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Speech by HE Paul Madden, British High Commissioner to Australia, to UK Business Lunch Group in Sydney
International Business Expansion - Target Your Global Market Understanding Their Demographics
Small businesses can feel greatly challenged if they are based in one country and selling to foreign clients another country. An intimate understanding of your foreign clients will lead to more sales. How can you get an accurate analysis of the demographics of your foreign markets?
It is often hard to really get into the demographics of your international markets. It can be hard to stretch yourself to fully understand cultural differences and the consequences these differences may or may not have on your sales and marketing strategies.
This is also a factor which complicates a single language markets made up of many different cultures. You not only have one set of specific demographic characteristics. You can literally have dozens.
The best place to start is to determine specific demographic information for each of your target markets, and to move on from there. The process actually gets easier the more cultures you learn to adapt to. Your company will get faster at understanding how to adapt to each different culture.
An interesting example was how MTV adapted its music to each country. There are two main factors that came in to play.
Music is culturally different in each culture.
MTV targets a younger audience and youth do not have the same lives in different cultures.
MTV realized early on that they needed to adapt their music to the culture in each country. This is fairly easy to understand.
But what was interesting was that they realized that in some countries the vast majority of households only had one television set. Therefore their television shows would also have to be culturally acceptable to other generations. If the older generations were offended in any way, MTV would not be turned on.
Demographics do need to studied and defined for each culture. Gaining insight into the differences in demographics and it consequences on your product's foreign market is a very enriching experience. The value of this knowledge also lies in the potential leverage for more foreign business opportunities.
Cross-Cultural Marketer & International Sales Specialist