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MARKETING PLAN FOR THE EXPORTER

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The marketing plan for the exporter is the tool you need to get your product or service to the countries you have chosen. The marketing plan for the exporter is like a map for a traveller: a tool to reach your destination! Before making the marketing plan, you must be very clear about your business model (+) (CANVAS), analysed your potential for going abroad, and chosen the countries.

We recommend that you do this in a written document that you can share (drive) with the rest of your team to get their approval and with experts for further advice. This plan should include detailed internationalisation strategies, objectives and methods to sell the product(s)/service(s) in the foreign market.

By identifying objectives and action plans, such a plan allows the exporter the possibility to anticipate possible difficulties in the new market and to prepare the response to them, without deviating from the objectives. The marketing plan for internationalisation is essential for a company to expand and succeed in new markets.

Below is a broad and comprehensive explanation of the key elements to consider when creating an export marketing plan.

  • Product adaptation

    • Before exporting a product, it is important to analyse whether it needs to be adapted to the target market.
    • For example, a change in packaging or labelling may be required to comply with the regulations of the country of destination, or information may be added in the local language to facilitate understanding and acceptance of the product.
  • Product positioning

    • To be successful in a foreign market, it is necessary to know the consumers and their needs well.
    • The use of a test market helps to position the product properly and to communicate its benefits effectively. This should be done prior to the introduction of the product in the market.
  • The four P's

    • Marketing strategy should consider the four Ps: product, price, place and promotion.
    • It is important to identify the strategic factors that generate added value for the product, evaluate the price according to costs and competition, define the most appropriate distribution channel and select the best promotion options, such as fairs and exhibitions, trade missions and direct contact with local customers or distributors.

Structure of the marketing plan

The marketing plan should be clear and concise, but also comprehensive and backed up by analysis and logical considerations. It should include general information about the company and its ability to internationalise, a list of products selected for sale in the foreign market, specific sales and financial targets, resources needed, a detailed action plan and timeline.

In a nutshell, the export marketing plan is a vital tool for a company to successfully expand into new markets.

Product adaptation, appropriate positioning, the four Ps and the structure of the marketing plan are key elements to consider when creating an effective plan for internationalisation.

PRELIMINARY REMARKS 

  • ADAPT THE PRODUCT

Have you validated the acceptance of your value proposition in the target country? It is important to adapt through packaging design or labelling or by adding relevant data and information in the language of the target country.

THIS MAY REQUIRE A PRIOR TEST TO KNOW THE ACCEPTANCE OF A PRODUCT IN AN EXPORT MARKET.

  • POSITIONING THE PRODUCT

To position the product correctly, you should use a test market to see where to position the product and take care to properly communicate the benefits of your product. It is vital that you do this in advance of market introduction.

  • USE THE FOUR P'S

Once you have validated your customer segment in the country, the next step is to install the product in the minds of consumers so that they know about it, choose it and buy it.

BASICALLY, AN INTERNATIONAL MARKETING PLAN SHOULD COMPRISE FOUR FUNDAMENTAL VARIABLES, KNOWN AS THE 4PS:

  • PRODUCT

    • Identifies and develops strategic factors to generate added value.
    • Check: product design and image, labels and packaging; packaging, brand image.
  • PRICE (+):

    • In addition to cost, it is necessary to evaluate other factors before determining the price of a product, such as competitor prices, consumer perception, among others. Here it is key to have control and mastery over costs for product differentiation.
  • PLAZA:

    • At this point, the distribution channel is defined. This choice depends on the objectives of market coverage, penetration and the services that facilitate consumer access to the product.
  • PROMOTION:

    • This can include participation in trade fairs and exhibitions, trade missions, business rounds and direct contact with local customers or distributors. Don't forget that the Internet is a powerful and cost-effective tool to promote products and/or locate customers abroad.

Structure of a marketing plan:

The plan must be short, effective, accurate and complete!!! It is not a manual; it is a set of instructions, backed up by analysis and logical considerations. 

ITS SKELETON IS AS FOLLOWS:

  • GENERAL INFORMATION
    • Strengths and weaknesses of your company to go abroad.
    • Reasons and considerations for the decision to go international.
  • PRODUCT/MARKET MATCH:
    • List of products selected to be sold on the foreign market. 
    • Reason for product selection and market for each product, validations carried out.
  • OBJECTIVES:
    • Sales, customers, times, quotas.
    • Financial.
    • Cash flow forecasting (focused only on internationalisation).
  • RESOURCES:
    • Marketing mix (instruments).
    • Organisational support required.
    • Strategic partners. Assistance from other companies.
    • Treasury. Additional financing needs.
  • ACTION PLAN:
    • Description of tasks.
    • Actions and timetable.

TO MAKE AN EFFECTIVE MARKETING PLAN FOR INTERNATIONALISING YOUR COMPANY, AN ENTREPRENEUR CAN TAKE THE FOLLOWING STEPS:

  1. Define the business model: Before planning internationalisation, it is important for the entrepreneur to be clear about his or her business model, including value proposition, target customers, distribution channels, key resources and key activities.
  2. Analyse the potential for internationalisation: The potential of the products or services in the international market should be analysed. It is important to assess whether there is demand, whether there is competition and what is the economic and political situation in the target market.
  3. Selecting target markets: Once the potential for internationalisation has been assessed, the entrepreneur must select the target markets into which he/she wishes to expand. It is recommended to start with one or two markets and then expand gradually.
  4. Research the market: It is important to research the target market, to know the regulations, trends and consumer habits of the customers. In addition, the competition and existing distribution channels should be studied.
  5. Adapt the product or service: The entrepreneur must adapt his or her product or service to the target market, either by modifying the design, the label or the packaging. It is also important to consider the regulations and standards of the target market.
  6. Determine the price: The price of the product or service must be competitive in the target market, taking into account production costs, competition and consumer perception.
  7. Select distribution channels: The entrepreneur must select the most appropriate distribution channels for the target market, taking into account availability, accessibility and costs.
  8. Designing advocacy strategies: The entrepreneur must design appropriate promotion strategies for the target market, including advertising, public relations, online marketing, among others.
  9. Set objectives and plan actions: The entrepreneur should set clear and specific objectives for internationalisation and plan the actions needed to achieve them, including deadlines and responsible parties.
  10. Measuring and evaluating results: It is important to regularly measure and evaluate the results of the marketing plan, in order to be able to adjust and improve strategies according to the results obtained.
IN SUMMARY

To make an effective marketing plan for internationalising a company, it is important for the entrepreneur to carefully analyse the target market, tailor the product or service, price it competitively, select the right distribution channels and design effective promotion strategies.

In addition, it is essential to set clear objectives, plan actions and regularly measure and evaluate results.

LA ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE (SEE+ TIP) CAN HELP TO REALISE THE INTERNATIONAL MARKETING PLAN IN THE FOLLOWING WAY:

  1. Provide relevant information: can provide up-to-date and relevant information on the international markets in which you want to expand your business, such as market analysis, consumer trends and consumer behaviour.
  2. Advice on marketing strategies: can provide advice on marketing strategies that are adapted to international markets, such as product adaptation, brand positioning, pricing and promotion strategies.
  3. Idea generation: can generate ideas on how to address the specific challenges that arise when trying to expand into an international market, such as identifying appropriate distribution channels and generating effective marketing content.
  4. Competitive analysis: can help to analyse competition in international markets and provide information on competitors' marketing strategies.
  5. Assistance in drawing up action plans: can help to draw up detailed action plans for each of the marketing strategies identified, including the identification of objectives, resources required and timelines.

In a nutshell, Artificial intelligence can help entrepreneurs in developing an international marketing plan by providing information, advice, insights, competitive analysis and assistance in developing detailed action plans.

PRACTICAL EXAMPLE OF HOW ARTIFICIAL INTELLIGENCE CAN HELP IN THE DEVELOPMENT OF AN INTERNATIONAL MARKETING PLAN:

Suppose an organic company in Mexico wants to expand to other Latin American countries, but does not know how to get started. The company contacts artificial itneligence and asks it about its need.

THE FOLLOWING PROCESS WOULD THEN TAKE PLACE:
  1. Analysis and diagnosis: could conduct a detailed analysis of the company's current situation, identifying strengths and weaknesses, opportunities and threats in the target market. In addition, it could help the company to define its objectives, both in the short and long term, and to establish a clear strategy to achieve them.
  2. Market research: could conduct in-depth research on the target market, analysing consumer trends and preferences, competition and available distribution channels. It could also provide information on the legal and regulatory requirements for exporting products to each country.
  3. Strategy design: Based on the results of the analysis and research, artificial intelligence could help the company design effective marketing and promotion strategies for each target market, including product, price, place and promotion strategies (the 4 Ps of marketing). This would include tailoring the product to local needs and preferences, determining competitive prices, selecting appropriate distribution channels, and planning advertising and promotional campaigns.
  4. Implementation of the plan: could help the company implement its international marketing plan, providing guidance and advice at every step of the process. This would include selecting local business partners, organising trade fairs and promotional events, and overseeing the production and distribution of products abroad.
  5. Evaluation and adjustment: could help the company periodically assess the performance of its international marketing strategy and make adjustments and improvements as necessary. This would include measuring sales and return on investment, customer feedback and reviewing marketing and promotional strategies.

APPLY THIS TIP TO YOUR PROJECT

TASK

CASE STUDY OF AN ENTREPRENEUR FROM THE ACCELERATION PROGRAMME MAKING A MARKETING PLAN FOR INTERNATIONALISATION

Company name: Healthy Bites

Description of the company: Healthy Bites is a company dedicated to the production and sale of healthy and nutritious snacks, which are ideal for people who lead a healthy and active lifestyle.

OBJECTIVES OF THE COMPANY:
  • Expand into international markets in Europe and North America.
  • Increase sales by 30% in the first year of operations in the international market.
  • Establish strategic alliances with local companies in the selected markets for the distribution and sale of the products.
MARKET ANALYSIS:
  • Target market research: Europe and North America.
  • Analysis of the competition and its marketing strategy.
  • Identification of trends in the healthy snacks market.
MARKETING STRATEGY:
  • Design of attractive and differentiated packaging for target markets.
  • Tailoring product flavours and presentations to local tastes in each market.
  • Establishment of strategic alliances with natural products and sports shops in each market.
  • Participation in health food industry trade fairs and events in each market.
  • Development of digital marketing content and social media advertising.
ACTION PLAN:
  • Selection of products to be sold in target markets.
  • Design of packaging and labelling for the products adapted to the target markets.
  • Establishment of contacts and negotiations with potential partners in the target markets.
  • Preparation and attendance at health food industry trade fairs and events in each market.
  • Implementation of social media advertising campaigns and digital marketing content in each market.
  • Establishment of a system for monitoring and analysing product performance in each market.
BUDGET:
  • Packaging design and labelling: $5,000
  • Participation in fairs and events: $10,000
  • Social media advertising campaigns: $5,000
  • Strategic alliances with local companies: $10,000
EXPECTED OUTCOME:
  • 30% sales increase in the first year of operations in target markets.
  • Establishment of strategic alliances with local companies for the distribution and sale of the products.
  • Strengthening the brand image in target markets.

After analysing the market and conducting an internal assessment of her company, the entrepreneur decided that her internationalisation goal would be to expand into Latin America, specifically Mexico and Brazil, where she saw great market potential for her product.

Based on this, he started to elaborate his international marketing plan. First, he identified and developed the strategic factors to generate added value for his product. To do this, it decided to adapt its product design and labelling to meet the requirements of consumers and regulations in each country. It also made improvements to its production process to increase efficiency and reduce costs.

In terms of pricing, the entrepreneur carefully evaluated her competitors' prices and consumer perceptions in Mexico and Brazil, and decided to set prices that were competitive but profitable for her company. In terms of distribution, it decided to work with local distributors in each country to facilitate market access for its product, and also planned to participate in trade fairs and exhibitions to promote its product and establish contacts with potential customers and distributors.

In terms of promotion, the entrepreneur decided to run an online and local media campaign to raise awareness of her product, and also planned to hold tasting events and product presentations in each country to generate interest and trust in her product.

Finally, the entrepreneur set sales, customer and time targets to measure the success of her international marketing plan. She also established a detailed budget and action plan with tasks, actions and timelines to execute her plan.

With the help of her team and international trade experts, the entrepreneur was able to develop a solid and effective international marketing plan to take her product to new markets and expand her business. With the results of the research and clear objectives, Maria developed an international marketing plan for her company.

THE PLAN INCLUDED THE FOLLOWING POINTS:
  • Product adaptation: Maria decided to adapt her products for the Spanish and Mexican markets. The product design and image were updated to reflect the culture and tastes of these markets. In addition, labels and information in Spanish were included.
  • Product positioning: To properly position her products, Maria decided to use a test market to see where to position her products and properly communicate the benefits of her products. She ran an advertising campaign on social media and local media, which allowed her to identify the preferences and consumption habits of potential customers.
  • The four Ps: To carry out an effective marketing strategy, Maria took into account the four Ps: Product, Price, Place and Promotion. 
    • Product: Maria focused on the design and image of their products, labels and packaging, and on product quality to generate added value and differentiate them from the competition.
    • Price: Maria assessed competitors' prices and consumer perceptions, and priced her products to maintain a competitive position in the market.
    • Plaza: For the distribution of her products, Maria decided to use online sales channels and local outlets in Spain and Mexico to ensure consumer access to the product.
    • Promotion: Maria decided to participate in trade fairs and exhibitions, trade missions and business rounds, and used the Internet as a powerful and cost-effective tool to promote her products and locate customers abroad.
  • Action plan: With the marketing plan defined, Maria set the tasks, actions and timeline to carry out the marketing strategy. She hired a sales and marketing team to carry out the strategy and oversee implementation.

Thanks to the international marketing plan, Maria was able to expand her business in Spain and Mexico, and her company became a recognised brand in both markets. After conducting the SWOT analysis and defining her business model, Ana started working on her marketing plan for the internationalisation of her jewellery business.

First, it decided to adapt its products to the US and European markets, which involved changes in design, packaging and labelling. It also added information in English on its website and social media to reach a wider audience.

In terms of product positioning, Ana decided to conduct market research to identify her potential customers and their needs. She then communicated the benefits of her product through social media ads, email marketing campaigns and advertising in fashion and jewellery magazines.

Following the four Ps, Ana defined specific strategies for each. On the product side, she focused on improving the quality of her products and increasing the variety of designs. In terms of price, she decided to maintain competitive prices compared to competing products in the target market.

In terms of the marketplace, Ana chose distribution channels that suited the US and European markets, including online sales through her website and distribution through specialised jewellery shops.

Finally, in terms of promotion, Ana focused on participating in fashion and jewellery fairs and exhibitions in the United States and Europe, and on creating online content that was adapted to the trends and tastes of potential customers in those markets.

Ana shared her marketing plan with her team and marketing experts to receive feedback and improve her strategy. Thanks to her marketing plan, Ana was able to expand her business to new markets and increase her presence abroad.

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