Social Technologies for Emerging Markets

You would like to enter new markets with your product lineup, but don't know if they meet the needs of emerging markets which value low cost and core features over frills.  Or, you are starting on a new product platform and would like to provide a variant that meets the need of Africa, what features should you emphasize?  Social Technologies can help you answer these questions with out breaking the bank, and they can enable faster feedback too.

In our Social Innovation Benchmarking Report (July, 2012) we found that two of the ten companies surveyed used social technologies specifically for emerging markets.  In the boldest example, the company used social tools across the entire development life cycle from the very beginning to the end - from basic ideation, to product definition, to product refinement, alpha and beta testing, launch, and then post launch assessment.  Both organizations found a large reduction in costs to enter the market.  But this was the small win.  The bigger story was the degree to which they were able to get the market up and running profitably much faster than before.

In a related report released today, Frost and Sullivan indicates the importance of Open Innovation to the companies in the APAC region (Asia Pacific).  According to this report (http://www.computerworld.in/news/apac-more-open-committing-resources-innovation-survey-17382012), while companies around the world have embraced OI, some are more willing than others to commit sufficient resources to it. Asia-Pacific (APAC) companies lead the pack in regards to dedicating staff to OI. 72 percent of the companies surveyed in the APAC region dedicate a team for OI and have a median value of 10 members per OI team as opposed to global baseline of 3 members.  This shows the direct use in APAC as opposed to US multinationals use for entering markets, however it is another vote for the use of Social Innovation tools around the globe.