Thursday, November 11, 2010

The illusive hyper-growth position

Why is it that some mobile money deployments grow spectacularly and others just chug along without any dramatic growth? In only twelve months, some deployments grow to a penetration of 15% of their total target market, while others barely grow to more than a few percentage points.

I refer to this high growth situation as the illusive hyper-growth position. In observing what drives these deployments, I am of the opinion it is a combination of three things:
  • Getting pricing wrong will kill take-up. It is important to get the fees right - not too low and not too high. Too high prices will chase prospective clients away - often for-ever. Too low prices may lead to transaction volumes that cannot be supported by the platform installed.
  • Ensuring that the distribution network are built in line with the roll-out of the product is essential.It is of no use that agents are appointed, but not properly trained. The distribution network must be carefully selected and appropriately equipped.
  • The mechanism and content of promotion is very important. The media used and the message will dictate if this is a success or not. It is no of no use to offer a service and then not to tell anybody of it.
Most important, it is critical that these three be developed in a coordinated way. It is for instance catastrophic to run a promotional campaign without having prepared the distribution network just in time. Triggering the market with a reduction in fees will not go anywhere if it is not reinforced by a supportive promotional campaign, etc.

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