With a large population of about 63.7 million and a GDP of $2.3 trillion, France is one of the world’s largest economies. As such, it is an attractive market place for companies that aspire to sell their products in foreign markets. However, marketing a product in France poses unique challenges, mainly because the majority of the population doesn’t speak or understand English, and its business culture varies from that of English-speaking nations.
So, how do you effectively introduce your product to the French market? Keep reading to find out.
1. Get Familiar With The French Culture
This is almost always the first factor to consider when you want to market your product in a foreign land. You must gain an in-depth knowledge of the cultural life of the people in your target country, and think like them. Here are some of the most important aspects of the French culture:
- The French regard their native language highly. They prefer being spoken to in French, so your advertisements must be done in French.
- Majority of the French are fashion-conscious. This is crucial if you are planning to market a textiles and apparel products
- The French don’t like being addressed with ‘tu’ (singular form of you). It is more preferable to instead use ‘vous’ (plural form of you)
- Most people in France prefer broadcast media (TV) to print media (newspapers and magazines)
- French people have a deep passion for art
At the end of the day, your marketing strategy should be based on the traditions, practices and sensitivities of the French people.
2. Understand Marketing Laws
Various countries have different marketing laws. Before launching your marketing campaigns in France, it is essential to understand how the government regulates marketing practices. For example, if you are marketing an alcoholic or tobacco product, you must comply with the ‘Loi Evin’, which prohibits producers and sellers of these products from sponsoring sports events and putting their ads on television.
To stay on the good side of the law and ensure you successfully market your product, you have no option but to adhere to all relevant marketing regulations.
3. Select The Right Marketing Platforms
The main aim of a marketing campaign is to raise product awareness among target consumers and ultimately improve sales. To reach these goals, you must select marketing platforms that can reach as many target consumers as possible. This means you must collect statistics on the number of people who read newspapers, watch television, listen to radio and use social media. Luckily, these stats are often readily available, and your job is to analyze and use them accordingly. Here are some of the latest stats:
- Only a small percentage of French people read daily newspapers as evidenced by the declining circulation of national dailies
- 80 percent of French people have access to the Internet
- Over 20 million people use social networks in France. Of these people, 32 percent use Facebook, 10 percent use Google+ and 9 percent use Twitter
- Over 90 percent of households have at least one television set.
From this information, we gather that television and social media marketing is more likely to produce the best results. However, it is important to remember that the secret to effective marketing is spreading your money across several platforms. It is also better to launch small marketing campaigns on a regular basis, rather than investing in one huge campaign.
Trade shows are also quite popular in France, so be sure to squeeze trade show marketing into your strategy, more so if your business operates in the fashion or wine industries. Unlike other marketing platforms, trade shows offer you the opportunity to interact with your potential customers face to face.
4. Use a Marketing Agency
Lastly, you can choose to leave your product marketing to a marketing agency based in France, or one in your country that specializes in French markets. If you can find an experienced agency with a desire to help businesses grow, then you can be rest assured that your product will do well.
See Also: How to Market a Product in Australia
The aim of this article is not to discourage you from marketing your product in France, but to help you understand how you can successfully introduce your product to the French customers. Closely follow the tips described above, and your product might just be the next big thing in France.
Have you ever marketed a product or business in France? What was your experience? Let us know your experience in the comments section below.