It has been a lengthy process but I have almost finished my international competitive review. And wow, has it opened my eyes. It’s very easy to get swept up in the day to day living of London life; the media, music and messages that bombard us every day. The morning walk to the tube station, flicking through the pages of Metro, what’s in, what’s out. But this week, I started to look at brands in different countries, their messaging and positioning. I went on to read about how the world is changing, much more rapidly in some places than in ‘the West’. I was aware that the relatively stagnant economic growth rates in the West have been superceded by those in the emerging markets but I discovered some facts that rocked my world this week so I thought I would share them… The first 3 come from a paper by Simon Sylvester at Wunderman called ‘How to dominate the world’. If you are interested definitely give it a read …
- 85% of the world’s population live in emerging markets
- Consumer incomes in China, India and Brazil rise by 7% to over 10% each year
- The Chinese economy will soon be bigger than the American economy with Chinese household incomes one-ﬁfth of those in America. India will follow with incomes even lower than that.
- ZenithOptimedia reports that the growth drivers in worldwide advertising are the US followed by emerging markets, Brazil, China, Russia and India.
Clearly there are huge opportunities for marketing and advertising in emerging markets, some of which are already being explored. I would love to give it a go, mainly because of how much you would learn about the different cultures and how quickly they are changing. With these kinds of economic developments, along with those in technology globally, the lives of people in emerging markets are changing at rapid speed – from connectivity to their visual surrounding. The skyline in Sao Paulo is said to be unrecognizable to that 10 years ago. There are also differences between the mentality of consumers in emerging markets and those in the West… I came across some really interesting ones, one of which was the difference in cultural ‘Zeitgeists’ which the Wunderman paper highlighted – it’s ‘glass half full’ vs. ‘glass half empty’; optimism vs. pessimism. For many in the West, the last 20 years have been very turbulent with bubbles and bursts with unemployment a looming reality…leaving consumers with feelings of angst, caution and vulnerability. But for many in emerging markets, the last 20 years has seen people work their way out of difficulties, being liberated from hardship and seizing opportunities for many to create an easier way of life. The ‘Zeitgeist’ is much more optimistic – it is a different mentality.
It would be great to be able to work in one of these markets in the future and see what exciting work comes out of them as more agencies focus on these markets. Definitely on my to do list!