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Marketing a Business in France

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Marketing a Business in France

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Marketing Your Business in France

The international transition of a business is more than just costs and procedures. It's more cultural acclimatisation than calculatory acumen. It's making sure your product or service fits the inclinations and idiosyncrasies of a nation; finding a way to culturalise your business in order to reap the same results your business has achieved domestically. This is accomplished through one simple step: effective marketing.

Marketing Your Business

Marketing your business on indigenous soil is an art-form in itself; attempting to do it overseas is nigh-on miraculous. Countries, such as France, may be becoming more heterogeneous, but the foundations of a culture rarely budge for anything: its sensitivities, traditions, humour, discourses, protocols are essentially unchanging and stubbornly unaccommodating. Therefore, the identity of your product or service needs to seamlessly fashion itself upon a nation, not the other way around, shoehorned in, hoping for the best.

Advertising

In France, French must always be used as the language of publicity and advertising: English slogans and phrases may only be used with accompanying French translations.

Be warned: though advertising has been at the heart of French culture since the end of World War Two, it has also been the centre of debate. On the one hand, it is embraced as a natural product of capitalism; on the other, it is scorned for being manipulative and vulgar.

All the advertsing outlets you are used to here in the UK are avilable in France. However, word-of-month is much more highly revered, albeit out of your control. Make sure you do what you can to get noticed; get your message out on a regular basis, rather than spending your cash on a large, one-time ad. Stretch your money through as many small channels as possible: locals newspapers, brochures, flyers, etc.

Make yourself newsworthy if possible. Run a promotion, or maybe an extravagant event on the day of opening. Let local newspapers know your plans, maybe they'll do a small article about it.

Don't overreach. Instead of aiming at mass markets, consider your niche and build upon your name. The more money your reap, the higher you can aim. Catering for your select market will also help to maximise referrals

Cultural Adaptation & Sensitivity

Cultural sensitivity and understanding of protocol is paramount to effective marketing in France. The intricacies of a nation, its beliefs, even its superstitions, can make or break your business. Know the French market; immerse yourself in it. Never assume your marketing strategy will be transplantable to a foreign country. There is only a slim chance language will translate well. Anglophonic countries may be susceptible, but if your product or service plays on a quintessentially British characteristic or joke the chances are, it will not be well received.

As for other countries, don't bank on using the same strap-lines or gimmicks. Unless they are perfectly transitional, your product or service could suffer especially if it relies on humour.

Unless you are certain your product or service can sell itself on indigenous merits, it is probably wise to revise its selling-points for a foreign market. As always, however, only your own fastidious research can conclude this.

Sales Promotion

Everyone wants to increase sales and usage of a product or service. One of the best ways to do this is through sales promotion. Here are a list of typical sales promotions in France:

Buy-One-Get-One-Free

This self-liquidating promotion, which generates enough extra sales to cover the cost of the offer.

Customer Relationship Management

Includes incentives such as bonus points discount coupons. Many industries employ this type of promotion.

New Media

For instance, via mobile phones and the internet. Competitions are often a high-yielding way to get customers to both buy a product and visit your website.

Free Gifts

Often given in competitions, inside lucky packages, or through a progressive points system: e.g. buy 6 products, collect stamps for each, and your seventh is free.

Discounts

Let you customers know about cut-prices, or upcoming sale.

Joint Promotions

Synergy between two brands to help promote one another. For instance, McDonalds often market free tie-in toys to the latest blockbuster film.

Free Sample

Use marketing capital toward hiring promotional staff to work on high street or in supermarkets, giving out free samples of your product.

Finance Deals

Such as buy now, pay later, or 0% interest for three months.

Competitions

Hold competitions, for instance, in magazines, papers, on TV, radio and the internet.

Ensure you are never losing capital by entering into a sales promotion. These are among the most popular and used forms of sales promotion, but the idea is always to be creative and give the customers a deal that looks too good to be true.

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