Thursday, January 24, 2008

The Century for Emerging Markets

In this week’s “The New Yorker” James Surowiecki wrote an interesting article about the “Tata Invasion”, referring to the most likely purchase of Jaguar and Land Rover by the Indian conglomerate Tata. He puts this whole deal in the context of the 21st century becoming the century for the emerging markets. Why? Marketers in the emerging market have transformed their previous disadvantage of low spend home markets into their biggest competitive strength: “How to earn a profit in markets where your selling prices are necessarily low forces a company to be innovative in thinking about how products are made and sold (James Surowiecki).” Cost pressure leads to innovation in all steps of the value chain, not just production as most economists have always declared.

Over the next years we should see similar events in our analytical marketing field. Currently emerging markets primarily copy the analytical efforts and practices of the US and the mature European markets. But this should rapidly change, similar to the car industry, where pure copying is replaced by true innovation and the ability to compete for the leadership position within a particular discipline.

I expect innovations from emerging markets in areas like:

  • Professional Mass-Sourcing that combines labor intensive work supported by software solutions, e.g. text content analysis relying on individuals interpreting the text enhanced by software
  • Cost efficient analytical software that enables individuals to use analytics for “home usage”, e.g sport enthusiasts expand their fantasy football engagement with additional customized statistics
  • Codification of more data sets into analyzable data elements, e.g. coding of qualitative aspect of print ads to better understand the correlation between creative product and business impact

Today’s marketer needs to have an understanding of what is going on in the most important emerging markets (e.g. BRIC countries) to truly utilize the power of the global marketing community and practice. The protective bubble of the North American and European marketer is over.

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