European marketers have just three years to develop multimedia applications and the information superhighway or become permanent followers, says management consultants Coopers & Lybrand.
“It is a pretty serious situation,” says Hugh Jagger, partner at Coopers’ global telecommunications group. “If companies don’t act now, the same pattern will emerge as occurred with consumer electronics – Europe will get left behind.”
Coopers commissioned MORI to survey European business leaders in a report published this week. The findings show that, while 80 per cent expect multimedia applications and superhighway communications to benefit their businesses, 70 per cent fear Europe has no co-ordinated approach.
The most cited reason why these developments are not being exploited, the report says, is that respondents were not sufficiently aware of the benefits to their business. Today’s high costs came a close second.
Consumer marketing companies need to take a lead, says Jagger, “These companies really understand which applications will be of consumer benefit.”
He adds: “It must be driven by a Marks & Spencer or a Barclays, or the advertising agencies who understand consumers’ needs.”
Coopers & Lybrand plans to extend its Consumer Electronic Access Survey – a study undertaken in the US last year on behalf of major corporations including WPP – in the UK.