Think of an export marketing plan as a roadmap that helps you and your business navigate the foreign market. With it, you can evaluate where you are currently by assessing the capabilities of your company using an export readiness checklist; and determine how your product can comply with international standards. Here are two steps to help you prepare your export marketing plan:
Step 1: Getting your Company and Products Export Ready
The first part of your export marketing plan entails mapping out how to get your company and products export-ready. This can be done by compiling the following:
- an export vision and mission statement,
- an internal analysis or company export readiness assessment;
- strategies that take into account the company’s current strengths and weaknesses in respect of:
- Human resources
- Product and production improvements, and
- a set of actions that will address company weaknesses in each of these areas, and finally:
- a budget to cover the cost of addressing identified weaknesses
As soon as you have done the above, you will need to think about how you are going to achieve your export vision and goals.
Step 2: Selecting your Foreign Markets
In the second part of the export plan, you should initially determine which foreign markets hold the most potential for your products and how you’re going to access these markets within your allotted budget. The first step to doing this is by conducting market and marketing research. In our article, Evaluating Your Export Potential, we cover the ways in which you can conduct marketing research, as well as where to find sources of information. Once you have gathered the information required, you can now decide on which foreign market you want to enter, and also how you’re going to enter this market.
In conclusion, your export marketing plan is a two-step process. You should first assess your company and product export readiness and figure out how to overcome any identified shortcomings. Then you must conduct market or marketing research to determine which market you want to enter and the best way to enter it. The TFSA School of Export’s Module 3: ‘An introduction to International Marketing’, which has been developed by Trade Forward Southern Africa (TFSA) in partnership with the International Trade Institute of Southern Africa (ITRISA) is an excellent starting point if you’re unsure of the steps to take when considering exporting. Create your free profile today. Click here in order to sign up for the TFSA School of Export’s training modules free of charge.
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