Developing a plan for your overseas venture can be challenging and will require time, yet getting it right is critical to your offshore success.
Don't assume your existing New Zealand marketing plan will translate directly into an international version. Overseas markets, even those that seem similar to the New Zealand, will require thorough research with marketing techniques tailored to suit.
Like your business plan, your marketing plan needs to be reviewed and modified regularly.
What your export marketing plan should cover
Your marketing plan needs to be clear, concise and deliver an action plan with defined responsibilities.
Issues to consider include:
- characteristics of the target market
- competitor analysis
- promotional strategy
- modifications needed to your existing marketing materials or product
- implementation and evaluation plan.
Marketing in an overseas country is more complex than domestic marketing with more variables and tough competitors. In addition to the marketing mix of product, price, promotion and place, you will also need to consider:
- how you will get paid
- what additional skills your business needs to develop or acquire
- what paperwork is needed
- what cultural factors you will be facing (and how they affect your product and business practices)
- how you intend to enter the market and how you want to position your product
- how you will provide customer support
- what intellectual property protection you will need
- variables unique to your industry - seek advice from other exporters already trading in your target market.
Developing a marketing plan
When developing your marketing plan you should include the following information:
- Introduction - Outline the situation and purpose of the marketing plan.
- Product / service analysis - Discuss your product or service. What are the unique selling points?
- Market analysis - Discuss the target market. What are the political and socio-economic issues? What is your target customer profile?
- Competitor analysis - Analyse the competitors operating in your target market. What are their products and brands? What price do they sell at? How do you intend to compete?
- Objectives - State your goals for your marketing plan. Indicate this as a percentage of market share, turnover and profit. State when you intend to reach these goals.
- Marketing strategy - Outline your marketing strategy. How do you intend to enter the market? Do you need to work with a partner? How are you going to promote your product?
- Action plan - State which person is responsible for doing what and by when.
- Evaluation - Outline how you will evaluate the success of your marketing plan. Set key milestones and review dates.