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3 – Going international for small business: How to build an export marketing plan? By M. Benhamed.

3 – Going international for small business: How to build an export marketing plan? By M. Benhamed.

Going international is for all, small or big companies. By going international companies can reduce their dependence on the local market, reach new customers and increase their productivity and business. But experience shows that when going international  big company  is:

  • More disposed than small business to spend enough financial resources on exploring new export opportunities , on developing new markets in foreign countries, on doing promotion and advertisement and on building its brand in the markets places;
  • Better prepared than small business to build an export marketing strategy.

In add, the export marketing strategy adopted by big companies is generally  based on a total consumers oriented approach and on the satisfaction of needs and wants of  foreign markets.

However in spite of all these aspects, going international remains a fantastic step of development for small business and  offers  new horizons for growth.  But this requires  export marketing that supports the decision to exporting and to do business in another country.

What does export marketing mean?

Concretely, export marketing is the pratice by which a company decides to go international and to select the foreign market where it wants to sell its product or service. It is also a profitable way of reaching new buyers and expanding business in foreign country. Unfortunatly for a lot of small businesses that are just starting out in exporting, export marketing is something what they are doing very poorly. Therefore they are not able to reach to the foreign buyers.

So il you are a small business looking to go international you need export marketing as far as this process can greatly contribute to your business development in foreign markets.

Why do you need export marketingt? Because export marketing is one of the most important key factors for going international. Because in exporting you need to understand the target market, the  buying behaviors and the needs and wants of foreign customers. Because good marketing  helps  foreign customers understand  who you are and why your product or service is better than or different from the competition. This where the importance of an export marketing plan comes in.

How to build an export marketing plan?

In practice, export marketing plan is crucial and represents the process by which you can develop product or service in your business that meet the needs of your target market. It is also the best way  to focus your resources and actions for your business growth.

So to build a successfull export marketing plan, you will have to pay close attention to five components. These components  are as follows::

1.Selection of foreign market : Selection of a particular region in the world where you plan to export to is a very important step for you. So you  shouls choose the foreign market in which  export activity is most valuable and where should your’s marketing actions and efforts be focused on.

2.Market research : As stated in my  post dated on November 6,2018 related to Export market    research, once you have selected foreign market and analysed all the information collected about it, you will be able to:

  • Identifying the opportunities offered;
  • Identifying and understanding the needs and wants of customers;
  • Determining if your product can be sold in the market or if it needs to be adapted to the market before;
  • Defining what class of buyers or customers you  will plan on selling to;
  • Identifying your competitors in the market place and how they do to satisfay the needs of customers.

3.Export marketing prices : Setting prices for exporting is not an easy task.But to begin, you can offer  lower price in order to make your business more attravtive to buyers you target. You can also offer discount that will allow you to expand abroad to customers who might not otherwise buy your product or service.

4.Making good impression : To attract and capture  foreign customers, you should keep in mind  that customers want to know who you are, what you are selling and why they should choose you over the competion.So you have to make a good impression by:

  • Presenting well your brochures and emails;
  • Giving close attention to the manner in which you present yourself and you message;
  • Having a good Website: Because a good  Website will be your brochure and foreign buyers will usually go straight to it to check you out.

5.Distribution strategy: Distribution strategy constitues a critical factor in your export marketing success. This means that distribution strategy can help you to determining your road to the foreign market selected and the channels to use.It can also tell you how to exploit these channels.So working with “Sales Agents” for example could be an excellent way to enter rapidely into the foreign market, reach new customers, increase sales and  generate more profits.


Going international is a fantastic way of development for you as small business. To go international successfully, you need an export marketing plan. If well done, an export marketing will not only help you develop product or service in your business that meet the needs of your target market and increase your productivity but also help foreign buyers and customers know who you are and understand why your product or service is better than or different from the competition.

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