Where in the World (1,824 words)
G. Tariffs & Taxes. This takes patience and perseverance. Of particular importance is the country's reputation for cross-border facilitation, an item at the top of the priority list of the World Customs Organization. Many countries have a reputation for making things difficult (and expensive) at the border.
H. Computer Ownership. This index also can be used to roughly estimate Internet use. Obviously, it can also be a sign of education, sophistication and wealth in a given country. It may be helpful to get a handle on TV penetration, which is the primary source of mass communication in developing countries.
I. Direct Marketing Infrastructure. Look for answers to the following four questions in your target country:
1. Is there a direct marketing association? While this is not essential, it may be an indicator of direct marketing growth and local initiative.
2. Is there a tangible direct marketing industry? In other words, can you locate at least minimal list sources, telemarketing operations and fulfillment systems?
3. Is there reasonably good credit card penetration or a bank debit system? Obviously, viable payment and collection systems are critical.
4. Is there an established pattern of mail order buying? In some countries there's absolutely no culture in this regard; in others, there may be some examples of tentative steps. And in still other countries, mail order flourishes. The importance of this will largely depend on whether you're selling to consumers or businesses. Although a country may have no recognizable pattern of consumer direct marketing purchase, there already may be an active set of international business consumers buying, for instance, periodicals and computer products. Look at the local media; do the press pages include local mail order ads? This is a prime indicator, just as it is and was in the early development of direct marketing in the United States, United Kingdom and Germany.