The plan for Safaricom, Airtel and Telkom coming together to launch mobile money interoperability in Kenya has been on the headlines for a while. If anything this goes to show a trend where companies are moving from competition to coopetition.
What is Coopetition?
Google defines coopetition as the collaboration between business competitors, in the hope of mutually beneficial results. After all, why not leverage your industries’ strong points to create delightful customer experiences?
Allow me to drag this back to the data-sharing movement I have been championing since 2017. If you are a digital agency, chances are you have done over 100 digital campaigns across industries. Better yet, you have all the data on how each of the campaigns performed. Now, you can use your historical data to benchmark and improve the campaigns as you go but it will be like doing an exam on your own. That is, you are only comparing your own results and are probably biased or your data is skewed.
On the other hand, if we have 50 digital agencies, with a total of maybe 5,000 campaigns run and they decide to share the data on how each of the campaigns performed, we get a big enough database to draw accurate insights.
In addition to getting market intelligence, we will also be improving the customer experience since we all know what works and what does not. After all, the consumer doesn’t care which agent is running which campaign, all the care about is that you give them what they want, when they need it, at a fair price.
Coopetition is a Mindset
If you are a dolphin you see the ocean as a friendly and fun place to be, where collaboration is a norm and violence is rare. That does mean there are no sharks about, but you assume that they mean you no harm.
If you are a shark, you assume that everything is food or foe and that mindset results in that being your reality.
In business, your mindset produces your behavior. Safaricom has stopped thinking that it wants to eat all its competitors, instead its thinking of creating new products and markets. And that my friend is the crux of the matter. We need to create not compete.
What do you think?