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Secrets of International Trade

How to Manage
Export Promotion?


Part 1

Part 2

Part 3

Part 4


Promotion is the term used to describe marketing activities - to persuade potential customers to buy your goods or services.

What are the various ways to promote your products abroad?

The exporter must consider if he plans to use;

Agents, distributors, foreign import agent or
A foreign distributor to handle his products
and the channels of distribution.

His first task will then be to promote the product and his company to them.

The next task is to consider, whether current brochures would be suitable for use with foreign agents, distributors or buyers. Does the promotional material needs to be translated into the local foreign language to make it acceptable.

Recommended further reading : Product Strategy for Export Very often, some minor modifications may be necessary to capture a share of the foreign market.



Promotion blend

In promoting the export of its product or products, the exporter will have to decide on an appropriate blend of advertising, selling and other sales activities.


Promotion budget

In practice the amount of money available to be spent is often an arbitrary figure set by top management, varying according to its keenness to get into the export market.

As a rule, the planned expenditure should be at a percentage of expected sales.

A guideline

The exporter could establish an initial export promotion budget between 10% to 20% of expected sales.

This budget could be divided in one of the following suggested ways:

1. For consumer goods

  • 45% advertising
  • 35% selling
  • 10% other promotion

2. For industrial goods

  • 55% selling
  • 25% advertising
  • 10% other promotion (including trade fairs)


  • In the introduction stage of the exporter's product, emphasis must be on informing consumers, making the product easily available, and encouraging the foreign consumer to try it.


  • In the market growth stage, the firm should concentrate on promoting brand loyalty.

  • Later, in the market maturity stage, promotion can be placed on product differentiation - trying to make the product as unique and differential as possible from competitive ones.

  • Sales decline stage, if and when sales begin to slip, special promotion efforts will be required.


Looking for sales leads

There should be some systematic way e.g. advertising in trade journals, direct mail to prospective buyers, participation in trade shows, etc., or aware of buyer's guides and trade directories for source of prospective agents, buyers, etc.


In the area of export promotion

You should consider a systematic way to keep track of the company's promotional activities in that foreign market, customers, other contacts made and decide how often to follow-up and visit to the foreign market to develop personal contacts.



An analysis of the promotion blend should help the exporter decide in spreading its promotional effort in an optimum combination of advertising, selling, and other promotional activities such as credit, product warranties, training, special introductory offers, samples, contests, displays, sales aids and after-sales service etc.



Part 1/4 < This Page
Export Promotions are marketing activities to persuade potential customers to buy your goods or services

Part 2/4
Role of the Foreign Agent & Exporter. The promotional strategy should be developed in consultation with them

Part 3/4
Trade Fairs; most export effective way to introduce a product and to find out exactly what international buyers think

Part 4/4
Export Payment, Financing and payment by sight draft drawn against an irrevocable letter of credit

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