The unpenetrated internet user market in Africa, the Middle East, and Asia is mind blowing. Many companies are entering new markets with third party partners, which may be easier, and even necessary, but is not a sustainable strategy. From day one of being in a market, you should be thinking about how to develop an owned, direct channel. Companies cannot afford to “wait and see how things pan out”; mass markets will come online through various digital media and it is your best interest to be a proactive leader in the market rather than abdicating your future growth to third party partners. One major caveat is: do not just copy and paste your North American or EU strategy into the market, but rather devise a locally relevant, targeted approach that will shift consumers to your direct and owned digital channels.
What This Data Tells You:
- If you haven’t crafted a digital strategy for Asia, Africa, or the Middle East, you better do so now
- Many companies are entering new markets through local established players that understand the market nuance- this may a short term solution but cannot possibly be your long term solution without welcoming intermediation that will erode your long-term profitability, control of the customer experience, and ability to ever test, learn, and master how to play in that market
- Your first question on Monday should be: “How soon can we establish a relevant, owned digital channel in market?”