Emerging Economies: Five Tips for Expansion

Emerging economies may not always be stable, but they do offer opportunities for growth. As national markets begin to reach saturation, many businesses are turning to countries to expand. However, this is not just about identifying and securing opportunities. As a marketer, you need to understand how to reach consumers in those locations with your marketing materials.

Use Word-of-Mouth Marketing

According to an ebook titled, “Same Same, But Different: Understanding Emerging Markets” by Sparksheet, it’s worth recognizing that consumers in new locations are different from those in your established markets. They could live in countries where the average disposable income is often low and lack many amenities such as computers and easy Web access. Many consumers still live close to friends and family and may share resources such as televisions and computers. Because of this, according to McKinsey & Co., word-of-mouth marketing can play a big play a big part in informing people about products and services.

Understand Perceptions

This makes localizing marketing materials a more relevant market penetration strategy for new markets than a blanket global approach. It’s not about having to translate website content and existing marketing materials, but rather understanding where cultural differences might change perceptions of your brand. According to McKinsey, a campaign emphasizing the low cost of a PC failed in China because of the perception that it might be low quality. When the message changed to emphasize reliability, the campaign was much more successful.

Showcase Value and Purpose

Tom Doctoroff, author of Twitter Is Not a Strategy: Rediscovering the Art of Brand Marketing, says that in many new markets, consumers respond best to mega-brands, preferring to buy from those they know. Because of this, marketing new products with new brands won’t work as well as it does in more established markets. Products that showcase value and purpose rather than price and pleasure often do better. With this in mind, it is important to change the focus when localizing your Web content and marketing materials.

Use Local Insights

Part of getting your marketing right is figuring out who your local consumers are and what makes them tick. This is something Coca-Cola does well, as it works with local markets to ensure its main message isn’t just translated, but also localized to grab consumers’ attention in the 90 new markets it serves. That also applies to ensuring your brand translates well, something many global brands struggle to do.

Go Retro—and Mobile

If you want to reach consumers in new and emerging markets, you have to take two approaches. First, make sure your localized website caters to people who are using mobile phones, as that is likely their primary way of accessing the Internet. Second, use some of the tactics that have reached their saturation point in more established markets. SMS messaging is popular with 51 percent of consumers in emerging economies.

Image source: Bigstock

Global Content Trends


About Sharon Hurley Hall

Self-confessed word nerd Sharon Hurley Hall has the perfect job - as a professional writer and blogger. In the last couple of decades she has worked as a journalist, a college professor (teaching journalism, of course), an editor and a ghostwriter. She finds language fascinating and, in addition to English, speaks French, Spanish and a smattering of German.