Thursday, 30 August 2007

Developed Markets vs Emerging markets : The difference(s) in Marketing to…

Fundamentally, marketing is about enabling behaviour change (you want your audience to do something differently than they do today), and that dictates that things, at an abstracted level, can be the same- after all you are dealing with one species. So the basics, such as market research, advertising, channels of reach and influence cannot be all that different. However there are major differences which fit into the following buckets:

  • The basic stimuli for behaviour change are bound to be different-depending on how society has evolved (religion, government, economic prosperity, openness and competitiveness of the economy, language, cultural icons are some different factors), the role models and the reasons why people will do things will be fundamentally different- for instance Green issues may dominate consumer behaviour in Europe, but may have less relevance in Japan. It is important that one gets to the insight that is going to drive behaviour change.
  • The channels may behave fundamentally differently- consider the implications of marketing to customers that have access to 3 government owned TV channels vs marketing to customers in a highly segmented 100s of media channels environment
  • The measurement and statistics may not be as your system is used to- the world does not have your AC Nielsons and the Gallup data available to back up your business/consumer demand case. You will need to think alternate "proxies" for measurement, and tracking
  • The broader ecosystem, that we tend to take for granted, may not be as used to working with our systems and processes (ad agencies, research companies, panel data, creative and production facilities etc), and will take a significant rethink, possibly a more strategic in-source/ or creation of the broader ecosystem, depending on how much your business is dependant on this
  • Finally, and this from the heart- managing your team is going to be significantly different- drivers of motivation in different markets are different- for instance, a pink slip in the US may not be as serious as in Asia. Make no mistake, in a high-skilled function like marketing, you need the best talent from that market to be successful.

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