Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Marketing Management #2 - Part 1

The first part of my second column in Marketing Management. 
Read it after the jump.

Here we present more issues which will shape the future of marketing management in the changing global business environment. These are the latest findings from a study, using the Delphi method, in which senior executives from around the world rated key dimensions of the world economy that concern international marketing management. Our previous column identified terrorism, globalization and persistent corruption.
Now we address the demand side of global marketing and emerging trends in consumer behavior.

Rising Consumer Power
Consumers have provided the underpinning of global economic growth over the past two decades, as globalization has helped to spread prosperity over larger parts of the planet. Individual purchasing power has increased greatly as marketers have embraced the concept of customer as king. Consumers have remarkable influence on business decision making as marketers seek to learn more about their needs, wants, desires, dreams and frustrations. As companies look to Asia, central and eastern Europe, Russia, Latin and Central America and Africa for increasing shares of revenue growth, the need for reliable research data is critical. Marketers must carefully weigh the costs of adapting products and marketing them to these growing markets.

At the same time, in the current economic crisis, real or feared job loss, depleted individual savings and shaken confidence have stunted consumer spending. Perhaps one of the most striking lessons learned in the past year has been how closely the world economies are linked. As individual insecurity has risen, so has the role of governments. Many eagerly seek dramatic solutions. Some in government look to import restrictions and “buy domestic” programs to keep home industries safe and to address global imbalances. In many of these approaches, the consumer may end up as the ultimate loser with less choice and increased costs.

Whether the current crisis will persist or the “green shoots” of recovery are actually sprouting, one thing is certain—the global consumer will be the ultimate source of recovery. Our experts offer some interesting insights about their expected behavior.

More in Part 2 to follow!

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