Hello world!

And, I do mean, literally, hello to the world. I’ve set my bar high, as I hope to attract readers from all corners of the globe – well, if the globe had corners I’d want them all represented among my readers.

Welcome to the first official entry on Global Bent! I am a senior analyst at Forrester Research with a focus on technology industry globalization, and a specific interest on marketing strategies for emerging markets. By emerging markets I do not necessarily mean new technologies, although often new technologies enable entry into new markets. However, here I mean geographical markets from Afghanistan to Zimbabwe and everything in between.

Well, almost everything. There are a few countries that are already well-established as markets for technology. In a recent report Andy Bartels, also of Forrester Research, refers to these as the Tech Twelve – Australia, Canada, Denmark, Finland, Israel, New Zealand, The Netherlands, Singapore, Sweden, Switzerland, the UK, and the US. These countries are leaders in the adoption of technology, use technology more intensively than other countries, invest more than 3% of GDP in technology, and make up about 50% of global technology demand.

While I am interested in how other industrialized countries and emerging markets compare to the Tech Twelve, I am primarily interested in the emerging markets themselves. These countries are not (yet) leaders in technology adoption, typically use technology less intensively than the Tech Twelve, and tend to invest less than 3% of GDP in technology, but still make up almost a ¼ of the global IT market. And, that share has grown and will continue to grow.

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A few examples, to put this into more tangible terms, include some of the obvious choices – Brazil, Russia, India, China – but also include others such as Mexico, Chile, Argentina, Vietnam, South Africa, and United Arab Emirates. According to Forrester’s data, BRIC countries made up 14% of the global IT market in 2008 – up from 9% in 2005 – and the other emerging markets account for 9% – up from 7% in 2005.

Emerging markets represent both an opportunity and a challenge for technology vendors. My research investigates how vendors must return to the marketing basics – the Four Ps: product, pricing, promotion and placement – in order to best approach new markets and opportunities across the globe. Each new target market requires evaluation of the Four Ps:

  • Product: What do I have to do to adapt my product to a new market?
  • Price: How must I price my product to make it accessible?
  • Promotion: What are the criteria of local buyers? What messages will resonate? How do customers purchase technology? Which channels are most appropriate?
  • Placement: Where do I expand? How do I select my target markets?

These questions will form the foundation of my research. If you have any observations or insights to share, please let me know. I’m always learning and gathering best practices from those who are out in the trenches across the globe.

Stay tuned for updates on what I find.

NOTE: This post was transferred to its new home on this blog on 8/28/09 by Zachary Reiss-Davis

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