Perseverance is key
The US market can be intimidating because of its size and specific character. Consumer and retail habits are sometimes confusing for foreigners.
Businesses can adopt several strategies to break into this rather atypical market, but all require perseverance and extensive research (competitors, regions, target sectors, etc.).
Use social media extensively
Market visibility is critical, and in the USA this increasingly means developing a strong social media presence.
All US trade shows now communicate via Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Pinterest, etc., so it is essential to update your Twitter account or Facebook page regularly (that is, on a daily basis) in US English. To ensure a show has high visibility within its market, it is crucial to communicate with users and answer their questions while respecting US norms and cultural codes.
It is also important to bear in mind that social networks are complementary. They do not have the same features or audience.
Consequently, the delegation should use Twitter or LinkedIn to identify and make contact with opinion leaders, and Facebook to reach a wider audience. LinkedIn Groups allow you to address a whole community involved in a particular sector. The US team works daily to hone its online identity so it can join these groups and be part of the conversation.
Currently, the five most popular social networks in the US are Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+.
Associations: a key link for B2B
In terms of mass marketing, sending bulk emails is useful but not enough to make a lasting impact. US professionals are inundated with email.
To get your message across, you need to implement more specific direct marketing strategies such as networking activities with associations and/or major actors and opinion leaders in the sector. While very powerful, US associations are mainly engaged in lobbying the government on behalf of their industry and have little interest in international trade.
However, please note that most US associations have regional offices that may be very active both at home and abroad.
A well-connected Promosalons team
Founded in 1968 and based in Washington, DC and New York, the US Promosalons office works for a dozen shows across a wide range of sectors. Thanks to its past experience and support activities for Promosalons, the US team has developed expertise in a number of fields including aerospace, automotive, food, lifestyle /design, horeca, fashion/jewellery, smart/green cities and the environment.
Philippe Bazin has been the director of this office for almost 20 years. He works alongside Elizabeth Meaney, a marketing and French graduate with extensive expertise in digital communication techniques (blogs and social media), association networking activities and event organising.
Both have well defined roles within the team.
Bazin focuses on management, sector analysis and building relationships with French members for submitting tenders via SPP (strategic promotion plan).
Elizabeth looks after local contacts and missions and the operational implementation of action plans.
It’s a very efficient partnership that combines their experience and the use of new viral and digital marketing tools.