ExplorersContact us
December 14, 2018

The Importance of Personal Relationships and Other Key Findings from Emerging Market Small Business Survey

At dataPlor, we know that the best way to gather data and insights on emerging market small businesses is in person. We sent our general manager in Guadalajara out on a mission to understand how hyperlocal businesses communicate with customers and potential business partners and suppliers.

He spent a week speaking first-hand to small business owners about their customer outreach strategies and how they chose potential businesses partners. Here’s what we found.



Preferences for Engaging with Business Partners and Suppliers:

How do you prefer to meet with potential vendor partners and salespeople?


Remote-sales has become popular for many companies in the US. This model will not work in emerging markets where trust comes first in most business partnerships. The small business owners we spoke to agree meeting someone in-person is an important step to building trust and establishing a lasting business partnership.

How do you find new suppliers or vendors?


In the US, companies are used to solicitations from vendors and often welcome value when communicated via email or advertisement. This kind of cold outreach is notoriously unwelcome in the Latin American business market, where personal connections remain the most important aspect of many business-client relationships.

How do you prefer to work with business software? Via website, application, or both?


Small business owners are hands-on. Many are on their feet during the day servicing customers. Most of those surveyed preferred the flexibility of managing tools on the web and on an application.

Marketing and Customer Engagement Strategies:

How do you think you could make your business more competitive?


The desire to attract new customers is the strongest commonality among businesses owners in our survey.

How do you attract new customers?


Free social profiles such as Facebook are popular among small businesses. However, investment in digital marketing is not a priority. 49% of participating businesses rely on non-digital channels such as newspapers or flyers for staying top-of-mind with potential customers.    

How do you stay in touch with your customers on an on-going basis?


While many  businesses do not keep in touch with their customers, those who do rely mainly on social media and WhatsApp. Many owners agree that this is an area where they can improve via training or automation, reporting that employee training could make their businesses more competitive.

Key Takeaways

If you’d like to learn more about these findings or find out how dataPlor can provide you with rich information on SMBs in Latin America please get in touch.


Are Emerging Markets the Way to Grow Your Local Marketing Business?

A multi-billion-dollar opportunity for small and large companies alike sits almost completely untouched today: Servicing millions of small to mid-sized businesses (SMBs) in emerging markets.

Engage a Mobile Workforce When Expanding to Emerging Markets

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.

Mobile Credit Card Readers Ride the Wave of Growth in Emerging Markets

One industry on track to experience high growth insync with the economic trend of emerging markets is mobile payments. Specifically the kind that attach to smartphones—Mobile Card Readers (or MCRs). According to Technavio Research, the MCR market will grow 54% from 2017 to 2021, largely supported by growing economies in LATAM, Southeast Asia, and Africa.


Let’s start the conversation. Whether you’re looking for new emerging markets data, to verify existing records, or need to launch a custom data project, we can help.

Contact us


Sign up for our newsletter. Get insights on growing your business in Latin America delivered straight to your inbox.

You’re all set! Thanks for signing up.
There was an error while submitting—please try again.