How will you market your business in France in 2009?

By Valérie Aston on 6 December 2008 · Viewed 3286 times · Questions

  • Your English customers will be spending less in 2009
  • You will have to target French customers
  • You are likely to review your marketing spend too

Since then French News has also gone bust, leaving only one national English newspaper, The Connexion, to give you maximum exposure across France.

So how could you spend your marketing euros in 2009?

Online marketing

  • Review your website content. Engage with your customers, review your text and make it personal. Add a blog whenever possible so that potential customers get to know you and your work.
  • Dig into your web stats. Install Google Analystics and become inspector Cluzo: where do visitors come from (i.e. referral websites), which keywords did they use to find you, which content is of interest to them?
  • Ensure you get value for money for your advertising. Gone are the days when you could place an ad on a website without knowing the number or monthly visitors (overall but especially on the section where you are advertising), what is the average open rate of the newsletters where you planned to place your banner, etc.
  • Ensure your business is listed on all the free business directories

Offline marketing

  • Dig into your stats. Is your customer base local or national? Are you advertising in magazine that reflects this?
  • Don’t dismiss the local free newspapers such as Top Annonces . They are a cheap way to reach French customers.
  • Test promotional offers. Give some discount codes and see which ones work best.
  • Have some flyers printed and place them where your customers are likely to go.
  • Get in touch with your local French newspaper whenever you have some interesting news (e.g. been in business for a year, you have fully integrated to your local community, you are sponsoring a local sport team, etc).


  • Network with other English entrepreneurs in your area, meet up and swap ideas & advice. Post a thread on the English forums to get things rolling.
  • Get in touch with the Chambre de Metiers or Chambre de Commerce where you registered. They often have business or entrepreneurs clubs, where you could meet French entrepreneurs while improving your French.

These are a few ideas of what could be done. I’d expect to write about the same subject again in the next few weeks, but in the meantime lets share tips, dos and don’ts for 2009. Where will you be spending your marketing budget in 2009?

Valerie Lemiere: Start Business in France

About the author: Valérie Aston

I've been helping people who want to start or already have a small business set up in France since 2009. After graduating from a Master of Business Administration (MBA) degree, I worked as a senior marketing consultant in the UK and France for various International companies. I worked as a conseillère en création d'entreprises (senior business advisor) for BGE here in France and run this independent business on a daily basis.