Developing countries with growing economies are proving too lucrative to resist. There are numerous opportunities to explore in developing markets such as Nigeria, China and India. Marketers have taken note, and they realized that there are glaring differences in how B2B marketing works in emerging economies.
Companies in developed countries should take these differences into account when venturing into developing countries for B2B marketing purposes. Here are some interesting insights into the differences in B2B marketing between developed and developing countries. There are also excellent suggestions on how you can overcome these differences and launch a successful B2B campaign.
Venturing into Developing Economies – A Smart Approach
Take it one step at a time when launching a B2B marketing campaign in a developing economy. Here is a step-to-step guide:
Cultivate Successful Relationships
You should not rush into things considering the level of uncertainty in developing economies. There is a need for strong professional relationships.
Begin by making your presence felt. You should do this by undertaking a calculated promotional campaign. Try to adopt the locals’ perspective and present your company in a positive light to win their trust. Focus on your targets’ hot buttons to get their attention and get them interested.
The first promotional campaign will be your first impression, so get it right. Promotion works differently in developing economies. For instance, direct mail is a popular promotion tactic in developing economies, but it is considered ineffective in developed economies. As such, research the popular marketing trends in the market to ensure that your promotional campaign is efficient.
Making contact with suitable candidates for your B2B marketing campaign is just the start. You will need to cultivate the relationship over time. Always keep your word and empathize with the locals. You should also consider giving back to society by investing in communities where you set up shop – this is always a widely welcome gesture in developing countries.
Identify a Suitable Market Playground
Identifying a suitable market playground may be daunting. Price is one of the most important factors to consider. Most people in developed countries do not mind paying more for a superior product. However, people in developing countries prioritize quantity and affordability over quality.
It wouldn’t be prudent to lower the quality of your products in a bid to lower prices to suit your new market. The smart alternative would be finding a base of clients willing to pay more for what
you have to offer. You should focus on targeting clients in the high-end market. Be consistent with the quality of your products. Additionally, stick to your promotion and marketing campaign and expand your audience. You will attract more and more clients over time as the economy continues taking shape, as is the case in China.
Develop Tactics and Strategies that Meet Objectives
You will need to come up with an efficient plan for your business to survive and thrive in emerging economies. It will be nothing like you are used to back home. It is prudent to come up with a comprehensive plan from scratch and tailor it to the local market’s conditions.
As already mentioned, creative, continuous promotion and marketing are necessary to make locals aware of what you have to offer. Collaborate with local marketers and other relevant professionals to get a stronger footing in the market. Locals must not view you as an unwitting outsider. If necessary, change some aspects of your products to make it identifiable with the local market.
You will also need to learn your way around the new market, both geographically and figuratively. Efficient distribution is vital in every B2B marketing relationship. It necessitates getting around town and interacting with different parties along the way. Many developing economies are cleaning up their act with regards to transportation systems. However, in some cases, the routes may be fragmented and unrecognizable. It pays to come up with a stable route – you may even invest in improving transport channels if it suits your company
You should also consider working with local third-parties such as retailers and distributors for business support services. Working with locals will save you a lot of effort as they already know all the important aspects of the local markets. It is also affordable. Most importantly, however, is that it puts a local face on your brand, thus making it identifiable with more people.
Every Market is Unique
Every developing economy is unique in certain aspects. For instance, marketing strategies in China are more developed compared to Brazil and India. The countries’ cultures are also diverse. As such, there is no single standard approach for Western companies seeking to venture into developing markets.
It is up to you to research your target market and tailor your approach as best as possible. Additionally, expect unanticipated setbacks – for instance, anticipate a hostile political climate if you are eyeing China presently.