Join Doug Ladd for an in-depth discussion in this video Industry trade groups, part of Marketing Foundations: International Marketing.
- Last fall my daughter pulled her winter coat out of the closet as cooler temperatures began to move in. She slid it on to find it still fit her well, then checked the pockets and found a $20 bill in one of the button pockets. She got a big smile on her face and showed it to me. Then she put it right back and buttoned the pocket again. "Aren't you gonna do something with that money?" I asked. "No," she said. "I'm leaving it there so I can be surprised again next year." Finding specific details about your industry and the opportunities for growth outside your home market through an industry trade group or association can be like found money.
Just about every industry has a trade group. In the wine business, you've got a bunch. Automotive, several. Rubber dog toys, of course. These associations have missions to protect and expand the industry for their members. Sometimes the play the role of self-policing to ensure bad actors do not discredit or degrade quality within our industry, but one of the most important roles played by trade groups and associations is in policy formation and management. Being able to influence law and decision-makers is a critical function for these groups.
It comes as no surprise that not everyone sees everything the same way. Trade groups move to action when a threat, such as pending legislation, negative media coverage or destabilizing action from outside the industry emerges. They also help promote the positive effects and impacts of their industry as part of their efforts to ensure unnecessary burdens, laws, regulations and rules are not enacted to slow the industry down. Trade associations have learned to provide the best possible protection for their constituents, they need data and facts.
Here's why this is important to you. Those data and facts may be available to you as you look at international expansion. What's more, beyond just the data, your trade group or association may be able to provide you with some of the tools and resources needed to enter new markets. It's possible they've already done the heavy lifting to figure out how to get your product registered in a new country. Distributors and retailers in the new market may be members of the same trade association. Your search for information, data, leads and contacts may be closer than you think.
While the big national associations are likely to be chock-full of information, be sure to consider your local resources as well. Regional economic-development councils, chambers of commerce and university consortia can be useful as well. Many of these organizations have developed in an effort to spur job growth within a city, state or region. Their smaller size may lead to better and more personalized service when you're looking for support. The meeting, shows and conventions organized by your associations, councils and groups are fantastic research venues for you.
If you're looking for potential distribution partners who will take your exported product into new lands, there's likely no better way to find them than by having a booth at the national meeting of your major industry association. Investing some time reading through the resources available right on your trade association's website may give you great information as well. Those pet product folks have made it simple for their members. Few things put a spring in your step like finding lost money. Getting information that helps you make better decisions without paying extra or researching for too long can have the same effect.
What can your trade association tell you about the international expansion options for your business?
The course also investigates options for global expansion, such as exporting, licensing, joint ventures, and direct investment, and details how to put together a successful marketing mix using distribution, promotional methods, and translation. Plus, learn where to turn for more information about your specific target markets.
- The rise of the global consumer
- Learning about customers in global markets
- Accessing foreign markets
- Adapting products
- Balancing risks and rewards