There’s been a bit of a gap since my last blog on export marketing methods. So what’s been happening? Not much has changed over the summer months. Commentators can’t decide whether the UK’s exports have grown or diminished over the summer with two national newspapers publishing dramatically different headlines:
“Rising exports”: http://bit.ly/b6JFz2
“Export slowdown”: http://bit.ly/9J69s9
What we do all know is that domestic spending, by both government and consumers, will be severely tightened in the autumn. So, despite all time high volatility in the currency markets, export growth continues to be on the agenda for many British manufacturers.
Brochures and other collateral are often the first marketing tool developed by SMEs. Despite the ability to communicate full details of product and service through the internet, the pressure on marketing teams to provide sales and customers with printed collateral remains strong. As a result, companies get often find themselves with increasing libraries of unused (and sadly, unwanted) brochures and leaflets. But does this have to happen?
And do companies wanting to export still need to design and produce local language literature? Is the investment in time and budget worth it?
As always, the answers depend on your product, your service and your customers. There is no one answer, except that it’s essential to ensure that local sales personnel receive (and use!) appropriate and relevant sales materials that helps them win business.
When considering the design, creation and print of multi-lingual brochures, keep the following in mind:
Who is your target reader?
How many customers do you have in a particular country? Why do you think it’s important to print material in their language? Although people are impressed and pleased to be able to read about your company in their own language, might they be happy with English or another local language? If numbers are small, consider digital printing.
What do they know already?
We know from experience that our clients’ markets are typically in different stages of development. So, in the same way that you would present your domestic market reader with appropriate information, ensure that you’ve taken the development stage of the local market into consideration when you draft copy. As always, remember to enthuse readers with the benefits you offer and not turn them off with boring background on your company or the market you serve.
Size and weight?
Postal rates vary enormously across countries. If you’re creating a brochure or newsletter for a German subsidiary, check that the size and weight of your collateral will fit within the relevant postal limits.
Who should they ask for more information?
Do you have a local distributor or agent? If your relationship is close and trusting, consider using their logo and address details for further information requests. If not, or you’re still looking or have in-house resources, think about the number that will be called … and if the person who picks up the call can speak the relevant language.
If possible, run all languages together on one print run – the cost savings can be significant. Although true for all brochures, the savings really mount up when you’re printing a 16 page catalogue in 9 languages!
In my next post I tackle the fifth best export marketing method. Read it here.