2011 was the year of the two-speed world. Developing economies continued their strong growth, and developed markets grew very slowly. As a result, many companies were looking to expand into emerging markets, while at the same time aggressive global challengers were building scale and taking advantage of new digital opportunities.
With an eye on these dynamics, BCG was taking a global view of developments in the business and economic landscapes. Our ongoing Collateral Damage content series continued to look at the major developments in the financial crisis, exploring the looming threat of debt restructuring, as well as the need to address the root causes of the crisis: global trade imbalances and massive debt loads. At the Worldwide Officers' Meeting in Miami, Daniel Stelter presented his latest views on the global economy, along with the keys to navigating the two-speed world in the coming years.
One phenomenon beginning to affect both high-growth and low-growth markets was the rise of the "digital economy." The mobile Internet was rapidly reshaping the consumer market around the world—making an impact similar to the one e-commerce had a decade earlier. And the explosion of social media, in particular, had already changed the relationship between company and consumer, leading to a need for completely new strategies in many industries.
With increasingly powerful tablets and smartphones influencing consumers' decisions every day, even "non-digital" businesses were forced to take notice. BCG examined how this new digital age would affect global marketing strategies, as well as the implications for the media industry, and the firm also established a dedicated Digital Economy practice area.
As change and volatility became the norm, BCG continued to look ahead—globally—to stay ahead of the curve.