Company A, an aspiring exporter, has been utilising its international marketing research in the development of an export marketing plan. As soon as management began assessing the international environment, however, it quickly became apparent that the entire process would take much longer than expected. With so many different countries to choose from, the analysis of hundreds of individual markets seemed incredibly tedious. There is, however, a way of simplifying this process to process your export marketing plan.
Export Marketing Plan: International Environment
When you begin considering the international environment, you are faced with a jumble of different ethnic groupings, cultural orientations, economic development levels and geographical differences. To help simplify this process, various countries have been grouped into regions with similar characteristics and tendencies. A common feature of a regional grouping is environmental similarity in such areas as climate, geographical features and historical background (which impacts language and culture). Let’s break down the various groupings to unlock your export marketing plan:
Anglo Saxon Countries – This grouping includes the United Kingdom and former British colonies such as Australia, New Zealand, the United States and Canada. These countries, despite being geographically separate, share the same language, cultural and religious heritage, which sets them apart from the other regional groupings.
Europe – This grouping covers the whole of Europe, an industrialised region with a high level of technological advancement and economic activity. Despite the region’s development, member countries have distinctly different languages and cultures. This means, depending on the markets selected, that there may be significant product adaptations required.
The Middle East – This grouping, which consists of countries like Iran, Iraq, Saudi Arabia, Bahrain, Kuwait and the United Arab Emirates, reflects an Arabic culture and adherence to Islamic traditions. The region boasts a large portion of the world’s oil reserves and consequently has considerable wealth. In the Middle East, religion influences every aspect of life, a fact that it would be foolish to ignore when determining the ideal marketing mix for your export products and export marketing plan.
The Far East – This grouping, which covers a wide geographical area and a wide range of cultures, includes countries like India, South Korea, Taiwan, Singapore, China, Hong Kong, Malaysia and Thailand, each of which has its own idiosyncrasies.
Now that you have a better idea of the international environment and the various regional groupings, your export marketing plan should be considerably easier to develop. To learn more about export marketing planning, Trade Forward Southern Africa, in collaboration with the International Trade Institute of Southern Africa (ITRISA), has created a comprehensive online training course that provides training on all aspects of international marketing, including the steps involved in developing an export marketing plan and further detail on the international environment. Click the links below to sign up for free and get started on your export training.
To sign up to the School of Export CLICK HERE.
If you already have a profile, CLICK HERE to login to begin the module.