The French marketing you need: online, offline or both?

The French marketing you need: online, offline or both?

Which sort of product do you sell?

Do you sell online?

Via agents or distributors?

Is your product easy to understand?

Do you tailor your products for your clients?
Do you offer them technical support?
Or ongoing training?

I am interested in how companies communicate their offer online.

And how they make it easy (or not) to understand what they do.

I read British websites with the eye of a potential French customer. And when I like what they do and how they do it, I wonder what I could put in place for them to break into the French market.

Here are 3 examples.

The Made-in-Britain outdoors garment company

They sell online a stylish and Made-in-Britain outdoor garment. No shop, no distributors.
It is a young business.

The website is simple with a lot of press coverage and testimonials from British and English-speaking customers from abroad. The website is in English only.

The blog and the newsletter are up-to-date with good photos.

The company is active on social media.

All the information on prices, shipping, return policy, privacy policy and payment methods, as well as the measurement table are clear.
They link to other websites involved in the same activity and with a similar mindset.

The “Made-in-Britain” claim can boost the brand in France.
The product is perfect as it is for French customers.

It is expensive and designed to last.

To grow and make more sales, this brand has to expand into new markets.

How to get them into the French market?

Some French PR, a mini website in French (a single bespoke page), some leaflets or posters in French with samples of the material at some French retailers (showing the material and the range of colours can help people take the decision to buy), an email campaign in French or a French social media account can help.

More: involving their British customers, asking them to tell a story about the product. Showing how the product is made. Organising a competition for new ideas with a French college of fashion.

A world leader in the machining industry

As a company created years ago they trade with foreign markets and deliver components to a wide range of sectors.

They rely on Google Translate.

The website gives a lot of information with many features for prospects and existing clients: customer login, details to contact the staff, samples, search function and case studies, FAQs page.

Their social media, news and blog are up-to-date. It is easy to get access to the legal mentions and policies. Certifications and quality standards are visible.

All the products are presented with good photos and description.

No unnecessary feature, no hype or design trick.

This company is world leader in their field.
Does it mean every French business needing their expertise knows about them?
Is the English language a barrier for their French prospects?

To help them get more contacts and sales in France:

They can publish articles in French in specialised magazines (printed and online), give talks in French fairs (with interpretation service), create French marketing material, have a French domain name and translate their website for better SEO and ranking. They can add updates and recommendations in French to their LinkedIn company page, involve their customers for videos testimonials and case studies. As well as some tutors and apprentices in the trade.

And more, depending on their budget, time and resources.

The feed supplements for animals business

They sell online a range of specific products for animals.

The website is simple and easy to navigate. Products description and photos are clear, the buying process is easy with a choice of payment methods. They display many testimonials and reviews from clients and the contact details are quick to find.

The company attends fairs and international shows in the UK and they have some wholesalers abroad. They are not very active on social media.

What could they do to start selling their natural product to French customers?

The product is packaged in large quantities and costs of delivery to individual customers in France can be high. Finding distributors or retailers would be a better choice.

Attending French fairs and exhibitions, putting in place some French PR (printed and online), creating a French website and setting up social media in French are some of the solutions.

Sponsoring French local events, distributing samples of the product, developping their company page on LinkedIn: many things are possible.

These are examples and not proposals.

Getting into the head of a client is one thing. Delivering the right solution is another matter that requires working closely with them and for the long-term.

What do you sell? And how do you sell it?
Do you know exactly what you need for implementing your French marketing plan?

Related article
How to communicate well online in French: the 3rd way



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Leave A Reply (2 comments so far)

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  1. Rachel Henke
    4 years ago

    This is so exciting. I love the idea that companies can reach their perfect customers in any market using online marketing and France looks like a wonderful fit for English speaking markets.

    You’re leading the way on a new frontier here!

    • Veronique
      4 years ago

      Thanks Rachel!
      I think the flexibility of online marketing can help many British (and English-speaking) companies get more sales abroad. Especially when they sell genuine, exclusive and smart products.
      And yes, France is the country next door…