A country’s level of economic development will give you insights into the economic environment of your intended foreign market. When international marketing personnel assess the economic environment of a particular foreign market, they are essentially trying to estimate demand by establishing the distribution of income, the employment levels and the general economic outlook of the foreign market in question. Developed countries tend to have widely distributed wealth, low unemployment, and a positive general economic outlook. On the other hand, many developing countries commonly experience foreign exchange shortages, high unemployment, high levels of external debt and economically induced social problems. This begs the question, should you focus your international marketing effort entirely on developed countries such as the U.S., the UK and Western Europe? In this article, we look at the advantages and disadvantages of marketing for exports in developed countries.
The advantages of Marketing for Exports in developed countries
Focusing your international marketing initiative in developed countries has several distinct advantages. For example, you would enjoy the benefits of a sophisticated trade-related infrastructure, your exports would experience minimal fuss or delay at customs or inspection points, and payment is unlikely to be the risky drawn-out process exporters commonly experience in developing markets. Furthermore, marketing for exports in developed countries could be extremely lucrative due to the often favourable foreign exchange rate and prospect for growth. However, there are drawbacks to focusing your international marketing effort in countries such as the U.S., the UK and other developed markets.
The drawbacks of Marketing for Exports in developed countries
Securing export orders from developed countries might call for the kind of volumes for which your production and financial resources are not adequately geared. In addition, you might have difficulty meeting the stringent standards required by first-world customers and authorities. There is also limited population growth in many developed or first-world countries today. Consequently, the population tends to be an ageing but generally wealthy one. As a result, developed countries tend to offer international marketing opportunities for a wide range of products in the more sophisticated luxury and high-tech categories.
Ultimately, the decision to market your products abroad in a developed or developing market will come down to several factors. As we have stressed in multiple international marketing articles, conducting the appropriate research when constructing your export marketing plan is essential. Thankfully, Trade Forward Southern Africa, in collaboration with the International Trade Institute of Southern Africa, has created the online TFSA School of Export, which provides a free online “Introduction to International Marketing’ module. Click the link below, sign up for free, and join our exporter community.
To sign up to the School of Export CLICK HERE.
If you already have a profile, CLICK HERE to login to begin the module.