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This chapter is from the book

Emerging Markets + the Internet = the ebocube Model

ebocube stands for emerging business online, with cube referring to a visual framework of our three-phase model. The Internet underpins this model.

Internet penetration in EMs is growing, with businesses in those markets being particularly early and enthusiastic adopters. The Internet helps bridge the travel, time zone, and cost barriers necessary to successfully market and communicate business products in EM nations. The Internet makes it easier to penetrate EMs, enabling commerce at the click of a button.

Senior executives in developed economies, working in B2B organizations, small and large, are asking the following questions:

  • How can we get ahead of competitors in emerging markets?
  • How can our business mitigate risks when we enter risky, high-growth emerging markets?
  • How can we measure marketing activities and sales-related results in these markets?

The ebocube model defines an end-to-end integrated marketing process. The authors and our colleagues have tested this model and processes across these markets. We developed ebocube for B2B marketers in developed economies targeting EMs. However, we predict that EM professionals will also use the model to market to domestic markets and to other EMs. EMs are already leveraging the power of the Internet through innovative business models to generate commerce—the Chinese site AliBaba.com, a leading online global market place for small businesses, demonstrates this.

During the dotcom boom, many companies went bust because they didn't know how to really leverage the Internet (even with all the hype!). Similarly, in recent years, social media has excited interest in the business world and also confused or even intimidated marketers. However, most companies don't yet know what they want to achieve with social media and how they will measure results or return on marketing investment. Many companies currently use social media to just post information, thus failing to engage customers and partners in sustainable relationships.

Digital applications, new technologies, and a dizzying universe of websites make for a daunting combination for marketers in developed markets and EMs. Global business managers and staff desperately need flexible and adaptable frameworks that demystify sales and marketing practices as relationships criss-cross digital, business, and national borders. The ebocube closes the loop between marketing and sales in EMs.

The ebocube is, of course, a digital model, so it has modest environmental impact. It is built to provide electronic customer relationship management (CRM) capabilities, based on metrics, data, and business intelligence.

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