As companies look to global expansion—and particularly expansion into emerging markets—to drive profitable growth, one of the challenges is in how to reach customers in those new markets.

Accenture research shows that the service expectations of customers in emerging markets is changing faster than those of customers in mature markets. What’s more, emerging market customers are twice as likely to switch vendors.

At the same time, it seems that consumers worldwide share some common themes and behaviors. For example, emerging- and mature-market consumers share the following characteristics:

  • They view trust as the primary driver of customer loyalty.
  • They expect a multichannel shopping experience.
  • They consider word of mouth (including social networking) the most important source of reliable product and service information.

Insurers in emerging markets need to strike a balance between the similarities between emerging and mature-market consumers, while addressing the differences.

In an Outlook article, authors Robert E. Wollan and Tzeh Chyi Chan recommend a global segmentation approach. By creating shared marketing messages, selling models or customer touchpoints for similar markets around the world, insurers can address the similarities between customers—while still having the ability to personalize offerings for local markets.

Learn more about blurring borders in customer relationship management in Outlook, the online journal of high-performance business.

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