The development of marketing can be divided into three eras: marketing as distribution (1900-1960); marketing as (brand) management (1960-2000); and customer-centric marketing (2000-present). Marketing of developing countries is still mainly in the first era, but it can leapfrog to the third era. Most significant condition is its connection to the overall marketing channel, which makes it possible to attune the upstream supply (agricultural and food products) to the downstream demand (manufacturers and supermarkets). What customer relationship management (CRM) is for the downstream part of the marketing channel, is supplier relationship management (SRM) for the upstream part. For their connection to the markets it is important that primary producers (e.g. farmers) have access to modern information and communication technology (ICT). Especially mobile communication technology offers great perspectives, because it is cheap and very suitable for low-density remote areas. An acceleration in the adoption of mobile ICT by producers in developing countries can already be observed, and there is also empirical evidence that this helps to make markets function better. Mobile technology is a driving factor for propelling marketing of developing countries into the third era of marketing.

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Rotterdam School of Management (RSM), Erasmus University

Wierenga, B. (2010). Connecting developing economies to the third era of marketing. doi:10.3921/978-90-8686-699-1