Content Opportunities in Emerging Markets

By on January 10, 2019

Is your company experiencing stagnant growth at a time when digital technology is offering unprecedented opportunities? Do your clients dig in their heels at the thought of changing how they do business? Do they push against progress with the mistaken belief that social media is not for them or that Social Media adds little value to their industry? The truth is that consumer behavior and marketing have changed and companies are ready to re-think what influences consumer decision-making, and to have social media on their radar. This is apparent, not only in advanced markets but in emerging markets where concepts and opportunities are both vast and untapped.

 Current State

Social Media permeates every aspect of our lives. Furthermore, social media has evolved to be an invaluable extension to traditional marketing. Just ask yourself how often you take out your phone to go on social media while network TV commercials are playing or how often you scan QR codes to get more information about a billboard ad you’ve just seen. Let’s face it, the attention of the modern consumer is online and mobile. Why do so many businesses still engage in traditional models and rely on old-school marketing mantras about branding and loyalty?

Emerging Market Opportunities 

Emerging markets represent fertile ground for forward-looking companies. Countless Fortune 500 companies have already entered these burgeoning markets. However, despite the opportunities, a common misconception is that the consumers in these markets cannot afford the digital equipment that the “golden four” platforms (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn) live on.

Take Indonesia, one of the hottest developing markets today, for example. There we see a typical technological shift that can be observed around the world — the example of how developing countries skipped the home telephone phase and went straight to mobile devices. In Indonesia, there are countless large companies which are flourishing, such as SAP, IBM, HPE, etc. Because of the non-mobile misconception, large companies are regressing over digital; this is merely because they do not know their target markets. If they truly knew their target prospects, they would know that the people they desire to market to have a net income higher than the rest of the developing nation, hold university degrees and are well-traveled. Recognizing this fact, we as marketers know that our target audience in emerging markets has mobile phones are active the “golden four” platforms.

Recently, a Fortune 500 prospect told me that they have a 10 Million USD budget for marketing, yet only 5% of that was dedicated to digital developments. That being said, their budget was going to increase to 10% which is still laughable in this day and age. Everything comes down to the value of your brand and the feeling you provide to your buyer/prospects/fans.

Under-Priced Opportunity 

The reason why I say that content is so valuable to brands that are within emerging markets is that you can see what has happened to the United States and Social Media in the past 5 – 10 years. The US is the most advanced market, and everywhere else you go in the world is a time machine of the footsteps that companies in the American market have taken. Big money is not in emerging markets yet; once large corporations figure out they can utilize extremely under-priced attention in emerging markets, the money will start pouring in as advanced markets are becoming overpriced. At this point instead of Facebook ads costing 7 USD to hit one thousand people, it will cost 80 and companies are going to look back saying that they left opportunities on the table.

Emerging markets are where there is more opportunity than ever in the world from a smart marketing standpoint and the targeting capabilities that we are susceptible to on a daily basis. I urge you, your company and your marketing plan to contain a strategy that includes more digital content marketing in 2019 to grow and scale your business for the future before this golden opportunity disappears.

Even though emerging markets can be seen as marketing time machines, there will be nuances depending on the culture that will differ from region to region and from country to country. The most recent example of marketing innovation that we have seen from an emerging market is the infiltration of influencer marketing, which originated in China a couple of years ago. Influencer marketing became prevalent because western-centric brands were trying to figure out new ways to infiltrate the Chinese market seeing that they do not use most of the platforms the western world uses on a daily basis.

Marketing techniques may shift and adapt, but one’s medium is universally the best and has been the best since the ’50s. The reason I get so excited about people talking about video content is that video hits all the senses. Video is an excellent source of top of the funnel content to turn into micro-content, therefore, driving quantity and quality.

If you are not producing content for the internet, you are non-existent in today’s society, regardless of how your B2B business is doing, financial services, law firms…. Companies like blockbuster were also doing well at some point. You are vulnerable at this point if you are not producing content, because all of the attention of today is on the device within arms reach.

No Excuses 

Whatever excuse that you come up with, my audience isn’t on there, or my industry is not affected… all of those things leave you vulnerable. Doing well in a time of apparent change does not mean that you will be in the same place 3 to 5 years from now. When things are going well this is when companies believe that market shifts do not matter for them because they are comfortable, but not for long. Attention is something that needs to be cultivated as content becomes more engaging and more abundant.

LinkedIn has turned itself into the Facebook of business. I continue to watch B2B companies utilize the platform built for them in a commercial and sales oriented way. B2B’s need to shift their focus and create content in a TV show orientated way oppose to a commercial in between. The problem is that people & businesses are looking for instant gratification and ROI. The execution of the creative is the variable of the environment; the attention is under-priced, it solely comes down to the creative. Did it prompt people to contact, click or buy was the creative crafted properly? Can you make contextual content at scale that matches demo and psycho-graphics and then runs ads against them to compel them to draw interest in your brand, product and service?

Emerging markets offer small business and enterprise the unique opportunity of “anticipation” of digital transformation. It’s time to implement.

About Madison Wade

Madison is the co-founder of Dreamline Digital and has worked on a variety of digital marketing projects including the creation of stable digital currency in developing countries, Swiss MedTech Venture Capital Fund, and the world's first Cryptocurrency targeting mainstream use. He has conducted projects for companies such as Timothy Oulton and Jardines Conglomerate. He is also credited with starting a successful e-commerce venture focused on the men’s fashion accessories niche. Madison has a global marketing mindset thanks to his experience in Singapore, Korea, Canada, Spain and Hong Kong.
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