Suppose you knew that the countries with the best prospects for increasing international sales of your products were Canada, Australia, Germany, New Zealand and France.
Would you know how to translate that information into sales?
We’re not international marketing experts, but we do generate monthly market research reports about exports of U.S. firearms and related products. How international market data can be used to generate sales is of great interest to us, so we will pass along what we have learned from the experts.
For starters, it’s important to recognize that “the international market” is a collection of markets. Each country is a unique niche, with its own laws, culture, history of firearms usage and opportunities for sport shooting.
Publicly available market data can help you identify and prioritize the countries that are likely to offer the best opportunities for growth. That’s the first step in finding the users of your products and honing your messaging to them.
EasyExport Insights (www.easyexport.net/insights) is a free monthly downloadable report that provides detailed export sales statistics for 20 categories or firearms and related products.
Use EasyExport Insights to identify the international markets in which your products are likely to sell best.
Take Control of Your Brand
American exporters of firearms have traditionally relied very heavily on their international distributors, dealers and representatives to establish their products’ position in international market. There hasn’t been a good alternative, so this approach has made a lot of sense.
Now there are better alternatives that give you the power to control your brand in international markets in much the same way you do in the U.S.
In the U.S., your distributors and the dealers who stock and promote your products are your valued distribution partners, but you and the users of your products define your brand. You have the ability to do the same in thing in international markets.
The Internet is the source of your new power to control your brand internationally.
Using market data to target a small number of the most promising international markets, you can employ search engine optimization strategies and social media (like influencer marketing) to reach and engage dealers and end users of your products.
If you know which markets are the ones where you are most likely to succeed, choose a small number, perhaps the top two or three. Implement your international digital marketing strategy only in those countries at the outset.
Learn on a small scale what works and what does not before scaling up.
Reach your market in the countries you target by creating an online presence in those countries. International marketing experts call this “localization.”
Did you know that Google’s “search engine” actually consists of more than 200 search engines? The searches that lead U.S. customers to your .com website won’t do the same for potential customers in Australia searching on google.com.au. If you want Australian customers to find you easily, you need to acquire a .com.au domain.
Establishing a localized presence in an international market involves more than acquiring a local domain. The local domain is used to create a gateway to your U.S. website. The gateway uses the local language and culturally tuned messaging to speak to your local audience in ways that will be meaningful to them.
Partner with Marketing Experts
There are talented people who can help you develop international digital marketing programs that fit your budget.
If your team already “gets” digital marketing in the U.S. market, you have the first piece in place. On the other hand, if you want some fresh ideas on how to market more effectively online, Garrison Everest’s Josh Claflin, a digital firearms marketing veteran, has posted a collection of thoughtful pieces on digital marketing strategies for the firearms industry.
To learn more about the international aspects of digital marketing, you will find everything you might want to know in the IBT-Online video library. This fantastic resource will open your eyes to the potential benefits of localizing your website and the relative ease with which it can be done in targeted markets. The videos are free, of course. If they lead you to action, IBT-Online can help you design and implement an international digital marketing strategy with very affordable service packages. They also can show you how to use state-administered STEP grants to cover a portion of the funding to get you started.
Do you want to use the best international market data to drive your international marketing? EasyExport subscribers have exclusive access to reports drawn from the EasyExport system that enable them to understand the purchasing preferences and “buyer personas” of the people who buy their products and similar products. Schedule a call to learn more.SCHEDULE A CALL