Volume 51 | October 31, 2019

The Worldly Marketer
Content for global-minded entrepreneurs
curated for you by Kathrin Bussmann,
Founder & Principal at Verbaccino
Worth reading:


In his  Digital 2019 Q4 Global Digital Statshot  report, Simon Kemp points to some interesting trends to watch out for in 2020. As we approach a milestone of  4.5 billion internet users  around the world, we can look forward to more accurate and timely data reporting, especially related to emerging economies. With 250,000 new mobile internet subscribers coming online every day,  India  now has – by far – the largest Facebook advertising audience globally. Other trends include the “explosive growth” of  TikTok  around the world; the rise of  Pinterest  as an ad-audience rival to Instagram in certain regions; the promise of  5G  as a catalyst for IoT technology; and the internet’s centre of gravity shifting to  Asian websites , including for  ecommerce , as we head into the next decade.


For almost as long as social media have been around, savvy marketers have used  social listening  to find out what consumers are talking about online. In this way, companies have been able to glean valuable information about their target customers without being intrusive, and then refine their marketing strategies and even their products accordingly. But the latest data from  Synthesio  indicates that this kind of market research comes with a huge blind spot: most online activity now happens via so-called  dark social , i.e. “web traffic that isn’t attributed to a known source”. All around the globe, social media users are generally less inclined to post publicly on Facebook, LinkedIn, Instagram or Twitter than they used to. Increasingly,  people prefer to use private channels , and the percentages vary considerably from country to country.


CEO Jack Dorsey has just announced that, with the exception of ads in support of voter registration,  paid political ads are no longer allowed on Twitter . Of course, the context for this decision is the current, very heated global debate around the role of social media platforms to potentially influencing election results around the world. With this important decision, Twitter has taken a firm stance: “This isn’t about free expression. This is about paying for reach. And paying to increase the reach of political speech has significant ramifications that today’s democratic infrastructure may not be prepared to handle.” It will be interesting to see whether other platforms will follow suit. (We’re looking at you,  Facebook .)


Which countries will dominate global economic growth by 2024?  According to new estimates by the IMF,  China  will still account for the biggest share of global GDP growth, but not by quite as wide a margin as it does currently. Meanwhile, India will have overtaken the  U.S.  as the world’s second-largest growth engine. Next in the rankings will come Indonesia, Russia, and Brazil. As  Bloomberg  reports: “new growth engines among the top 20 countries in five years will include Turkey, Mexico, Pakistan and Saudi Arabia, while Spain, Poland, Canada and Vietnam drop out of the first 20.”


Spare a thought for Ricardo Ruiz, the jet-lagged Founder and CEO of a U.S.-based climbing-gym chain. Ricardo and his team find themselves facing some unexpected challenges as his company, Ascendency, sets out to conquer new markets. In this fictional  Case Study: Did We Expand Too Quickly? , Prof. Simon Greathead encourages  Harvard Business Review readers to think about questions such as “How might business tactics need to shift for different geographic areas?”, “does Ricardo have enough diversity on his executive team?”, and “Should Ricardo press on with or pull back from his international expansion plans?”. Two real-life CEOs chime in with some strategic advice, based on their own experiences.

Worth watching:


What is Singles’ Day?  Only “the world’s biggest shopping event day of the year”, as CNBC International explains. And it’s coming up on November 11th. (4 minutes)


Culture is like an iceberg.  Certain aspects of a culture (such as language, food, music, and art) are easy to perceive. But they are only – you guessed it – the tip of the iceberg. Most aspects of a culture lie beneath the surface... (2 minutes)

Worth listening to:


If your company is  marketing to customers in the Middle East and North Africa (MENA) , you’ll want to catch the latest episode of Globally Speaking, with featured guest Mohamed Abo El Fotouh of Pepsi Co. (24 minutes)


Are you heading to Silicon Valley for LocWorld41? Get there a day early and join this internationalization workshop on November 5th. For more context, you can (re-)listen to this interview with Yuka Nakasone on  Creating Global-Ready Digital Products in the Most Efficient Way . (26 minutes)

Upcoming dates:

Nov. 3, 2019:  Daylight Saving Time ends  in the U.S.A. & Canada

Nov. 10, 2019:  Mawlid an-Nabī  in Sunni Islam

Nov. 11, 2019:  Singles’ Day  in China

Nov. 12, 2019:  Kartika Purnima  in Hinduism, Sikhism & Jainism

Nov. 15, 2019:  Mawlid an-Nabī  in Shia Islam

Nov. 18–24, 2019:  Global Entrepreneurship Week

Nov. 28, 2019:  Thanksgiving Day  in the U.S.A.

Upcoming events:

Oct. 31–Nov. 4, 2019: Canton Fair , Guanzhou, China

Nov. 4–7, 2019: Web Summit , Lisbon, Potugal

Nov. 4–10, 2019: China International Import Expo , Shanghai, China

Nov. 5, 2019: I18n Workshop , Sunnyvale, California, U.S.A.

Nov. 5–6, 2019: Game Global Summit , San Jose, California, U.S.A.

Nov. 6–7, 2019: GetGlobal , Long Beach, California, U.S.A.

Nov. 6–8, 2019: LocWorld41 , San Jose, California, U.S.A.

Nov. 19–21, 2019: DigiMarCon Latin America , online conference

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