Converged Information and Communication Technology Marketing Strategies Targeting South African Small and Medium Enterprises
The telecommunication industry is reaching maturity in South Africa. Communication service providers need to find growth in a market that is fast becoming saturated. The purpose of this research is to investigate mass customisation as a marketing strategy for telecommunication network operators introducing converged information and communication solutions to the South African Small and Medium Enterprise (SME) market. The findings are expected to guide network operators in understanding the business models and strategies that would improve growth in the SME market. A mixed method research approach was taken to investigate the supply-demand relationship between the SME market and the Information and Communication Technology (ICT) suppliers respectively. Data was collected via a quantitative study, where a sample of 72 SMEs indicated what they demand from their ICT supplier. In parallel, data was collected via a qualitative study, where a sample of ten ICT industry experts indicated what the proposed strategic response is to meet the demand of the SMEs. From the quantitative analysis, it was found that SMEs demand mass customisation of ICT services to the extent where the additional services around the standard product is demanded to be customised. From the qualitative analysis, it was concluded that the strategic response of the ICT supplier to meet this demand for mass customisation is by implementing an ICT convergence strategy. The key message is that all stakeholders in the ICT industry, including the customers, suppliers, regulator and third party suppliers, need to collaborate with each other to ensure that the economic value of such collaboration stimulates growth in the ICT industry and the economy of the country.
MBA thesis - WBS
Telecommunications, Telecommunication industry, Network operators, Telecommunication convergence