Thursday, December 02, 2010

Marketing to The World's Third One Billion

The below article written by Amelia Chen.

Marketing to The Third One Billion

For the past years, much attention have been placed on China and India as the emerging markets.

What is next? An Iran-born writer Vali Nasr identifies the Muslim world is beginning to be deemed as the engine of growth and consumer-led expansion in ‘Forces of Fortune’.

At iStrategy2010, John Goodman from Ogilvy Noor (’Noor’ means ‘light’ in Arabic.) shares that the global Muslim market is currently approximately 1.8 billion, underserved as consumers by brands and companies. They are young. 52.2% of the people are below the age of 24. Together, Muslim youth account for 11% of the world’s population – we are seeing huge opportunities that have not been thoroughly explored!

Many Western companies have failed to appreciate the unique needs of Muslim consumers, say marketing experts. What we learnt is that when brands reach out to these community well, they will be warmly welcomed.

In 2007, Nokia made an effort to appeal to the local market when it introduced a phone for the Middle East and North Africa markets that came loaded with a number of applications, including an Islamic Organizer with alarms for the five daily prayers, Islamic e-books and an e-card application that allows people send e-greeting cards for their religious celebrations.

Reasons for Success?
  • User-friendly, accessible to all
  • Innovative in local content
  • Caring, personal touch
  • A means of self-expression

Consumers can be very loyal when they believe brands that reflect their own values – the scientific term is what we call internalization. And no, a brand can resonate with a Muslim audience without using Islamic symbols or lettering to carry Islamic values. In fact, John further shared that Indonesian Muslims are attracted to progressive and innovative marketing – the most successful films are on the Indonesian silver screen are those who project Islam in a very modern way.

It is time for more businesses to lead and consider how they adapt their marketing mix to targeting the third one billion.