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You are here: Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad  
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad


Your export readiness assessment shows that your firm is ready to export, your earlier research has indicated that there is a market for your products abroad, you have prepared an export plan, and you have secured the financing to see your export efforts through. Now, you are ready to beging promoting your exports! Unfortunately, many would-be exporters tend to jump into the export process at this stage of the game, without having established whether they are ready to export, without having done any research, and without sufficient planning or funds - this is a recipe for disaster.

We refer to promotion

As you start with your promotional efforts, you should realise that while we use the term 'promotion' in this website, other authors may us different terms. For example, the phrase 'international marketing communications' is often used, as is the term 'international advertising'. However, whether you choose to speak of communications, advertising or promotion, what we are in fact referring to are and activities that your firm undertakes and the effort that it puts into making the firm known to potential customers (i.e. overseas importers and customers). Such promotional activities include advertising, public relations, direct marketing, personal selling, online marketing, sales promotion and personal selling.

Promotional effort and activities often differs between small and large firms

Each of these promotional activities can also be undertaken in different ways and with different intensities. For example, a large firm such as SABMiller will almost certainly make use of extensive and expensive television and radio advertising to promote their products in foreign markets. They may back this advertising up with a comprehensive public relations campaign, a direct marketing or e-mail campaign and they may even employee a network of sales staff to call on stores, restaurants, bars and similar outlets to encourage these outlets to stock and sell their products. This personal selling effort may be supported with a sales promotion effort (such as a competition or special offer), including participation in suitable trade and consumer fairs. Not surprisingly such a comprehensive promotion effort will cost many millions of rands. Clearly, smaller firms are not in a position to undertake such a promotional effort.

Help with your promotional effort

In the sections that follow, we will discuss in some detail each of the promotional channels open to you, especial as a small business. You will need to consider which of these channels is best suited for you needs and to follow the processes involved in implementing the promotional activities you decide on.

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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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