This article is contributed by Lauren Bailey.
Technology has eliminated many of the boundaries that once stood between companies and the possibility of foreign marketing campaigns. As technology continues to evolve, so will the global market opportunities. In the coming years, it will be imperative for international marketers to embrace the Internet as a marketing platform as Internet access spreads across the globe.
The Asian Opportunity
Currently, over 1 billion people are online in Asia. This trumps the number of North American users by 37 percent. But the real opportunity for growth lies in the fact that even with 1 billion Internet users, only 26 percent of the Asian population is online.
Students and entrepreneurs can’t ignore the Asian market, as it offers a potential audience of 3 billion. While China is not the only country in Asia, its economy is growing faster than any other on the planet. With an English-speaking population of approximately 1 percent, those who wish to capitalize on this foreign market will need to breach boundaries of culture and language to begin making a connection with potential consumers and creating products, services and advertisements to suit (and shape) their needs and tastes.
Global Marketing Skills
For students, an international business or marketing degree paired with a fluency in Mandarin is a good start. However, it is also vital to obtain a comprehensive understanding of Chinese culture, especially in regard to the population’s collective attitude to the Internet. Studying abroad, enrolling as an international student or teaching English are all ways to begin delving into the foreign culture.
For entrepreneurs who are interested in capitalizing on the foreign market in China, e-commerce might seem like the best option, yet many Chinese still prefer to pay in cash and the market is currently championed by domestic e-commerce sites. This may change as companies like Amazon take hold and begin converting consumers, but the company’s success relies heavily on its Chinese supply chains and distribution centers.
Selling by Importing
However, it is possible to cater to Asian consumers from abroad. There is a growing market in China for imported materials and products from the United States. If American entrepreneurs create products specifically for the Chinese consumer, a very specific skill set will be needed to establish a cultural presence in the market and win the trust and respect of consumers.
A corresponding trend for global marketers to watch is the growing urban population. Products designed for members of the bottom of the urban pyramid are expected to begin entering the market. These products will address the needs and wants of those who don’t have middle class salaries, but still have spending power and numbers in the millions.
Author Bio: Lauren Bailey is a freelance blogger who loves writing about education, new technology, lifestyle and health. As an education writer, she works to research and provide information for those choosing an online college and welcomes comments and questions via email at blauren 99 @gmail.com.
Image Credit: Courtesy of Palojono via Flickr