Marketers Take Their Lumps When Targeting Emerging Markets

U.S. Food Giants Tailor Products, Marketing to International Palates (Los Angeles Times)

Global Marketing MistakesWhen it comes to marketing globally, all companies should clearly understand this truism:  just because a marketing strategy works in your home country does not mean it will work in other countries.  This story offers support for this truism as it presents several examples of companies who experienced problems marketing their products in different areas of the world.

In particular, companies are finding the marketing methods designed to meet customers’ needs in emerging markets (i.e., countries with small but growing economies) are often significantly different compared to methods used to reach customers in more advanced markets.  Unfortunately, many companies recognize this only after suffering significant losses.  Yet much of the pain experienced in their initial marketing efforts may have been avoided if companies had first engaged in extensive marketing research.

Catering to local tastes is vital, as New Jersey-based Campbell Soup found out in its first foray into China in the early 1990s. The company essentially slapped a Chinese label on its classic U.S. condensed soups, said Larry McWilliams, president of Campbell’s international operations. “They sold well for a while, but they were a novelty. They had no staying power,” he said. Campbell returned to China in 2007, but only after two years of research revealed that in China, as well as Russia, there’s a cultural disposition to cooking soup from scratch.

In addition to what is mentioned in this story, what other factors do marketers face in emerging markets that may not be present in more advanced markets?

Image by FredoAlvarez

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