Marketing and fairs in the target country
Plan your company’s international marketing carefully from the perspective of the target country. A marketing strategy that works in Finland will not necessarily work abroad, even if the target country is a neighbour. Also participate in fairs organised abroad.
Remember that a marketing strategy that works well in Finland will often not work as such abroad. Target your company’s international marketing to a narrower, carefully selected target group.
Learn to understand the buyer behaviour and business culture of local customers. Use this as the basis for creating your marketing. Remember to take into account the local legislation and customs. Respect the culture and religion of the region. If your company operates in a conflict zone, try to stay impartial.
If your company’s sales abroad is arranged through distributors, keep in mind that your buyers will include both corporate clients and consumers. The buyer behaviour of corporate clients and consumers is different, and you should therefore remember to target the marketing correctly in different situations.
For help and advice, contact the Team Finland network and the consulate of Finland in the target country.
In marketing your export products, you can use a communications company, advertising agency or a similar enterprise familiar with the local conditions. The local enterprise will be familiar with the local customers and business culture, and the marketing channels best suited for your company.
When selecting suitable communications channels, take into account the customs of the target country and needs related to your products. You can make use of the website your company already has, for example by translating its texts into the language of the target area. You can also create an entirely new website. This is a good alternative in cases such as if the people in the target country are used to visually different websites.
For the new market, you can create a separate social media account that uses the language of the target area for your company. In this case, make sure that the social media account is actively updated.
Use an expert with excellent and fluent skills in the language, for instance, when planning your company's search engine visibility. Contact operators such as Team Finland networks and operators in the target region for help.
Independently participating in international fairs takes up a lot of a company’s resources. Utilise private companies that organise fair trips, your own networks and the organisations of the Team Finland network in your participation. For example, Business Finland organises fair trips as part of its growth programmes.
Joint fair trips enable several companies to participate the same fair, which allows sharing the responsibility for making arrangements. The organiser of the fair trip will help you with practical arrangements. However, the design of fair stands and other fair arrangements are tailored to each company.
Sharing a stand with other companies is also an alternative. This is often the most cost-effective option, especially to small companies and those at the early stages of entering the international market.
Familiarise yourself with the selection of international fairs in good time before participation. For example, Business Finland collects international fairs into its events calendar and lists of fairs. Note that international fairs are also organised in Finland.
Make plans carefully in advance. Determine concrete goals for your company. Take into account the communications to target groups before the event, how to stand out at the fair, and further measures connected to the contacts you have made.
Familiarise yourself with the EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). Based on the regulation, personal data may only be collected of fair visitors if there is a well-justified purpose for the data. Remember to also take the regulation into account in e-mail marketing carried out after the fair. You can only message those who have given their permission to do so.
Participating in an international fair requires financial investments. In addition to renting a space, costs result from advertising, representation, and building and decorating the company’s stand. The freight of items displayed at the fair as well as the travel and labour costs of the company’s staff must also be included in the total costs.
You can reduce costs by collaborating with other companies. You can participate at the fair with a joint stand and share travel costs. You can also apply for funding for the costs resulting from events from Business Finland and ELY Centres, for instance.
If goods exported or imported for fairs exceed the EU limit, they have to be cleared.
If goods are only in the target country temporarily, should the goods be cleared by means of an ATA carnet? This an international customs document that facilitates, for example, the temporary export of goods for exhibitions or commercial samples. The document is valid in the countries that have entered into in the agreement. It can be applied for at the Finland Chamber of Commerce. Make your application at least five days before travel.