Understanding tomorrow's markets today
Emerging markets of Asia will be a major driver of corporate growth in the new millennium, and represent unique marketing strategy and market research challenges. There is a crisis of confidence in the ability of market research to support decision making in emerging markets, because traditional market research approaches are inadequate in helping companies assess market opportunity in virgin markets and successfully compete in a volatile environment full of discontinuities. This paper describes the unique marketing strategy and research challenges of emerging markets, and argues that the notion that emerging markets are what developed markets were decades ago is simplistic and naive. It suggests the need for a new market research paradigm for emerging markets, and describes this paradigm in terms of mindset, methodological approaches and market research company organisation design. Specific situations discussed relate to assessing market opportunity, developing robust product strategy through segmenting unsegmented markets, and obtaining value foresight, using case studies from China and India.
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