International marketing can be defined as a systematic process of designing and delivering products to satisfy overseas customers and to achieve objectives of the firm.



The main features of export marketing are as follows:

            1.      Systematic Process:

            Export marketing is a systematic process of developing and distributing goods and services in overseas markets. The export marketing manager needs to undertake various marketing activities such as marketing research, product design, branding, packaging, pricing, promotion, etc. To undertake the various marketing activities, the export marketing manager should collect the right information from the right source, analyze it properly and then take systematic export marketing decisions.

            2.      Customer Focus:

            The focus of export marketing is on the customer. The exporter needs to identify customer needs and wants, and accordingly design and develop products to generate and enhance customer satisfaction. The focus on customer will not only bring in higher sales in the overseas markets, but it will also improve and enhance goodwill of the firm.

            3.      Trade Barriers:

            Export trade is subject to trade barriers – tariff and non-tariff barriers. The trade barriers are the restrictions on free movement of goods between countries. Normally, countries impose trade barriers on imports, in order to restrict imports. The export marketing manager must have a good knowledge of trade barriers imposed by importing countries.

            4.      Trading Blocs:

            Export trade is also affected by trading blocs. Certain nations form trading bloc for their mutual benefit and economic development. The non-members face problems in trading with the members of a trading bloc due to common external barriers. Indian exporters should have a good knowledge of important trading blocs which would enable them to negotiate effectively with the companies located in such blocs. Some of the important trading blocs include NAFTA, European Union, and ASEAN.

            5.      Three-faced Competition:

            In export markets, suppliers have to face three-faced competition, i.e., competition from three angles :

(a)    From the other suppliers of the exporter’s country.

(b)    From the local producers of importing country, and

(c)     From the exporters of competing nations.

            6.      Documentation:

            Export marketing is subject to various documentation formalities. Exporters require various documents to submit them to various authorities including customs, port trust, etc. The documents include:

                     •        Shipping Bill

•        Consular Invoice

•        Certificate of Origin, etc.

            7.      Dominance of Multinational Corporations:

            Export marketing is dominated by MNCs or large corporations. At present MNCs from USA, Europe and Japan play a dominant role in foreign trade. They are in a position to develop world wide contacts through their network of branches/offices/ subsidiaries.

            8.      Diverse Customs and Traditions:

            The export markets differ in languages, customs, and traditions. The exporter may not be able to cope up with these diversities. Therefore, he has to be selective. He should deal in only such markets where he can easily handle or overcome such differences or diversities.

            9.      Large Scale Operations:

Normally, export marketing is undertaken on a large scale. Emphasis is placed on large orders in order to obtain economies in large scale production and distribution of goods. The economies of large scale help the exporter to quote competitive prices in the overseas markets.

            10.    Subject to Regulations:

Export marketing is subject to various regulations — health and safety regulations, environmental regulations, and foreign exchange regulations. For instance, in India, exporters should realize their export proceeds within a period of 180 days (in respect of consumer goods) from the date of shipment. The SEZ units and status holders can realize within 360 days. Such restrictions are not applicable for domestic marketing.

            11.    Marketing-Mix:

Export marketing requires the right marketing-mix for the target markets, i.e., exporting the right product,. at the right price, at the right place and with the right promotion. The exporter can adopt different marketing-mixes for different export markets, so as to maximise exports and earn higher returns.


            12.    International Marketing Research:

Knowing more about customers, dealers and competitors is a must not only in the domestic markets, but also in the export markets. Marketing research is a must in export business due to various factors, such as diversities in social, cultural, economic, and political environments of distant markets.


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