3G Is Just a Fancy Name for Fast Data
By Eric Lin, Thu Mar 04 23:15:00 GMT 2004

IDC tells us that business leaders don't care about acronyms or techno-speak. If you want to sell these people something, tell them what it does, not what it's called.

Leave it to the Register to take an IDC press release on growing confidence in new technologies among European IT Professionals and turn it into a marketing lesson. A good marketing lesson, we admit. IDC found that IT pros in Western Europe are feeling good enough about new technology to invest in it. However, they're still skeptical about some of the technologies because they aren't sure how the jargon applies to them.

The Register and IDC pick out the term "3G" as an example, a term everyone with a mobile phone has heard, but far fewer actually understand. It's like selling PC on the megahertz factor- a higher number must be better, right? Instead of selling 3G as a higher number, or wasting time educating users on what 3G means and how it works, carriers should sell usage cases. Consumer focus carriers like Sprint, and even 3 have done a good job advertising the features of new faster data networks, instead of advertising the faster data itself. Carrier representatives, though, are not doing as good a job explaining this to corporate IT men. They are treating the IT pros as experts in all fields, when in reality they may not know anything about cellular communication.

Andrew Brown, manager of IDC Mobile Computing, says "No one should talk about '3G'. It should just be a part of mobilising enterprise applications." He believes that carriers should be selling IT executives on business cases for the network, or at least just the fact that 3G means faster data. Say "faster data," to any IT pro and he knows exactly what you mean. Faster data alone may not be enough to sell businesses on 3G, but by eliminating jargon and selling the benefits instead of the technology, carriers are more likely to sign up hesitant corporate customers.