A Simple Sample of The T&T Web Market

Today I sipped the market. Live face to face intraction with busines owners. Not to sell services but more to gauge their perceptions of the internet and a website. What I found was very interesting.

My approach was simple and semi scripted. After identifying the owner and introducing myself: I asked...

Do you have a web site?

Ok, I admit a sample size of 10 is too small to draw any serious conclusions from but this was not a full fledge scientific study, merely a peep into the minds of 10 Trini bueiness men. The results were as follows;

3 out of 10 had a Web site,
5 out of 10 had an email addresses on business card/stationary
5 out of 10 had a phone number only

Of the three businesses with web sites only one actually was a professionally built site. That means that of the 10 business owners that I collected cards from, 90 percent did not have a web presence and 50 percent of them did not have an email address on their business stationery.

On more than one occasion people responded yes to my question and proceeded to give me an email address. One business man angrily said he would have to hit someone on the head with a computer. It was alright at home, he said, but the store; never. Another attempted to convince me that the free domain and host was enough for him because according to him,” its hard enough operating offline”
If that small sample is indicative of the larger population then the digital divide, which I mentioned in my Special Report, is a lot wider than anticipated. As a marketer, that translates into more education, more information, a longer learning curve and ultimately more expensive market to penetrate.

The good news is that with creative guerilla marketing coupled with the intellectual level of the population and the invasiveness of the internet; it is not impossible to forecast that the observed trend could be reversed within 48 months. The business class in most societies has always been the innovators, the leaders in driving the citizenry to adopt new mediums it will be no different here.

Even with no guerilla marketing action Trinidad and Tobago will reach the level of internet sophistication. To a large extent it depends on how soon the business community adopts a more aggressive embraced of this new medium.

It will come to pass one way or the other; in four, five or ten years but it will. That depends.

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