Emerging markets are a must for unparalleled growth. Over half of the world lives in emerging markets. And many of those markets are not even close to saturated.
That makes these markets really exciting for businesses. Even if you have a difficult time growing in the US or Europe, there’s plenty of room in the emerging markets.
However, there is a problem. For marketers, most of their strategies don’t work typically. Because the markets are emerging, it’s difficult (if not impossible) to build case studies or use data to show results. And there are many cultural differences, making traditional marketing personas or content strategies obsolete.
Finally, because few companies have penetrated emerging markets, your business will have almost no brand recognition.
So how does a brand built trust in emerging markets?
Emerging markets have very different demographics. For instance, in Africa, more than half of the population is under the age of 25. This is in stark contrast to the United States, where the median age is 38. That alone means that any marketing in an emerging market has an entirely different audience.
Ultimately, brand trust is creating a relationship with a brand. Without understanding your audience, it becomes challenging to develop brand trust.
Brands that understand these differences typically excel, though. For instance, Gillette used to advertise in India similarly to its US strategy. Despite having the same quality razors in India, which would provide equal value to consumers, their sales were much worse. However, once researching the demographics, they quickly switched their marketing to using Bollywood stars in their advertising. This switch allowed them to dominate the market.
Creating an emerging market promotional strategy is not as simple as researching the overall demographic and creating a marketing strategy. Again, in Africa, there are countless languages and cultures. Even a single country could have dozens of languages and cultures. Each one requires its own personalized message.
One phrase that works very well in one culture could be offensive in another culture. Therefore, marketing efforts almost always require local translators who know both languages as well as cultural differences.
For instance, several years ago, Coca-Cola launched its “Share a Coke” campaign. In the United States, the bottles use first names. However, in China, it’s impolite to use someone’s first name without knowing them well. So, Coca-Cola turned to using culture-specific phrases, like “521,” which teenagers use for “I love you.”
Emerging markets also use technology differently. Most emerging markets spend more time on mobile devices and use voice search more frequently. So instead of spending time building a fully-featured website, it’s often better to focus on your mobile site and really optimize voice search. Additionally, it’s essential to consider bandwidth differences, which means videos and similar media need to be easy to stream.
Overall, gaining trust in emerging markets is not merely about marketing to new people. It’s about learning to speak their language and communicate in a highly personalized way. Sandcastle Web Design and development offers strategy and consulting services to help you reach your goals in whatever markets you're targeting.