Speaker's Box: Partnering for Growth in Emerging Markets: Why Advertising Agencies Need to Lead, Not Follow

C. Samuel Craig

New York University

Growth opportunities for major advertisers and their agencies are increasingly outside the highly developed markets in North America, Western Europe, and Japan. ZenithOptimedia (2013) estimates that 62 percent of the growth in advertising spending through 2015 will come from less-developed markets. Emerging markets with rapid economic growth, large populations, and a hunger for products that enhance and improve their lives create vast opportunities for major firms seeking to grow.

Advertising plays a critical role in helping firms compete in emerging markets. To succeed, advertisers must develop a thorough understanding of the consumer, the context in which consumption occurs, the competitive environment, and the limitations imposed by an inadequate distribution system coupled with an antiquated physical infrastructure. Agencies can and must play a key role in providing an understanding of consumers and developing campaigns and messaging that will drive sustained sales growth.