5 Step Action Plan For Successful Export Marketing
Export marketing is a serious issue for most growing companies in today's interconnected global economy. Whether to export or not, where to and how to, are the major questions for companies willing to expand their international markets.
Export marketing is not just a process to find buyers / importers and approach them with the expectation of export orders but a well planned strategic marketing process should follow and perform well to get success in International Market. Since last 10 years of my International Marketing consultancy practice, I have found that major export marketing efforts get failed due to lack of implementing strategic marketing action plan.
So what is that strategic marketing action plan ..?
Strategic marketing action plan is a set of key functional areas of export marketing which should be performed well and followed step by step to get succeeded in Export marketing. Following following key tasks step by step will give you a rapid success in export marketing with sustainable and profitable export sales growth.
Step-1: Identify your target market
First step of export marketing is to identify target market and market needs where your products / services has good market potential and demand. There are many countries in the world and you should pick right one (s) for your product and services. If you know your target market and market needs, you could easily get export orders from those countries. You can identify target market by conducting International Market research activity that will give you detailed knowledge of opportunities in International market.
Step-2: Developing Export Marketing strategies
After identifying target market, second step of export marketing is to develop a right Export Marketing Strategies including market entry strategy, positioning strategy, product strategy, pricing strategy, branding strategy, supply strategy and promotional strategy according to target market needs. Based on the conclusions of the International market research, you will be able to develop the strategy to meet your export marketing objectives. Your Export Marketing strategies should be able to develop a sense,
o To enter in right market where your products / services has good market potential and demand
o To position appropriately that give you and edge over competitor
o To develop products / services that satisfies needs of buyer,
o To offer prices that give both of you and your buyer a competitive advantage,
o To offer own brand or private label solution
o To supply as per ready stock or buyer's requirements
o To promote your company that creates awareness among buyers / importers
If you have developed right export marketing strategies you could enter and develop international market faster with sustainable export sales growth.
Step-3: Preparing Marketing Communication tools
Once you have developed strategies based on target market needs, third step is to prepare informative and appealing marketing communication tools like Company Profile, Sales Letter, Product Catalog, Brochures, Website etc. that can support in positioning and promoting your company. Your all marketing communication tools should be well designed, informative, professional and appealing that can deliver all necessary information of your company and products / services to prospective buyers / importers and influence their decision to start business communication with you.
After preparing marketing communication tools, next step is Promotion which plays a major role in export marketing success. Main objective of promotion is to create awareness among buyers / importers of what you are and what you offer. Promotional mix should be cost effective and should deliver right message, in right time and at right place. Promotion should lead buyers / importers to get attention, capture interest and take action in initiating business communication with you. Internet is the best cost effective and fastest promotion tool in present export marketing practices. It has been seen that major buyers / importers using search engines, B2B portals and directories to find and contact genuine suppliers. So presence of your company profile and products / services in major search engines like Google, yahoo and B2B portals like Alibaba.com will give your company a global exposure and creates awareness among buyers / importers effectively. Participating in Trade fairs, Exhibitions and catalog shows is also a good offline promotional strategy which can generate a direct and live contact with buyers / importers.
Step-5: Generating Export Inquiries
Success in export Marketing begins with generating genuine export inquiries from prospective buyers / importers which requires expertise and focused work of promotion, sourcing genuine buyers and approaching them professionally. One should study buyer's profile and / or buy leads to know whenever you can offer them what they require. It has been seen that many suppliers contact majority of those buyers / importers who have no interest in their product / services without understanding their profile and needs. A Buyer / importer can send you inquiry only when he needs your products / services either better than his existing supplier in terms of either Quality, Price, Services and / or developing more suppliers and / or for other reasons. So contact them by offering competitive advantage which can get them interested to send you inquiries which can be converted in order to export orders by communicating and negotiating professionally.
All above steps are interconnected and can only give results if each step performed or performing well. Export marketing is a continuous process and all those key functions can be reviewed and modified time to time as per changing global economic and market situation.