Title: Marketing to the bottom of the pyramid: opportunities in emerging markets

Authors: Maktoba Omar, Robert L. Williams Jr.

Addresses: School of Marketing, Tourism and Languages, Napier University Business School, Edinburgh Napier University, Craiglockhart Campus, Edinburgh, EH14 1DJ, Scotland, UK. ' School of Business and Leadership, Stevenson University, Stevenson, MD 21153, USA

Abstract: The significance of emerging economies to global marketing within the context of a paradigm shift of international business is enormous. The purpose of this paper is to show that emerging markets have two separate areas of opportunity for multinational corporations: to buy and to sell. The paper first involves a discussion of economic growth in emerging markets, and the importance to the global marketplace, and the emergence of the bottom of the pyramid (BOP) market. Then, recent strategies by companies to address this potential are analysed. Emerging markets do not consist of one market. They are diverse and can require separate market entry and market development strategies. With more manageable risks, ease of communications and transportation, higher income growth and increasing consumer purchasing power, there are both low cost, high quality resources to buy from and new opportunities for multinational corporations to sell to, at the BOP. The paper suggests that managers address both high-end developed markets as well as low-end emerging markets. The paper reviews many key concepts involved with managing profitable BOP market growth related to operating in emerging markets. It analyses strategies to satisfy consumer needs globally by both entering emerging markets and sourcing from them.

Keywords: bottom of the pyramid; emerging markets; consumer purchasing power; emerging MNCs; multinational corporations; born globals; globalisation; economic growth.

DOI: 10.1504/IJSEM.2009.024845

International Journal of Services, Economics and Management, 2009 Vol.1 No.4, pp.427 - 446

Published online: 01 May 2009 *

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