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What is Export Marketing?

Phaff Export Marketing was founded in 1991. Since that year, Phaff Export Marketing is active in export marketing for food and agribusiness. But what exactly is export marketing? And why do you need export marketing in your export marketing plan?

Export Marketing

Export marketing is used when a company wants to export or is exporting products/services to a foreign country. Hereby a company markets the products/services in international locations.

Many companies would like to export their products/services to other markets. However, as a (starting) exporter, you cannot just assume that these markets will be interested in your products. Although your product can be a hit in your own market, that does not mean consumers abroad simply like it as well. There are many other factors that can affect the success rate of your product in a specific market. For example, shipping costs, shipping time, import duties, cultural differences, and habits; all can influence if your product will be successful in a specific market.

Export Marketing Plan

An export market plan, or entry strategy, is the key to understand the market you would like to enter. There are several steps you need to consider adding to your export marketing plan. Keep in mind these are just the basic steps and not a complete overview of all aspects included. More research and information is needed, before developing your own strategy!


Step 1: Review market potential and develop an action plan
Keep in mind, exporting is a process that needs to be planned and prepared carefully. Focus and clear objectives are very important. Make sure everyone in the organization is aware of the objectives and goals. Phaff Export Marketing can also provide help with developing a tailor-made export marketing plan/entry strategy.

Step 2: Selection of the market (focus = important!)
The next step is the selection of the new market. Preparation is the key and knowledge of a market is important to limit the number of risks and improve the success rate. Do not forget to focus. Often the ambition to export to as many possible countries is high. Please keep in mind that, in the beginning, it is important to focus on 1 or max. 2 countries.


Step 3: Knowledge and preparation (stay focused)
When you have finished your first research and you selected a market, you can start creating a strategy for exporting to the new market you choose. Where do you want to go and how will you achieve this? Again, here it is important to focus, make sure you have a plan and that you stick to this plan. We often see that companies start focusing on one market and start to get interested in exporting to another market along the way. Please make sure you stay focused on your strategy. It would be a pity if all your hard work has been for nothing.

Try to find as much information as possible about the market you would like to enter. A combination of desk research and field research would be best. Tru to find as much information about buying behavior, interests, criteria, and needs of your new consumers. Besides, trends and developments in the market are also important to know, as well as tradition.

This may sound like an easy step, but it is crucial you are aware of all of this. Make sure you take enough time for your research. Know that every small country or region has its own habits and interest. For example, in Europe, the habits in the Netherlands are different than the habits in neighboring country Germany. Although your product can travel freely through the European Union one it is in, the European Union still cannot be seen as one country. Besides researching the habits of the new consumers, have a look at geographical characteristics, political stability, demographic characteristics, market size, and growth rates.

Some tips:

  • Use resources such as reports of your Embassy in a specific country.
  • (Food): Many supermarkets have published their assortment online. Use these resources to find information about existing assortment in the markets, prices, competitors, etc.
  • (Food): What will be your focus? Foodservice or retail?
  • (Food): When visiting the market, try to visit a supermarket. Check the assortment, prices, packaging, shopping behavior, etc. Keep in mind in some markets (such as the EU) VAT is already included in the price you see on the shelves, while in other countries (such as the US) VAT will be added at the counter.
  • An In-Country consultant can help you in defining an entry strategy. They are your booths on the ground, a useful resource.

Trade shows and trade missions

Taking part in overseas trade missions, trade shows, or other export events are perfect tools to research the market, test potential, finding customers, and make sales. Therefore, consider participating in, for example, a trade show or in a trade mission. Exhibiting at a trade show can provide new business, increase brand awareness, gives networking opportunities, and gives the chance to learn more about the market you would like to enter.

When joining a trade mission, you do not have to worry about arranging meetings, this support saves you time and money. Instead, you can focus on preparing the meetings. Besides, you will meet other suppliers and contacts. With these new connections, you can discuss exporting, discuss the new market, and exchange experience.

The contacts you make during exhibiting at a trade show or joining a trade mission can help you enter the market or expand your business in a new market.

Exporting your products/services to a new market can offer great returns in business, but you need to invest, and this will take a lot of effort. Be aware of this before you start exporting.

Phaff Export Marketing helps groups of companies attending trade shows and trade missions worldwide. See our upcoming and successful project to get an impression.

Implementation of your export marketing plan

When you think you are completely prepared for exporting to a new market, you can start implementing your export marketing plan. Keep in mind that it is possible that your export marketing plan does not work. However, implementing and entering a new market takes time. Again, focusing is important! Be patient.

Keep in mind, this is just a basic roadmap for preparing your strategy. While creating and executing your export marketing strategy, do not forget:

  • Finding reliable agents, importers/buyers, in-market consultants.
  • Think about how to sell and market your product in a market different than yours.
  • Limit payment risks (What will be your terms of payment?).
  • Shipment (What will be your terms of delivery?).
  • Exchange rates and inflation.
  • Language barriers and cultural differences in doing business.
  • Get your documentation right and stay updated about legal requirements (What about your labeling).
  • Etc.

Stay Focused

We cannot say it enough, it is important to know the market you would like to enter. After doing your homework, and creating a strategy, stick to your export marketing plan.

Phaff Export Marketing can help you with creating a tailor-made export marketing plan. Besides, Phaff Export Marketing realizes pavilion at important trade shows, for food and agribusiness, and organizes trade missions, all over the world.

Please contact one of the project managers to find out which trade shows or trade missions will fit your export marketing plan.