ELECTRONIC FORUMS ON TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES MARKETING

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					     ELECTRONIC FORUMS ON TELECOMMUNICATION SERVICES MARKETING
                          By Jaime Herrera, Head, HRD Division, ITU Geneva




BACKGROUND                                              participants and teachers, and among the
                                                        participants themselves, on the different
Marketing of telecommunication services is              aspects of the marketing function, which is
one of the new priority issues facing                   currently   being   put   into   place   in
telecommunication entities entering into                telecommunication entities in the Latin
competition in liberalized marketplaces. For            America region.
this reason, conventional workshops have
been held in various regions around the world           During the forum, the idea is that knowledge
on the subject of marketing.                            and experience be exchanged about what is
                                                        needed for the establishment of a marketing
In the Americas region, following one such              plan, so that an informal comparison can be
conventional workshop, the delegates called             made between the different ways in which
for an electronic forum to be set up in which           this is already done in the telecommunication
                                                        entities of the region.
the themes could be developed further and,
above all, experiences could be shared in
respect of current developments in the
different telecommunication operating entities
and regulatory authorities.                             Programme

In 1999, as part of the pilot activities of the         Week 1. Participants introduce themselves and
GTU/GTTI        (Global    Telecommunication                    get acquainted.
University/Global         Telecommunication             Week 2. Basic marketing concepts.
Training    Institute),   the      forum      on
telecommunication services marketing was                Week 3. Market research.
implemented on two occasions. It was held               Week 4. Marketing mix.
twice due to the high level of demand from
                                                        Week 5. Customers and the        importance    of
interested parties wanting to participate in the                customer service.
activity.
                                                        Week 6. Tools for reaching customers and other
                                                                sectors of interest.
Both forums have now ended and a face-to-
face meeting is planned to take place this              Week 7. Analysis of competition and the market
                                                                environment.
year, for everyone who successfully
completed either one of the two electronic              Week 8. Segmentation, market selection and
forums. The objective, apart from physically                    configuration or positioning,
meeting those who have already been in                  Week 9. Marketing plan.
contact via the Internet, is to discuss and
develop various specific aspects which will             Week 10.Closure of the forum and evaluation.
supplement the experience and knowledge
acquired during the electronic forum.

                                                        METHODOLOGY
FORUM PROGRAMME

                                                        Despite the fact that the same working
OBJECTIVES
                                                        methods were used for both forums, there
                                                        are substantial differences in content on
The objectives of the forums are to exchange
                                                        account of the varying experiences
knowledge     and      experience    between



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contributed by each of the participants.                    At the end of the week, the teacher
Consequently, the final outcome of the work                  summarized the conclusions reached
is even more informative, warranting the                     and the participants had the opportunity
publication of two reports on the results of the             to make comments.
forums, which are available form the ITU
Human Resources Development Division.
                                                        The final evaluation by the participants was
The reports were naturally distributed not
                                                        highly satisfactory on both occasions, which
only to the participants, but also to the
                                                        prompts us to continue with this type of
directorates which had nominated the
                                                        activity, providing an opportunity for the
candidates from each of the Americas region
                                                        interested countries to discuss pressing and
organizations.
                                                        high-priority issues.

As can be seen, the programme was divided
                                                        The following are examples of electronic
up into weekly themes, and for each week
                                                        forums already included in our work plan for
the working procedure was as follows:
                                                        the year 2000:

     At the beginning of each week the
                                                            Business plans, for East European
      coordinator and the teacher posted the
                                                             countries.
      reference documents to be studied on
      the WebBoard.
                                                            Management and leadership, for Latin
                                                             American countries.
     Also at the beginning of the week, the
      teacher introduced the questions or
                                                            Telecommunication policies, one for
      pointers which were to generate
                                                             Latin American countries and another
      discussion between the participants.
                                                             for Asian and Pacific countries.
     In the course of the week, the
                                                            Frequency administration, for French-
      participants contributed by posting their
                                                             speaking African countries.
      messages containing comments, inputs
      and experiences, which were then
                                                            Human resources development, for
      commented on not only by the other
                                                             Latin   American     countries    and
      participants, but also by the teacher
                                                             Portuguese-speaking African countries.
      and the event coordinator.
                                                            etc.



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