Brazil tops emerging markets opportunity index again

Consultant A.T. Kearney’s 2012 Global Retail Development Index (GRDI), is published to help retailers create global sales strategies. It ranks “emerging” countries based on a set of variables to give retailers a measure of attractiveness for international sales. The RDI focuses on mass merchants and food retailers.

I know some people don’t like the term “emerging” for various reasons. But no single replacement term has gained widespread acceptance. Even the wikipedia entry for “emerging markets” acknowledges the lack of a replacement term.  So I’ll stick with it as a term that identifies areas undergoing rapid economic growth.

The 2012 GRDI once again lists Brazil in the top spot, so I was curious about the state of digital and social media measurements from Brazil. In march of this year, comScore released a report on Brazil digital network usage that showed tremendous growth. A large contributor to the online growth in Brazil is the usage of Facebook. The report says that “Facebook surpassed Orkut in December 2011, taking the lead as the top social networking destination in Brazil with 36.1 million visitors, up 192 percent from the previous year. Facebook also became the most-engaging social networking site with visitors averaging 4.8 hours on the site in December 2011, up from just 37 minutes a year ago.”

My take on this is that these emerging markets provide some economies of scale for marketers seeking expansion. The intellectual capital for how to use digital platforms and how to share content stays constant. But the cultural norms of usage and appeal will be different. So all the challenges of operating in a different market at the product level remain the same. The GRDI index is just providing a measure of opportunity. Marketers still have to plant the proper seed in the soil. Happy harvesting.