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Information Sheet:
Global Marketing Start-up Work Plan

After you have determined the answers to your key questions (Primary Market Research Work Plan) and are convinced that you are prepared to enter global markets, what can you do next? There are numerous state and federal trade promotion programs and services available to you now that you are ready. In fact, there are so many that one of the problems is determining what to do first. Listed below are four proven methods that have been successfully used by many companies to get started.

  1. European Trade Shows

    German trade shows are generally considered to be the single best way for entering the European markets. Overall Germany is the leading trade show producer. Two helpful hints when considering a trade show:

    • Exhibit or visit. You may limit your first experience to a visit and get a feel for the event before committing to an exhibit. Another way to lower costs is to see if the show offers an American Pavilion sponsored by the U.S. FCS. It won't get you into the specific product area, but it will attract general visitors at a reduced cost.

    • ADS and Gold Key Service. These services can make your trip successful so always consider them when making your plans. By using the Agent/Distributor Service (ADS) prior to the show (allow 6-8 weeks for this service) you can be more assured of meeting prospects at the show. The Gold Key Service helps you make contact and overcome the logistics of translation and appointments. Both services can be used whether you are exhibiting or simply visiting.

  2. RepCom Mexico

    Mexico is one of the easiest markets for American manufacturers to serve. The FCS offers excellent initial contacts in Mexico through their RepCom program. Although these are horizontal shows (not industry specific), they are well promoted and attract intermediaries looking for new product lines to represent. They schedule the shows about three times per year, and alternate holding them in Mexico City, Guadalajara and Monterrey. For most U.S. firms, it is a very cost effective way to establish distribution and sales in a primary market.

  3. RepCom Canada

    Basically the same program as in Mexico, but for Canada.

  4. Trade Missions

    Trade missions are different than trade shows in that they are designed for pre determined one-on-one meetings with prospective intermediaries. Unlike trade shows that focus on selling exhibit space, trade missions focus on making individual contacts for participants. Numerous small and medium U.S. companies have taken advantage of this type program and have had excellent results. Information regarding trade missions can be obtained from state international offices as well as Commerce Industry Specialists.

Center for Export Readiness Training and Services
P.O. Box 495
Columbia, MO 65205

Last modified: February 24, 2012.
Comments or questions? email brian@export-ready.com