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Minister Heather Humphreys attends Google’s first Export Summit

The Minister for Business, Enterprise, and Innovation, Heather Humphreys TD, today launched Market Finder, a new tool from Google that helps businesses identify new customers, plan for success and grow their export sales online.

Speaking at the ‘Think big. Think global.’ export summit which was attended by more than 100 companies from across Ireland, Minister Humphreys said; “There are significant opportunities in various international markets for quality Irish goods and services. The Government through Enterprise Ireland provides various supports to assist Irish companies increase their exports.  We want to see more ambitious Irish businesses broaden their export footprint into new markets – both in the Eurozone and beyond. Digital is a key enabler for companies to find new markets and new customers and I welcome the launch of Market Finder by Google as an additional support to help Irish businesses respond to the Brexit challenge by accelerating their market diversification efforts.”

Fionnuala Meehan, VP and head of Google in Ireland said, “Today we’re encouraging companies to ‘Think Big’ and ‘Think Global’ with Market Finder as a key tool to help Irish entrepreneurs grow their business internationally.  We’re seeing a real hunger for the skills to look for new customers and new markets, particularly in the wake of Brexit. With 3.7 billion people online around the globe, every business, no matter how small, should be going digital to reach new customers around the world. Market Finder makes it as easy as possible for businesses to take the first steps into the export market.”

McElhinney’s department store in Ballybofey which has been in business since 1971 and has faced many challenges including customers travelling into Northern Ireland to shop.  In recent years, McElhinney’s has invested heavily in its digital presence which has revolutionised the business.  Martin McElhinney, general manager of the family business said,  “Today over a third of our sales are now to customers abroad and we’re exporting to over 65 countries.  This is phenomenal for a family business based in the North West of Ireland and shows what is possible.  Expanding our digital presence has made our business more sustainable.  It’s not just about exporting, being online is also driving in-store sales with customers regularly requesting items they have seen online, in-store”.  


About Market Finder:

SME owners are experts when it comes to local customers, but are less knowledgeable about finding new markets and everything that entails: culture, buying trends, export legalities, and payment options for their product in other countries. Market Finder, is a new free online tool that helps businesses identify new customers, plan for success, and grow their export sales online.  It also offers freely available guides, videos, and tips—making it as easy as possible for businesses to take the first steps into the export market.

Step 1: Finding the best markets for your business: Once you enter your website into the Market Finder tool, it will suggest which export markets are best for your product or service. It shows the number of monthly Google searches for your product as well as a potential market’s gross domestic product. Market Finder analyses consumer internet use, demographics and disposable income, giving clear indicators and valuable insights into a market’s growth potential.

Step 2: Preparing your business for a global market: Market Finder sets you up for international success by getting you export-ready. Extensive localization tools, guides and tips show how to communicate effectively to a new market, whether it’s language, customs or preferred payment methods. Logistics resources outline the rules of international delivery and transportation for your chosen market. Payment guides explore the many payment options available globally—and pinpoint which ones are best for each market.

Step 3: Getting your business in front of customers: Market Finder provides training resources on digital marketing to ensure that users looking for your business can find it. For instance, it shows how to create AdWords campaigns that are effective and geared to your chosen market through a series of accessible case studies, guides and videos.