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Going to Market in Developing Economies: Winning Big by Targeting Small

May 20, 2014

Going to Market in Developing Economies: Winning Big by Targeting Small
Source: Boston Consulting Group

With overall economic activity flattening and competition rising, many companies in emerging markets are starting to experience a slowdown in growth. What can they do to revive growth in these markets?

Farsighted companies have started to recognize that their next wave of growth will come by fundamentally transforming their go-to-market activities. Rather than dividing a country such as China or India into a few regions, they are slicing each one into thousands of customer or regional segments in order to unlock local opportunities that would otherwise go unnoticed.

When macroeconomic growth is strong or the market is relatively undeveloped, a broad plan of attack can work effectively to address the basic needs of most customers. But as growth slows and markets mature, companies need new ways to reignite growth. By catering to much smaller segments, companies can discover hidden pockets of opportunity in these richly diverse markets.

It takes more than just smaller slices of the pie to implement this approach. Companies need to arm their local sales managers and representatives with new geoanalytical tools and the authority to create compelling offerings for customers in these small segments. Sales managers effectively become CEOs of their territories, with the freedom and decision rights to execute strategies that will appeal to local customers. We call this approach street-smart sales.
The payoff is considerable. Even in markets where growth is tapering, companies have consistently demonstrated revenue gains of 5 to 8 percent over business as usual by following this approach.

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