At BMA's 'Blaze': Marketers, agencies address challenges in emerging markets

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Chicago—Global b-to-b companies and agencies see many challenges as they expand their marketing efforts in emerging regions. Those challenges, as well as the opportunities to be found in emerging markets, were the focus of a pre-conference session at the Business Marketing Association's “Blaze” 2013 annual conference, which kicked off here today. The session, “B2B Marketing Practices and Trends in Emerging Global Markets,” featured speakers doing business in the Asia-Pacific region, India and the Middle East. “In fast-growing markets, one of the challenges is where to play,” said Laurent Michoud, head of global marketing at Ingredion, which manufactures food ingredients. “You have so many targets and opportunities, and often you don't have a lot of reliable data about which markets are growing fastest. For example, do you go to Indonesia or Vietnam?” In Asia, one of the keys to b-to-b marketing is developing personal relationships, Michoud said. Other important keys are leveraging social media, culturally adapting the offering to the market, and developing a go-to-market strategy that starts with establishing local teams and then adding value-added applications as the market becomes more sophisticated. Francesca Brosan, chairman of Omobono, a global digital agency based in Cambridge, England, discussed the challenges facing b-to-b marketers doing business in India. With a population of more than 1.2 billion and 23 recognized languages, the market represents both challenges and opportunities, Brosan said. “Data is a real problem. Access to data is difficult,” she said. “It is a very complex market.” Brosan shared results of a recent study conducted by Omobono, called “What Works Where in B2B Digital Marketing,” based on a survey of more than 50 senior b-to-b marketers and agency executives in India. It found that the top three goals of b-to-b marketers in India are establishing themselves in the market, developing customer relationships and generating leads. The top three challenges for b-to-b marketers in India are measuring ROI, creating valuable content and keeping up with speed and innovation, the study found.
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