In this section, we highlight some of the export marketing issues you will need to deal with. Marketing is defined as using all of the resources of the organisation to satisfy customer needs for a profit. The difference between export marketing and domestic marketing is simply that it takes place across national borders. This means that you are faced with barriers to trade that you will not have encountered before, such as differing languages, politics, laws, governments and cultures. You may need to account for getting the product half-way across the globe to distant markets and pay the import duties imposed on these products by the importing country. You will also need to deal with the logistical and documentation problems surrounding exports. These are just some of the problems you will face.

Export marketing also involves preparing an offering that will entice the foreign buyer and customer. This offering comprises a product that is offered at a certain price and that is made available – distributed – to the foreign customer. At the same time, the offering is communicated – or promoted – to the buyer using certain communication or promotion channels. These elements – the product, price, distribution (also referred to as the place) and promotion – are called the marketing mix.

Effective export marketing can help companies to reach new customers, increase sales, diversify their revenue streams, and grow their businesses. However, it also presents a range of challenges, and companies engaging in export marketing need to be prepared to navigate the complexities of international trade.

In this section, however, we have highlighted a selection of marketing topics that we believe most exporters will want to focus on. As you read through these topics, please bear in mind that they should not be dealt with in isolation. The topics we discuss are: