesome post Ingrid. I firmly agree. My company targets specifically small businesses in the Caribbean who want to compete for share of voice but without the large cash outlay for traditional media. There are some smart Caribbean companies out there but they are few and far between.

  • Ok…. lets really take a look on this ….. – A companies main source of profit must be sales, no points for everyone knowing about you if you can’t sell anything.

    Jamaican companies that are not localized (for instance targeting a Kingston demographic) are either manufacturing, major retail and serviced based – which are still country JM specific.

    Now the cost of production based on the accessibility to the factors of production (i.e. land, labor, capital) already make our goods and services uncompetitive globally (- not to mention shipping/delivery costs added to that).

    So its not that these companies are not seeing the benefit but there are no competitive advantages to be found globally for Jamaican goods and services.

    Locally the cost of imports are burdened by tariffs and duties so that local companies can remain “viable”.

    Major Deterrent to marketing online
    This brings us to the next point of why not market online to Jamaicans. Well based on the fact that only 30% of the Jamaican population are active online (use the web daily for work and/or leisure) companies must now find their target market in that small sector and sell to them. Not good odds their for ROI.

    Ability to close a sale.
    What is even more daunting is that only 15%- 20% of the population have the ability to close a sale online using Visa or MasterCard services with a credit card. This is a major problem. So when companies market locally they still require secondary action to result in a sale – no different using traditional medium with a much larger reach. Yet another daunting prospect.

    Local banks watch the bottom line.
    Why most local banks don’t make the switch to VISA or MasterCard enabled debit cards is that the legislation for legitimate/fraudulent transactions online is slow, the cost to switch over from life long debit cards to shortened life span Visa/MCard debit card is too great, neither Visa or MCard are willing to forego the 3% charge for transactions outside of the US and they are comfortable paying JETS (local Multilink provider) pennies for transaction costs.

    This all adds up for no good long term marketing strategy for Jamaican firms online.

    What has been done is that companies use the web to improve labor productivity. Hence instead of calling by phone NCB, Scotia, JPS and other service based companies, you can check your accounts online. This means less call center employee hours.

    So as internet marketers WE must focus on two things if we intend to remain in the Jamaican vertical;
    Primarily
    – Promoting services that help to communicate with local people:
    Email lists
    Adspace on the Top 11 Jamaican sites
    Email to SMS
    Twitter to SMS
    Creating FAQ’s
    Creating Downloadable media kits – Ebooks

    Hence we must use our services to make the “connectimass” with the locals offer free stuff, videos etc . This effectively means that we operate much like traditional methods of advertising but have the ability to continue a conversation and generate leads.

    Secondly
    We must create new technology that will help companies improve bottom line costs, increase off line conversion rates, launch new products and create buzz….

    Thats just how I see it for now…

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