Marketing a Business in Italy
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Marketing a Business in Italy
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 when expanding a business to Italy.
Marketing your business on indigenous soil is an art-form in itself; attempting to do it overseas is nigh-on miraculous. Countries may be becoming more heterogeneous, but the foundations of a culture rarely budge for anything: their 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 and Sales promotions in Italy
The main international advertising agencies are present in Italy. Large local firms, as well as numerous smaller Italian agencies, are also able to offer services in the field of advertising.
Italian consumers are avid readers of newspapers and periodicals, which provide an effective means of advertising new consumer products, but circulation figures are not high by European standards. Advertising in TV may be more costly, but far more effective. Billboards are widely available in the major cities. E-commerce is still not widely used in the country as it is in Britain, however having an effective company website is compulsory.
More than 400 trade fairs are held each year in Italy. Many of the major exhibitions take place at the large and modern Milan Fair Ground. These fairs have an important role in the Italian economy as visitors from all over the world attend them. Most are specialised, covering a full range of industrial and consumer goods from pollution control equipment, heavy machinery, IT and telecommunications equipment, automotive components, food and drink, to footwear, textiles, clothing and jewellery.
Cultural sensitivity and understanding of protocol is paramount to effective marketing. The intricacies of a nation its beliefs, even its superstitions can make or break your business. Know the 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. Some bites about Italian culture follow.
In Italy the family is the centre of the social structure and provides a stabilizing influence for its members. However, there are differences between the north and the south of the country. In the north, generally only the nuclear family lives together; while in the south, the extended family often resides together in one house. The family provides both emotional and financial support to its members.
Appearances matter in Italy. Clothes, manners and style matter too. Generally Italians admire the British style, hence the best way to behave is being yourself, even stressing your Britishness. Be confident.
Jokes about Italian stereotypes are rarely appreciated. The Pizza, mafia and mandolino formula rarely works in establishing a sympathetic relationship. Stress admiration for the Italian strengths, rather than weaknesses. Italians are generally very friendly, but also quite touchy.
In conversations, sport, politics and food take usually the place of the weather in British conversations. Black and violet are usually considered mourning colours. The red is associated with passion and secrecy, the yellow with jealousy. If you bring wine, make sure it is a good vintage. What is important is quality, rather than quantity. Keep it mind when marketing in Italy: its a general rule.