Today, Eastern Europe’s Internet is served by a thriving myriad cottage industries. Every part of the value chain, from the media that hosts our ads to the houses that create them and serve them to the people who sell stuff online are small, dynamic, entrepreneurial companies. It’s fast, it’s furious, it’s electric. It feels great. It won’t last.
These companies operate in a vacuum, protected from the influence of the outside world by a combination of market size, language and misguided patriotism. However, as the global economy recovers from its recent travails and returns to growth, this last oasis of pure entrepreneurship is quickly catching the attention of some very powerful suitors from abroad.
About time as well. Beyond the idyllic sensation of unfethered creativity hides a world of infficiency, unrealised opportunities and unfulfilled commercial potential. The most basic of eMarketing campaign is devilishly difficult to execute in a Market with no professional Ad Serving and Tracking solutions, stubbornly reliant on CPM banner advertising devoid of any behavioural or other targeting capability and no chance of automating an integration across channels. The smallest improvement in user experience is impossible to create without world-class developers backed-up by state of the art processes and tools and little support from platform vendors.
Global players are looking at these markets and rightly thinking: we can’t have that!
These markets are ripe for a scale revolution: global state of the art technology, processes and tools have the potential to make the current players extinct in a matter of months. They haven’t done it till now because of the relatively low opportunity. As eBusiness sales continue to grow and global clients land on these countries looking for their next great success, the ROI equation for global suppliers is on the brink of looking really good. I have no doubt the invaders are at the gates now.
On one hand, we may lose the enchanting qualities of working in what feels like 1999, when the Internet was in flux and everyone could be a winner. On the other hand, markets, consumers and businesses alike deserve a chance to enjoy the efficiency, revenues and professionalism of eBusiness 2010 style.
It’ll be less exotic, more globalised perhaps. But everyone will benefit enormously for it. Except, perhaps, those unwilling to accept the world moves on. Who needs them?