In simple words, Exports marketing is nothing but marketing your products across borders.
Marketing is vital in any kind of business. It is the process of getting words out about your services/ products. Unlike domestic marketing, exports marketing is more systematic and strategic.
Exports Marketing commence with a solid market research and analysis. Having a product in hand or knowledge about products is not sufficient to enter exports. A major reason behind novice exporters’ failure is down to imitation of successful people. Simply, IT DOESN’T WORK! Times now support the survival of the smartest fit.
Being smart is not a hard thing. It doesn’t mean making things up or trying to give an extravaganza of trivial stuff.
I remember an old Tamil song ‘Unnai Arinthal nee Unnai Arinthal’ reveals the two main ingredients for the foundation of a successful marketing strategy. First, know about yourself. Second, communicate in such an educating way to manifest as a leader of your subject matter. The aim of this article is to focus on two topics: market analysis for exports and role of digital marketing in exports.
An exporter should have a complete understanding of his/her SWOT about their personality, both on personal and professional front. It is ignored by most of the exporters. Sometimes, they focus either on their strength or on their weakness.
A good SWOT Analysis helps in mapping the strength and opportunity exists. The most common characteristics of successful entrepreneurs are ardent learning and networking. These support in identification of the ways to mitigate the threats and weaknesses.
According to the International trade center, India has an untapped export potential of US$ 209 bn. Indian exporters have a huge opportunity in international trade if the knowledge and skill gaps are addressed. Market analysis is my most favorite part of exports marketing. The successful export strategy begins with a good market analysis. Once you have a product, you should do a deep market analysis. Market analysis should be able to give a clear picture of the size of your target market, competitors, and buyers.
In the International Trade, we compete with three categories of competitors. They are other exporters from our country, exporters from other exporting countries and local distributors of importing market.
Your market analysis should help you identify your advantage over all these competitors. The market analysis then develops into a marketing strategy. Let’s discuss segments of market analysis in exports.
Social: The social developments include factors like consumer behavior, demographics, religion, lifestyles, values, and advertising.
Technological: Focusing highly on technological advancements, factors like innovation, communication, energy, transport, research and development, patent regulations and life-cycle of products are considered.
Economic: Measures of interest rates, international trade, taxes, savings, inflation, subsidies, availability of jobs and entrepreneurship are used to evaluate the consumers’ buying position.
Environmental: Environmental developments involve ecosystem factors such as water, the wind, food, soil, energy, pollution and environmental regulations.
Political: The Political developments can highly influence individuals and organizations. It is important to be aware of likely upcoming shifts in power. Political developments can affect environmental, antitrust, financial markets, trade, and other kinds of laws. Factors dealt include political stability, regulation of monopolies, tax policies, price regulations, consumer protection, jurisdiction, and trade unions.
Trading relationship between countries:
Understanding the trading relationship between two countries is significant. There are three types of trade agreements: Unilateral, Bilateral, and Multilateral agreements. When a single country imposes a restriction, or loosen restriction on a certain country, it’s called as the Unilateral trade agreement.
Bilateral trade agreements are between two countries to liberate the trade flow mutually between the countries, knowing this kind of agreements help in viable market penetration. Multilateral agreements are the most powerful trade agreements. They give a more competitive advantage for the economies involved.
Exports potential to the market:
Exports potential in terms of currency value, give insight about the target market position and viability for an exporter to decide whether it is worth attempting such market.
Trade Intensity to the market:
Trade Intensity is high when a country depends upon a single supplying country. It reveals the competitive advantage of a country, over other competitor countries.
Comparative analysis with competitor countries:
India’s export share (1.8%) in the world is very meager compared to our fastest growing economy. To increase our exports share, we must know about our competitors. India has advantages over competitors in various sectors. But one must utilize the resources available.
Market diversification analysis:
One of the perks of exports business is exporting to different countries. If you are doing well in a market, market analysis can be done for other markets too.
Single market analysis:
Market segmentation analysis is also important for export market analysis. An exporter must have an understanding how his product is being used in a target market. This is like STEEP analysis. But we do a single market analysis to make the product suitable to different segments. Thus, expanding the export potential.
Market concentration analysis:
Market concentration analysis helps in finding out whether an importing market is a diversified or monopolistic. Higher market concentration shows that the country offers the better opportunity for a new exporter.
The exercises mentioned earlier, give an insight about your competitors from other exporting countries and help you to identify your advantages over such competitors. Another level of competition is from your own country i.e., other exporters. You must have a clear understanding of local market. This includes industry practice, pricing and payments terms, product knowledge, understanding on packing methods. Certain institutions and Government commercial bodies help in understanding current scenario. Your unique selling features will gain a competitive advantage over others.
To reach out the genuine buyers, you must recognize your target market and buyer persona. Not everyone can sell to every kind of buyers. Once the exporter understands his/her procuring/manufacturing capacity, should target such kind of buyers.
Once marketing analysis is done and an understanding of target market size, competitors, and buyers are acquired, it’s time to develop your marketing strategy. Marketing strategy helps you to strategically do marketing and measure/analyze the result. Let’s see the steps of developing a marketing strategy.
Setting a Goal:
Setting a Goal is the preliminary step. You can have a goal for 1 year, 3 years or 5 years. The goal must be in SMART form. i.e., Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Realistic and Time-Based.
For example: To export to in
You can make it more specific by adding quantity, price, package, and product specification. It’s better to concentrate on one product and one target country to start with.
Prioritise your marketing activities:
After setting the Goal, we must identify the marketing channels. Exports Marketing can be done through B2B portals, placing an advert at the relevant magazine, appointing freelancers, your website and social media, networking, trade fairs and exhibitions, utilizing government marketing schemes and promotion councils’ meetings.
An exporter should identify the most effective marketing channels for him/her. Prioritise the order of marketing channels from most effective to less effective.
Plan your projects and process:
After prioritizing the marketing channels, each channel has a unique approach. Each approach is to be considered as a project. Do a flowchart of activities for each project. Make sure that the flowchart of activities reflects your goal. Have a timeline for each activity and keep track of the progress.
An effective roadmap/flowchart identifies your weakness/gaps and necessary action for that. Best practice is to involve your team members. Solopreneurs can take the help from a mentor or consultant.
Creating a Marketing and sales funnel:
Marketing and sales funnel is a pictorial representation of stages of your buyer before making an order. Your marketing activities should encourage the buyer to move to the final stage. The stages are creating your presence in a marketing channel, replenishing the resources/benefits/process of a marketing channel, receiving an inquiry from a buyer, timely responding to your buyer, progress or drop of inquiry, achieving an order.
Each step should be analyzed for the result. If the inquiry doesn’t progress to next stage, change your course of action. Inbound marketing methodology is the current trend in effective marketing. It’s a method of encouraging the buyers to contact the seller. Digital marketing follows the Inbound marketing methodology.
Digital marketing or data driven marketing is the term used to market a product or service using digital technologies. Digital marketing channels are websites, social media profiles, emails, mobile apps, search engines. Some of the techniques are search engine optimization, search engine marketing, content marketing and automation. Let’s see the role of digital marketing in exports.
Digital Marketing in Exports:
Digital marketing plays an important role in international trade. Digital marketing goes beyond just having a website or social media profile. It is a part of brand strategy. Your website and social media profile should reinforce your brand and create a trust in your buyer’s mind.
Characteristics of a good website:
A good website should be like a digital showroom of your products/services. Buyer should be able to have a proper understanding of your products/service, the purpose of your products/service, benefits of buying from you and people involved in your business, your best practices, frequently asked questions/certifications. Your social media profiles should resonate the same values as your website.
Website performance is very important. The website should be mobile responsive i.e., ability to be configured according to the mobile display. Search engine optimisation (SEO) is a vital feature for a website. Website speed should be less than 3 seconds according to global standards.
More than anything, website content is the key to winning your buyer’s trust. Your content should be educating. It shouldn’t be a copy and paste. Google penalizes such bootlegging websites.
An effective social media profile helps you to build a good network and interact with others. Social media such as LinkedIn, google+, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, and Twitter are used for effective B2B marketing.
Consult Kriba specializes in creating content for international trade and audience. If you are looking for a practical, effective and updated online exports/imports course, our EXIM A -Z: A wholesome approach to exim business starts on 05.03.2018. The enrollment is open now with offer. To know more, click here