Better marketing to developing countries: Why and how
Managers have long understood the rationale for investing in new products. Now, however, they face an even more compelling need: to invest in targeting new markets, specifically those in less developed countries (LDCs). The argument presented in this article, for initiating or increasing marketing efforts in these nations, makes two related points. First, a healthy world economy requires consumers in developing nations--particularly China--to spend more, because trade imbalances between the United States and LDCs cannot be sustained. Second, in order to foster consumption in LDCs and to profit from it, marketing expertise in the developed world must refocus. Success will require devising, promoting, and distributing products that will overcome economic constraints in some markets, and in others will overcome an understandable reluctance to spend rather than save. We suggest that lessons may be gleaned from examples regarding recent efforts targeting LDCs by a pharmaceutical company (Pfizer) and a food supplement marketer (Procter & Gamble), as well as efforts pioneered in less developed countries themselves (including low-cost private schools and $2,500 automobiles).
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