We spend quite a bit of time here talking about the fruits of marketing to the Diaspora. However, I’d be remiss if we didn’t occasionally share the pitfalls as well. Like any global enterprise, there are dozens of factors, many out of a business’s control, that can adversely affect success. It’s important to stay informed. Here are 3 influencing factors you might not have known about Diaspora Marketing but should and some pro-tips to help you capitalize on them.
Contrary to popular belief, a strong U.S. dollar is a net negative for companies large and small doing business abroad. That's because it means they can export less. Why? A strong dollar makes their products more expensive relative to foreign products. This causes sluggish economic growth. This affects the commodities foreign industry exports to the U.S. like food, textiles and oil, but also their marketing spend. While the diaspora may be an important market for your client, the rising costs associated with a stronger U.S. dollar are important to keep track of and consider. As the prices become more discorporate abroad, be prepared for clients to cut back on spending.
In today’s technological climate, remote virtual access affords almost the same amenities as being there. However, for effective diaspora marketing, it not only demands boots on the ground in the diaspora and “back home,” but it demands the firm understanding of both equally. This can prove challenging for the resource strapped marketer. Traveling costs can prove prohibitive and being two places simultaneously isn’t practical. Consider instead setting up a satellite “office.” By concentrating resources into hiring a team in the exporting country, you can capitalize on the local job market, while empowering and building the local jobs market and still get intel from those that know the marketplace the best, its residents. (We highly support fair wages, for fair trade businesses practices and support U.S. businesses that extend their wages and working conditions standards to their partnerships and business abroad.)
Over 15.5 million Indians now live outside the country making the Indian Diaspora larger than Zimbabwe and Kuwait combined. According to a UN Study, since 2005, the Indian Diaspora has grown 60% moving it from the world’s third largest to its first. Mexico currently lands in second place, however with the current administration seeking to build a wall along the border, we’d suggest monitoring this situation before consideration.
India presents a tremendous opportunity for marketers to business to carve out a niche targeting not only the Asian Diaspora but more granular, the Indian Diaspora. As of 2013, more than 2 million Indian-born immigrants resided in the United States, accounting for 4.7 percent of the 41.3 million foreign-born population. Looking for a place to expand? Look no further.
Diaspora Marketing is by no means easy. If it were, everyone would be doing it. There are a lot of global factors, regulations and nuances that need to be accounted for to be successful. When considering a new Diaspora market, it’s important to thoroughly do your homework. Without the proper research and intel, you could be operating your business abroad blindly.