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Step 8: Preparing your export plan

You are here:Step 8:Preparing your export plan > Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm > Export promotion > Step 1: Deciding on a suitable mix of promotional elements > Direct marketing



Direct marketing


Defining direct marketing

We can define direct marketing as the direct communication through mail, telemarketing, fax, door-to-door selling, the Internet, and other means, with individual customers or firms, with the purpose of generate a response in the form of an order, a request for further information, or a visit to a store or other place of business. Usually there is a database of customer contacts involved in direct marketing, to whom the communication is then sent via one of the channels mentioned above (i.e. post, telephone, Internet, fax, personal calls, etc.). Direct mail and telemarketing are two popular forms of direct marketing used in the local market.

Direct response is a form of direct marketing

Although direct response marketing and direct marketing are often mentioned in the same breath, they are not exactly the same. Direct response marketing is when use is made of either product catalogues (also referred to as mail-order catalogues) that are sent to customers from which they can order/buy products, infomercials (such as those for Verimark found on TV) that encourage you to call in to order a product, or other types of response-generating mechanisms such as a coupon found in a magazine that you can mail in or phone a number to get more information or buy the product.

Is direct marketing affordable for the exporter?

The major cost of direct marketing is buying or building the customer list - the database. Such lists are not cheap. Another major expense is the communication cost; either the phone call, the fax call, the postage costs, etc. Also expensive may be the staff to design, run and manage such campaigns. Running a major national campaign to sell your product to the general public will probably be too expensive for most exporters to undertake. On the other hand, if you have a specific target audience, then it might be worthwhile undertaking a direct mail campaign to communicate with your potential customers. For example, if you sell machinery to wineries, then it may be quite easy to obtain a list of wineries in France or Australia and to fax them or mail them directly. Similarly, if you are trying to acquire a good import agent to represent your company, there may well be a list of import agents available in your target market to send your communication to. Placing a direct response ad in a trade magazine may be one way of getting interested parties to communicate with you in order for you to send them more information on your products. None of these options is too expensive and so a direct marketing channel is a real possibility for the average exporter to use.

The power of the Internet

With the advent of the Internet, direct marketing has become even easier. E-mail makes it very easy to reach your foreign customer. Although spam (junk e-mails) are frowned upon, I see nothing wrong with e-mailing a potential customer or import agent to introduce yourself (and your products) to them. Because to the power of the Internet, we discuss this means of direct marketing in a separate section.

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Step 8: more information

Step 8: Preparing your export plan
      Synopsis of research already done
      Revisiting an export SWOT analysis of the firm
      Setting the export objectives of the firm
      Preparing an export marketing strategy for your firm
                  The export product
                  The export price
                  Export promotion
                        Step 1: Deciding on a suitable mix of promotional elements
                              .Sales promotion
                              .Internet marketing
                              .Personal selling
                        Step 2: Determining the extent of standardisation of your export
                        promotion effort
                        Step 3: Deciding on the core message(s) you will use to promote
                        your product and company
      Preparing an export budget for your firm
      Outlining an implementation schedule for your export activities
      Preparing and presenting your export plan
      Obtaining approval for your export plan

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More information on Step 8
Learning to export...
The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
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