Of Buying Cycles and Global Markets

Dec. 7, 2010
I remember back when global marketing first came into prominence and people would use terms like “Pacific Rim.”
They later came to discover that Australia and Vietnam were as different as Singapore and South Korea.  And that each country had specific cultural differences, and some even had contentious histories with their neighbors. The Pacific Rim might be a geographic region or a collection of countries, but it should never be considered as one sales territory and treated as a homogeneous marketing audience. Another “absolute” I often hear about is the terribly long sales cycles for automation projects—5 to 10 years to research, specify, buy, deliver, install, train and operate! So it was with great pleasure last week that I met Eddie Lee, Senior Manager, Marketing for Moxa, makers of device networking products.  Eddie confirmed my beliefs about global marketing, and turned my pre-conceived notions about sales cycle upside down! Eddie handles the Americas, so I asked him how marketing to the U.S. compared to marketing to Central and South America. He was quick to point out that Argentina is very different from Brazil and each country throughout the Americas is looked at as its own market, with different opportunities due to political stability and economic promise.  Another major difference is that while most Central and South American countries can be covered by someone fluent in Spanish, Brazil adds the extra twist by having its 200 million inhabitants speaking Portuguese. “Brazil is hot right now,” Eddie told me, “with getting both the World Cup in June of 2014 and the Summer Olympics in 2016.” So Brazil is undertaking massive projects to update communications and transportation infrastructure and automation is key.  Eddie also mentioned how thrilled Brazilian engineers are to be working with U.S. suppliers.  “We can have a meeting at 8:00 at night and 20 engineers will be at the company to meet with us!” Global opportunities abound for automation.  And some of these projects are on a fast track! Jim Chrzan Publisher

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