In the first installment of our guide to exporting products, we looked at some of the regulatory hurdles you will need to overcome in order to export products to countries around the world. The United States makes it relatively easy to begin selling on a global level, with the exception of a new types of products. Now the important question is how to find your target market so that you are earning the most revenue and building your brand overseas.
Tips for Finding Your Target Market
- Start small. You have big ambitions, but don’t bite off more than you can chew. It is better to put your efforts into a few markets and learn the ropes before trying to go big. Experts agree that a maximum of three foreign markets at a time is more than enough. It is also a good idea to cluster your markets to begin with a choose locations in close proximity to one another so that you can cut down on costs.
- Do your research. There are plenty of market research companies out there who will thoroughly get to know potential markets and provide you will detailed reporting. If you don’t want to invest in third party research, you can always tackle this yourself. You should be able to find enough free and accessible research to help you draw conclusions. You can also contact the U.S. Commerce Service Office nearest you and speak with a trade specialist who will answer your questions.
- Take advantage of free webinars. Export.gov has an extensive library of webinars that cover a wide variety of topics that are both country and industry specific. It is a great resources and completely free to use.
- Mine social media for data about consumer behavior. Once you have narrowed down your choice, take a look at popular social media networks to see what people in those areas are talking about and interested in purchasing. Any mentions of your industry can provide valuable insights.
- Be specific. At this point you are narrowing down your target market by location, but it is also important to take other demographic details into consideration. What age group do you want to target? Will men or women be your main consumers? The more you can describe your ideal audience, the better you will be ale to target them.
Be Sensitive to Cultural Differences
Part of our market research should include trying to understand cultural differences that may influence how you market your products on a global level. Your target market may respond differently to colors, symbols and logos. English phrases and headers may not translate well into other languages and you don’t want to risk offending your potential buyers. Religious differences may also pay a role. For example, certain countries ban advertisements for food during Ramadan, which is marked by fasting. These are details that need to be addressed during the research process.
If you have other suggestions or tips that you have found helpful when conducting your own research, please feel free to share. Next, time we will take a closer look at specific markets and which countries might be a good place to start when it comes finding ideal export markets.