The Global Economy: Are You Ready?

Are you keeping abreast of the megatrends that could impact you and your clients?

In preparing for an upcoming speaking engagement, I did some research on current business trends and became aware of one trend that has increased its impact on my business over the past few years.

We live in a global economy….

We are all impacted by the increasingly global nature of the economy.  Our clients need our help in figuring out global markets and how to respond to them as well as how to take advantage of global opportunities in sourcing products/service, partnering, and more.

Two years ago, I had experience just doing just one multilingual web survey in the 9 years since I started my business, but now it is common for me to do not only multilingual surveys, but also telephone interviews that include people from many countries who don’t speak English.  My translation partners are strategic partners to me now.  I would not be a viable vendor to the majority of my clients if I didn’t have experience with global research and understand the nuances of things such as what incentives work best in what countries. (Hint: Gift cards purchased via are not viable outside of the U.S.!)

It’s all about the BRIC…

Brazil, Russia, India, and China will have the biggest impact on the world economy throughout this decade.  As these countries increase their spending on people, facilities, natural resources, and infrastructure, their importance will grow also.  We’ve all heard about the huge aspiration of the people in these countries and how the Internet helps them traverse huge geographic expanses in seconds.  With such expanding opportunities in these regions, there can’t help but be ripples.  While these countries increase their economic impact, the ‘old school’ Western countries like the U.S. will continue to cut back on spending in order to manage the huge debts acquired over the past decade.

Interestingly, I’ve done projects in the past 6 months that involve each of these countries, except for Russia.  I’m sure that’s just around the corner…

What does this mean to you?

This is a time to stop and assess how you and your clients may be impacted by the global economic trends that are at play.  If you are talking about global opportunities with your clients, talk less about Europe and talk more about India or China.  When thinking of marketing plans, be sure to think about the most important regions for your client to address in order to get the biggest bang for their buck.

Have you thought about the services/expanded offerings that your clients may be looking for as their client base expands beyond English-speaking countries?  A good way to differentiate yourself from your competitors would be to talk about how you can help with these issues and definitely have some resources/ideas in your pocket for the first time this comes up with a potential client.

Recently, Lucie Newcomb of NewComm Global spoke to the S. Bay WIC group and helped open our eyes to how naive we tend to be on a day-to-day basis about how much we need to consider global implications of everything we do.  It was quite enlightening, but could only scratch the surface.

It’s definitely easier in the short term to ignore these trends, however, it will come back to bite us eventually.  I’d love to hear what kinds of things you are doing to address the challenge of the global economy…what’s worked and what hasn’t?  We can learn from one another!

About Jen Berkley Jackson

Jen Berkley Jackson, founder and owner of The Insight Advantage, has extensive experience in using various methods (surveys, focus groups, one-on-one interviews) to integrate the voice of the customer into all functions, helping organizations increase market share, revamp product lines/services, and ultimately increase customer loyalty and retention.


  1. Kudos, Jen, for helping WICsters stay ahead of the pack/market as global markets are beginning to return to center stage. Emerging Markets, especially the BRICS countries, are really heating things up! FYI, I’ll be moderating an Emerging Markets program for WIC event partner, NorCal BMA, on September 28th, featuring a BRICS panel and a Department of Commerce overview. Stay tuned!

    Thanks, again, for the wonderful WIC South Bay speaking opportunity and mention here – We’re launching our Foreign Direct Investment practice, Connect-SV, soon to complement our International Marketing activities and assist foreign-based governments and entrepreneurs by providing a Silicon Valley presence and tiered levels of services. Go glocal and win!

    – Lucie

  2. I think the real problem is that BRIC countries will more and more rely on internal talent, their own brands and companies, production facilities and their own internal markets. They will do what we do in terms production and localization, only better, while they will also sell their stuff to us. This limits what we can do in the new age. I see no other way but to make our marketing initiatives even stronger, our brands more famous. In 20 years time, we will not be able to outsmart BRIC countries, we can only ‘outfeel’ them; meaning the psychological means of getting to consumers will be even in more demand.

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