Emerging Market expansion is a hot topic in business today. Gartner research reports that 40-60% of business growth will come from emerging economies in the next decade. Despite rapid growth and entrepreneurship, a lack of visibility and insights on small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) has made it difficult to successfully approach this market. Only 10% of businesses in emerging markets have a digital presence, making it almost impossible to affordably or accurately gather this information.
However, the recent proliferation of smartphones and growing millennial population mean data can be captured and shared in disruptive new ways, opening up a massive opportunity for companies with their eye on geographic expansion.
The Mobile Workforce
The best way to verify, augment, and gather information is on-site. dataPlor is an emerging market intelligence company out of Los Angeles, whose method for data collection combines a large local workforce with mobile-first technology to offer premium emerging market data at scale. Their on-demand network of local representatives creates a reliable mobile workforce for hire, which gathers data on-site. This is the best model for data collection in emerging markets for a few key reasons:
- Trust-worthiness: Most small businesses in emerging markets are "mom and pop" operations. A local representative that speaks their language and understands their culture is more likely to be warmly received than a foreigner who can’t fully explain why they are there.
- Human cognition: Technology has come a long way, but “boots on the ground” deliver higher quality, more robust information. A live person can identify more attributes, problem solve when issues arise, and, most importantly, perform tasks such as engaging a store-owner or delivering a product.
- Flexibility: By leveraging a local workforce like dataPlor’s, businesses have the flexibility to scale up or down at will without having to commit long-term to a remote team, or spend a fortune on T&E.
Common Use Cases
A boots on the ground workforce can be helpful for many reasons. The four main use-cases seen by dataPlor are Data Verification, Data Augmentation, Data Acquisition, and Market Research. Examples include:
- Verification Use Case - A mapping company needs to guarantee a certain percentage of location accuracy in order to close a deal with a logistics and shipping company.
- Data Augmentation Use Case - New Customer Acquisition team for a payroll technology company preparing to launch in the Brazilian market wants to make sure their SMB lead data is accurate, but is also looking for accurate employee headcount numbers.
- Data Acquisition Use Case - A payment processing company wants to target small to mid-sized businesses in Mexico City who currently don’t accept credit cards.
- Market Research Use Case - A CPG brand’s merchandising team wants to understand what their average price is in a specific market and what their placement in store looks like in order to evaluate prioritized markets.
Proof is in the Data
dataPlor’s model works because their mobile workforce is motivated, trained, and easy to activate. Their network has validated thousands of Mexico listings, sometimes in just two business days, delivering 100% accurate and up-to-date information as a result. Additionally, the company found in a recent test of SMB data in Brazil, their data sample outpaced Google 2:1 and Yelp roughly 9:1 showcasing again the huge discrepancy in what can be found online vs. on-site.
Relying solely on what can be electronically identified will not support a best-in-class data strategy.
Currently, dataPlor’s global team is focused on high-growth emerging markets in Latin America, Africa, and SE Asia. As emerging market expansion becomes increasingly necessary, the applications for an on-demand mobile workforce will continue to evolve and expand. From simple verification to custom market research, a mobile workforce ensures your emerging market business decisions are based on the highest quality information.
For more information on how dataPlor helps companies succeed in emerging markets, contact us.