Have you ever attended a class where the instructor followed the Socratic method of teaching? You remember, only questions, no direct answers. Some discussions lend themselves best to that format, and this look at some possible future trends in Internet marketing is one of them. Mainly because there are no answers at this point, only the questions we pose!
Internet marketers by and large are used to creating products for, and selling to, a predominantly western audience. Whether inside the marketing niche or not, today’s web sites, autoresponder sequences, mailing lists, payment processing systems, and overall way of doing business have evolved around the needs and wants of target markets in the western world. And any experienced marketer knows it can be difficult. Despite popular notions that you can start an Internet business and watch the money roll in, the reality is that there is a lot of competition from other webmasters, regardless of the market or type of products you promote.
Looking ahead, have you considered the impact of even more competition – lots more? In Asia, in particular China and India, large, well-educated populations, a lower cost of living with much-improved standards, and more widely available Internet access may combine in the near future to create a lot more Internet marketers. Many are well-versed in technical aspects of the Internet, including programming and site development. In fact, if you’ve ever used any of the various freelance sites to outsource technical projects, you’ve seen that many of the bidders are from Asia. With populations of one billion people and more in those two countries alone, the current generation is certainly well-attuned to the Internet, and being avid surfers, are no doubt aware of the commercial opportunities and worldwide reach available only on the net. It’s likely only a matter of time before they begin marketing to western audiences themselves.
Whether through affiliate marketing, or by developing new products to sell on their own behalf, the prospect of increased competition for current Internet marketers is very real, and likely very near. The biggest hurdles will be language and market understanding. After all, it’s difficult enough to write effective sales letters in ones native language, even if addressed to a market and culture you understand. Over time, even those barriers will fall – face it, just as programming can be outsourced, so can marketing and language assistance.
The potential competition can sound ominous. And depending on your outlook, it can be. For every new product that pays affiliate commissions, there soon could be lots more marketers trying to promote it to the same audience. And for every new product of your own you develop, similar products with more features and selling for a lower price could appear. That already happens now to an extent. What will it be like with even more marketers and developers competing? But change can also be good news. You as an individual marketer can either complain about the unfairness of it all, or you can choose to adapt your business to the inevitable and prosper.
As new marketers, and surfers in general, from China, India, and elsewhere come online, they will also create entirely new markets to sell to, markets that weren’t there just a short time ago. After all, as marketers they will need the same types of products and services that western marketers need. And as surfers and eventual online buyers, their consumers will want not only western, but also regional and cultural goods, just as online shoppers in the western world do now. Of course, marketers in those regions will also compete in their local markets, as well as western ones. The globalization of Internet marketing will continue rapidly, no doubt about it. To stay in the game, western marketers would be well-advised to begin their strategic planning for this trend now. New markets and new opportunities are forming – learn to spot them at a distance through global binoculars!