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When marketing your goods and services in another country, there may be other things to consider, things that are different from when you market them in Sweden.

It is most common to use different types of marketing as a means of competition. One way to simplify your marketing plan is to base it on the 4P model for marketing. Where the four “Ps” stand for:

  • product
  • price
  • place (sales channel)
  • potential/impact (PR, advertising, marketing).

The 4P concept is used, for example, to reach the ideal price of a particular product, which is to be sold in the right sales channel with the right kind of potential. The “four Ps” are meant to be combined in a marketing mix.

In addition to the 4P model, you should also consider the following:

  • What cultural factors have an influence on the marketing of your product?
  • How do you intend to enter the market, and how do you want to position your product?
  • How will you provide support to your customers?
  • What protection of intellectual property rights do you need (e.g. patent and trademark protection)?

Cultural factors

When marketing goods and services in another country, you should take the country’s norms, language(s), culture and religion(s) into account. You need to know everything from holidays and religious festivals to what’s politically correct. Or not. Marketing messages are not always perceived in the same manner as they might be in Sweden.

Your brand, your colours, word choices, packaging and symbols, as well as your special offers and promotions, can be perceived differently and have a completely different effect than it would have in your home market. This may be so even if there is a strong need for your product in the new market. Keep in mind that the more you adapt yourself to the market in the particular country, the easier it will be for you to reach your potential customers.

You risk making a big mistake by using the same promotional campaigns in the new market that you use in Sweden, with the same content. Obtain the assistance of someone who knows the market, such as an agent or a local retailer. So that you will have a greater chance of succeeding in the marketing.

Marketing methods

Irrespective of whatever marketing method you choose, you must be able to describe how you distinguish yourself from your competitors. It is important that you communicate your “unique selling points.”  

When you intend to market yourself in a new market, it may be can be very useful to attend trade fairs and relevant conventions. It can also be useful to use positive references from customers and other business contacts in your marketing.

Customer service

Different countries have different rules for how much customer service you will need to offer for your products and services. You will need to find out what rules apply. It may be that you will be required to provide customer support, or a right to return or comply with other rules concerning consumer rights. Irrespective of that the mandatory or optional rules are, good service is essential to build your brand.

Intellectual Property Law

When you want to protect proprietary designs, trademarks or patents in the export market, you will need to apply for protection in each individual country. This field of law is called intellectual property law.

Factors that are unique to your industry

There may be things to consider that only apply to your particular industry. Obtain advice from other exporters, your agent or retailers.

Marketing Rules

Many companies around the world follow the Consolidated ICC Code of Advertising and Marketing Communication Practice, which is a self-regulation standard for advertising and marketing communications issued by the International Chamber of Commerce (ICC).  The ICC is the largest business organisation in the world, and represents companies of all sizes and from all industries. The rules also apply with e-commerce. The ICC rules shall ensure that the advertisement is honest, legal, reliable and free from offensive content. Compliance with the rules is not mandatory, but if one violates the rules, they risk being exposed to negative publicity.

Read ICC for advertising and marketing communications on their website

Of course, you must also comply with the marketing rules that apply in the country where you market your goods and services.

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Responsible: Swedish Agency for Economic and Regional Growth

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