What are the Steps to Expanding to the Latin American Mining Market?
Why the South American Mining Market?
Speaking Spanish has never been a specific inhibitor for entering this market region. From a business perspective, Latin American mining has more potential than most of the other geographic regions combined, and it’s next door.
A Guanaco in Chile
What Events are proven to Work?
Mexico is also one of the three large mining markets; however there isn’t a major proven meeting place identified in 2019, and this market needs special preparation. You may want to look at this expansion in 2020.
In 2019 the South American mining market offers two major mining events in 2019 that have the best proven exposure potential: Exponor & Extemin.
1. Exponor Antofagasta Chile May 27-30
Canadian Mining Suppliers brought ten supplies and service companies to Latin America in 2017 and included Exponor as a country stop.
There are two critical failures of suppliers entering a new market; lack of preparation and lack of budget. It’s surprising that as simple awareness can’t be executed effectively, however that’s the nature of the SME.
Exponor takes place in Antofagasta (Chile) May 27-30
2. Extemin Arequipa Peru September 26-30
The Cost of New Market Entry
It’s a big expense to create and execute an international market expansion plan. The shortest advice that can be offered is to make enough effort early enough in the planning stage to impact your budget. Understand and budget for success or don’t go until you can confidently pay for success.
Entering new markets has risk, but there is nothing inherently different from this market area than say other more regional areas; just a few more nuances that can be understood and dealt with. There is no specific difficulty in any of the Latin American markets that should hold back a successful Canadian supplier. Make the plan, fund it and execute it; it has been time honoured for 60 years, you may be next to make a plan and enter these lucrative mining markets.
A one week visit to Chile will cost:
|Room 7 days ($300)||$2,100|
Should I Purchase a Show Booth?
Taking a trade show space at the Exponor event adds an additional $8,000 investment. The mining technical buyer does not visit the trade show floor like they used to, and standing at the booth will limit all of your strategic plans that will allow you to meet your objectives.
It has been proven that standing at a trade show booth no longer offers the value it did in the 1990’s when it was the place that the buyer visited. The buyer today spends their time in technical forums and otherwise is spending less time in trade shows specifically. They find their value in new developments listening to case studies and white papers and on your website, not a trade show booths. Taking a show booth will double the cost of the one week trip, and will also force you to stand in a space that less buyers are visiting.
Your 2019 market entry strategy will budget $15,000 in travel costs to Chile that includes two additional visits to understand the market, cement relationships and begin to bid contracts. One of these additional trips can happen in say February to meet and sign an Agent/Distributor and the other in the fall, perhaps with a stop in Peru, as discussed below.
Executing your introduction strategy to Chile
Select a Business Partner
Build an expectation of success by developing a simple vision document that maps a 24 month plan to enter the Latin American market, including a budget if you were successful on the initial country mission.
Do you need a business partner in the country? Many companies down play this requirement and the chances of long term success become less and significantly less. The heart of the buyer does not grow fonder from a distance. You need real time on the ground effort and intelligence. If you product or service can’t absorb this cost, then perhaps reconsider the value of attending within your strategy.
Identify consultant partners including the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and Economic Development Canada (EDC) who live the market. They are your most powerful allies and remember, you’re a taxpayer, that that’s why they are there. Canadian Mining Suppliers also offers comprehensive consulting services from the early strategy stage through to plan execution.
CMS took 10 companies to Latin America in 2017 to meet business partners
Engage the Technical Forum
This is where the critical technical buyer is spending their time. Plan to develop content like an abstract for the forum, supported by success stories you have proven in other markets. New clients seriously want to know where your technology or service has worked. Be proactive in showing them with case studies and present them at these invaluable forums. Often the due date is missed as the call to action for an abstract is typically 6 months before the event.
Speaking of Case studies, they are the most miss understood and best effort a company can make to explained a technology implementation. Even companies that develop them do not squeeze enough a strategic and marketing value out of them. If your value is still not proven on the battle field, and then the document is a White Paper, similar but with a different message.
Attend the B2B Programs
The trade show B2B program put on by the organizers is built around your spending to buy a show booth. This B2B is a meeting with company procurement buyers who develop a long list of suppliers and pass on the coordinates to different departments. The value is limited especially as the technical buyer is shielded.
The B2B program put on by EDC is quite different. It qualifies the buyer as a client of EDC, for example CODELCO, who has an obligation to purchase Canadian products and services to the level of the loans that have taken with your taxpayer money. Remember EDC works for you. Getting to know EDC is key and having your technology description on file with them and most importantly, your differentiating value proposition is critically important.
- Develop a strategy for at least 12 months
- Develop a plan for the mission of choice and any content assistance you might need to mitigate risk of execution
- Know the deadlines for submitting a paper; it starts with a case study or white paper.
- Reach out to the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service (TCS), to recommend 2-3 qualified business partners for you. Be prepared to offer elements of your marketing plan to the TCS, to show you are prepared and serious. Most of the recommended local partners will already be working with other Canadian companies, so you can check on their performance.
- There are many consultants such as Canadian Mining Suppliers and also on the ground to help you to meet new business partners and also to set up client visits even without a business partner.
- Reach out to EDC who typically attend all major trade show events, to introduce their clients to Canadian suppliers.
- Consider an introductory trip to meet, see your partner’s facilities, agree on a relationship and do some training or meet clients.
- If you partner selection runs nearer the show event window, then plan to make th trade show event your introduction to the business partner and the many other activities of the Exponor show.
- Visit the technical Session to understand what technologies are being presented to the market. You may also meet technical buyers there, or make a plan to do same.
- Walk the show to know what your competitors are doing and get to a flavour of what the industry looks like.
- The Trade Commissioner Service will put on a one hour presentation one morning on a high level introduction to the market. There is also a B2B cocktail event that some find valuable.
- The critical effort during the period it the agreement with an Agent or Distributor, (Business partner). Plan you time with them carefully and clearly as they represent many product or service lines. They may have a booth where you can park and perhaps hold meetings if they have a show booth
- Meet new clients with your new business partner, it offers a fast track to get onto project bids
- Arrange to visits mines with your new business partner after the show is a possibility but not easy to coordinate as everyone has a different agenda. It’s many times best to collate the value of the mission, evaluate its success at meeting your targets and expectations and head home.
- The next visit to the market will be client visits to train your Business partner and to learn how the operator buys products, it’s critical value you need to know for many reasons.
Canadian Mining Suppliers Services Proposal
If you are developing strategies to expand to Latin America, or any other geographical region, we can help. We have worked extensively with the Canadian Trade Commissioner Service and EDC around the globe. We also have many local consultants who can help move your entry program ahead quickly and successfully. Ask us for a proposal to discuss your plans.
- Strategy to enter Latin America
- Developing a marketing plan to execute a 12-month program
- Develop a program for Chile market entry
- Travel with client to the Exponor event to assist in program execution
- Follow-up on the results of the Exponor visit
- Develop management tools to manage the Chilean market