What is export marketing? Know the meaning, needs, and strategies

Export marketing involves the management of marketing activity for products that are exported globally. Learn more about its needs, key elements, and strategies.
What is export marketing? Know the meaning, needs, and strategies
With the rapid growth of cross-border e-commerce in India, Indian businesses of all sizes are expanding to global markets to sell their ‘Made in India’ products to international customers. However, selling in foreign markets can be significantly different from selling locally. Cultural differences, transit time, shipping costs, and international trade policies can create barriers to effective communication and sales. This is where export marketing comes in.

Export marketing refers to the management of marketing activities for products that are sold internationally.1 For success in global markets, exporters must understand the buying behaviors, needs, and preferences of foreign customers, and create an export marketing plan to make their products valuable and attractive to international buyers. In this blog post, we will discuss the importance of an export marketing plan, its key elements, effective strategies, and the process of creating one.

Need for export marketing

Export marketing can play a crucial role in helping businesses improve sales and achieve success in international markets. Some of the following are some ways in which export marketing can benefit exporters:

1. Increase in brand value

An organization that achieves success in foreign markets can become a global brand, increasing its recognition and value in global and domestic markets.

2. Improvement in product standards

Businesses selling their products in foreign markets are required to maintain exceptional product quality in order to comply with international quality and safety standards.

3. Risk mitigation

Exporters can mitigate risks by tapping into multiple regions and markets. Downturns in one market can be offset by increased sales in another, ensuring a more stable revenue stream for the business.

4. Import of new technology

Large-scale export organizations can earn more foreign exchange, which can be used to import advanced technology, machinery, and components. This, in turn, can improve the competitive capacity of the organization.2

Key elements of an export marketing plan

The crucial elements of an export marketing plan are as follows:

1. Introduction

The introduction should highlight your business goals and export targets, and list the goods or services you want to export.

2. Company details

This section should provide a brief overview of the company, its legal structure, and ownership.

3. Information about financial resources

● Marketing budget
This section should outline your total export marketing budget. Include elements like the cost of free samples, paid advertising, and the cost of developing a marketing plan.

● Cash flow for funding orders
This section should contain details about how your company will manage overall cash flow for large orders.

● Export budget sustainability
Here, you should specify how the business aims to withstand additional expenses to develop export markets till the business starts generating profits.

4. Staffing details

This section should specify the overall experience level of current staff and management teams and detail any additional resources that may be required to execute the marketing plan.

5. Market selection

This section should include information related to target markets, market positioning, competitor analysis, distribution methods, and sales goals.

6. Information about the products or services

You need to outline the specialized features or benefits of your products/services which make them attractive to potential export customers. This section should also include any changes that need to be made to the product or service to make it suitable for export markets.

7. Market entry strategy

Here, you must outline your market entry strategy, including whether you are planning to sell retail or wholesale, use a distributor, etc.

8. Pricing and promotional strategy

This section should highlight your pricing strategy and specify how your organization will manage pricing under different conditions such as price drops by competitors and price fluctuations across markets. It should also include details about how you will promote your products in foreign markets.3

How to create an export marketing plan?

Exporters can follow the steps outlined below to develop an export marketing plan:

Step 1: Identify target market

The first step involves identifying target markets for expansion. To determine this, conduct research on the location, demographics, and demand and supply chain in the foreign country. Also consider logistics and other documentation requirements to export to a particular country or region.

Step 2: Conduct market research

Once you’ve identified your target market, you need to conduct thorough market research to learn more about the needs, aspirations, and buying patterns of your target customers.

Step 3: Analyze your competitors

Next, learn more about your competitors’ strengths and weaknesses to determine your competitive advantage. Use this information to understand how best to position your products to stand out in the market.

Step 4: Develop your marketing strategy

As you begin to develop your export marketing plan, consider your target market, business goals, and budgets and timelines. Your product, pricing, promotional strategy, and distribution channels will form the key pillars of your plan.

Step 5: Finalize your budget

This section should specify the overall experience level of current staff and management teams and detail any additional resources that may be required to execute the marketing plan.

Step 6: Implement the plan

Set realistic goals and timelines to begin executing your plan. Remember to be flexible and leverage opportunities for growth.

Step 7: Review and adjust your plan

As your export business grows and evolves, review your export marketing plan and make modifications and adjustments as and when required.4

Types of strategies used in export marketing

Some of the following are some common strategies employed by businesses in export marketing:

1. Pricing strategies

Changes in product prices can influence customer behavior, making pricing strategies a valuable tool in export marketing. Discount offers, promotional deals, exclusive membership pricing, and bundled packages are common pricing tactics to entice customers.

2. Online marketing

Online marketing is a crucial tool that allows exporters to connect directly with customers across the world. You can utilize various platforms and sites to promote your products and target specific demographics and interests.

3. Culture-centric marketing

Marketing strategies that align with the cultural preferences of target markets can yield substantial returns. By adapting your branding and messaging to resonate with local customs, festivals, and trends, you can enhance brand perception and increase consumer engagement.

4. Traditional marketing

Traditional marketing strategies include banners, billboards, pamphlets, and print advertising. These tactics can be adapted to suit different cultural contexts, reinforcing brand visibility and credibility in international markets.5

While the strategies and steps outlined above can help exporters develop an export marketing plan, expanding to global markets can still seem daunting to many. Nevertheless, e-commerce exports reduces some of the barriers and complexities associated with traditional exports, enabling Indian businesses to reach global markets from the comfort of their homes. For more support and assistance, exporters can leverage the tools and services offered by e-commerce export platforms like Amazon Global Selling.

Amazon Global Selling: Your passport to easy e-commerce exports from India

If you are a business owner and you want to sell your products to the world, Amazon Global Selling enables you to list and sell ‘Made in India’ products on 18 Amazon global marketplaces. As an e-commerce exports program, Amazon Global Selling provides support and guidance at every step of your exports journey – documents and licenses, logistics, payments, advertising, and more.

Registered sellers can choose to ship their products by themselves through Merchant Fulfilled Network (MFN) or they can opt for Fulfillment by Amazon (FBA) and outsource order fulfillment to Amazon including packing, storage, delivery, and returns. Amazon Global Selling simplifies the process of international shipping to the world, helping businesses navigate customs and reach a vast audience.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the features of export marketing?
Exported marketing is a meticulously crafted strategic approach for exporters to secure success in international markets. Key features of export marketing include a customer-centric focus, a structured process, diverse customs and traditions, and local and international regulations, among others.6
Why is an export marketing plan important?
An export marketing plan is essential for businesses seeking to expand into foreign markets. By providing a detailed roadmap, it allows businesses to assess and understand target markets, and devise strategies to effectively position their products within them.7
Published on May 5, 2024.


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*Map not to scale. The map has been used for design and representational purpose only, it does not depict the geographical boundaries of the country. These do not conform to the external boundaries of India recognized by the Survey of India.