Marketing is a critical part of the business process. This means that it is inevitable for any company trading in goods and services. There is a ranging debate concerning marketing approaches in developing and developed nations. On one side, there is the argument that that marketing to consumers in emerging nations differs from approaches taken in developed countries. The opponents argue that marketing follows the same principles and practices in any country in the world. This paper discusses both sides of the debate taking side in support of the argument that marketing to consumers in emerging nations differs from approaches taken in developed countries.
Marketing refers to the process that is used in the determination of the products or services that may be attractive to consumers, as well as the strategy to utilize in selling, communicating with the customers and business development. Marketing develops the strategy that motivates marketing techniques, business developments and communications. Marketing is a crucial part of a company. This is because it determines how and when the products or services get to the end user. It is part of the business process (Kotler and Keller, 2009). This paper presents a critical discussion of the debate: It is argued that marketing to consumers in emerging nations differs from approaches taken in developed countries whilst others say that marketing follows the same principles and practices in any country in the world.
Differences in marketing approaches
Unlike developed nations, developing or emerging nations are those countries in which the process of development has started. They are less developed as compared to the developed nations in as far as the gross national product is concerned. Other factors that differentiate these two kinds of economy include per capita income, infrastructure facilities, industrial development, and attitudes and motivations of people among other factors (Oxfam International, 2004). Otherwise stated, developing economies are those that are seeking to attain development in the gross national product via creation of extra income in different areas of economy like industry agriculture, mining, industry, and trade. From this point of view, it is evident that there are various economic differences between the developing and developed economies. This supports the argument that marketing to consumers in developing countries differs from approaches taken in developed countries (Sen, 1999).
There are marketing strategies that are designed specifically for markets in the developing nations and cannot be applicable to developed nations. This is due to the argument that markets in the developed nations are fundamentally different from markets in the developing nations (Nil and Shultz II, 1996). In the developing nations, the products or services being marketed should be affordable to the people in these countries with a consideration of the budget. The budget for most marketers in the developing nations cannot compare to marketing budgets for marketers in the developed nations (Prahalad and Hammond, 2002). The fundamental idea of wealthier and poorer nations cannot be ignored in marketing. As a result, most of the channels and approaches that are used in the developed countries cannot be applied in the developing nations as a result of budgetary constraints. It is important to develop means of marketing that cost less with different functions according to the culture of the developing nations. This means that the marketing cultures between these two economic worlds are different (Kotler and Keller, 2009).
Different marketing functions are performed in different levels of development. This means that the functions that are performed in developing nations are completely different from those that are applied in developed nations. In the underdeveloped nations some of the marketing functions that are performed include barter trading, central marketing, lack of specialization and lack of marketing activity. In the less developed nations, where the orientation is self-sufficiency, there is a degree of specialization, small-scale industries, limited entrepreneurship, labor-intensiveness and the producer also acts as the marketer (Wilkie and Moore, 2003). In the developing nations, there is a higher level of specialization; there is separation of production and marketing; sellers’ market; and marketing activities are limited. In developed nations, there is total specialization in production and marketing, total market orientation, well developed markets and marketers, and large-scale distribution practices. From the discussion of marketing functions in different levels of economic development, it is clear that marketing in these stages differ. It is not possible for marketing approaches used in developing countries to be similar to those that are used in developed nations. Marketing approaches and channels are more developed in developed nations as compared to developing nations. This is the same case with the infrastructure and the distribution channels. These limit marketing to consumers in developing nations. These two economies cannot compare in different economic aspects and so is marketing to consumers. Just as economic development in developing nations has started, so is development of other aspects of the economy such as marketing of products and services (Shultz and Morris, 1999).
Similarity in marketing
Human beings have a lot in common. It is common knowledge that all people demand products and services equally regardless of their economic placing. This supports the argument that marketing follows the same principles and practices in whichever country all over the world. Marketing is the process that is involved in getting products and services to the consumers. All consumers in all countries require the products and services to be delivered to them in a way that is convenient. This is the driving principle behind marketing whether in developed or developed nations. Marketing is a part of the entire business effort. One of the most important roles of marketing is it stimulates demand and therefore extends the market. This role is not limited to any country or economy regardless of the differences in economic development (Adcock, Halborg and Ross, 2001).
Regardless, the argument that every company and country markets its products or services differently, they all utilize a foundation of marketing principles and practices. Marketing refers to all the activities that are done leading to sales funnel. There are specific practices that should be followed in marketing and are not limited to companies or countries. Being honest and transparent are some of these practices. The four Ps in the marketing mix apply to both developed and developing economies (Adcock, Halborg and Ross, 2001). This is because they are the factors behind the success if marketing. Product, Price, Promotion, and Place are the factors behind the success of every company in as far as marketing is concerned. Product is what the company is marketing. Price is what the product sells for. Promotion is how the company makes its real and potential customers aware of the product. Place is where the product is sold. Marketing strategies are developed from the understanding of the four Ps. Marketing strategies developed from the understanding and analysis of the four Ps is fundamentally the same in developing and developed nations (Kotler and Keller, 2009).
The fundamental similarity in marketing strategies out of the similarity in marketing principles and practices has led to the development of globalization. In globalization, both developed and developing nations are made to compete in the same arena through the opening up of free market. In order to compete from the same level, it has necessitated similar marketing strategies in developed and developing nations (Jameson, 2000). The use of electronic media such as the internet in marketing has become prevalent in both developing and developed nations. Use of technology in marketing has applied to both economies. Marketing is thus fundamentally the same in developing and developed nation (Joshi, 2005).
It is true that marketing take fundamentally similar principles and practices in all nations of the world. However, there are other factors that affect marketing including these principles and practices that cause a major difference. Developing nations are in a lower level of economic growth than developed nations. This makes all the difference. Marketing functions in developing nations are different from those in developed nations. Marketing and distribution channels are also different in the two levels of economic development. The whole difference is cause by budgetary constraints evident in developing nations. The four Ps, of marketing mix might be fundamentally the same, but they apply differently as a result of the limitations. Products are fundamentally different, prices differ due to the bargaining power, promotion channels are different due to cost and lower technological development and markets for the products are limited in the developing nations.
This paper presents a critical discussion of the debate: It is argued that marketing to consumers in emerging nations differs from approaches taken in developed countries whilst others say that marketing follows the same principles and practices in any country in the world. Difference in the levels of economic development and the difference in the marketing functions that take place in the different stages, budgetary constraints, and poor infrastructures and distribution channels are some of the factors in support of the difference in marketing in the two economies. On the other hand, the fundamental similarity in marketing principles and practices is the key argument in the similarity in marketing in the two economies. The support for this discussion is in support of the argument that marketing to consumers in emerging nations differs from approaches taken in developed countries.
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