SALES PROMOTION IN EXPORT MARKETS

SALES PROMOTION IN EXPORT MARKETS

SALES PROMOTION IN EXPORT MARKETS

The promotion of one's product by means of press and broad-casting advertisements, Direct Mail, cinema advertising, the use of posters and the employment of Public Relations, is just as important in overseas markets as it is at home and is as necessary for industrial products as it is for consumer goods. Indeed, there is a particular, aspect to overseas publicity for one's product which might be called a 'commendation value'. Both the industrialist who uses imported materials or components and the man-in-the-street who buys imported consumer products will do so with greater confidence if he sees and hears the merchandise being advertised locally. Advertising lends distinction to the product and commends the user's decision to pur-chase it.

Having said this, it is important to add the rider that sales promotion in export markets needs an entirely separate approach to similar activity at home.

Both the spoken and the written word can have vastly different connotations from country to country. Apart from the obvious difficulty of language, there are major differences in idiom in the various parts of the globe. Although a common language is spoken in Britain and the United States, it is well known that advertising 'copy' which is most effective in one country can fail completely when transported across the Atlantic.

There are other obstacles, apart from the language difficulty. In certain countries there are very strong religious and social taboos which must be respected. In addition, one must take note of local regulations governing the use of advertisements and promotional material generally. It is advisable, therefore, to use the services of local advertising agencies wherever possible, to avoid the risk of committing 'howlers', or worse.

The media available to the exporter is generally the same as in the home market, but each will require special independent study if it is to be used effectively.

Press Advertising

In most of the developed areas of the world there are news-papers, trade journals and technical publications. In some countries, as, for example, South Africa, newspapers are produced in more than one language for a multi-lingual population. Some countries have Sunday papers. In others they are not permitted. In some countries the main daily newspaper appears in the morning, as in Britain. In others, it is the evening newspapers which are most widely read.

As is the case in Britain, the majority of newspapers published in overseas countries have a political or a religious bias. Different papers and magazines are produced for different sections of the local community, divided by social class, sex, age, or interests.

When producing illustrated advertisements, care must be taken to ensure that backgrounds conform to the environment of the readership concerned. Considerable 'howlers' can be committed in this respect and vetting by one's local agent before the advert is published is a wise precaution.

Radio and Television

In some of the most promising of export markets, such as Africa and parts of Asia, illiteracy remains a social problem. Here the impact of press advertising will be much' less than that of the spoken word. The transistorized radio set has become a powerful medium of consumer product advertising in such areas, but once again local taboos must be watched.

Cinema Advertising

Although in Britain the significance of cinema advertising has tended to decline with diminished audiences in comparison with the nineteen-thirties and forties, in many other countries of the world the cinema enjoys great popular support. The promotion of consumer goods by means of short ifirns which last, like television commercials, for a few minutes only, represents an important advertising medium.

Sales Literature

All sales literature which is designed for use overseas must, of course, be produced in the local language. Although English is widely spoken it is not so frequently read. This is a factor which far too many British publicists fail to appreciate. Technical specifications, also, must be presented in accordance with the systems which are employed locally if these are to be of any practical value to one's overseas clients. Similarly, it is necessary to quote all prices in the local currency.

Public Relations

The importance of good Public Relations in export markets cannot be over-stressed. Once again, however, those whose task it is to prepare 'hand-outs' for the press and other communications media must be fully acquainted with the way of life and the outlook of the local population. More harm than good can result from inept P.R. work in overseas countries.

Announcement regarding the visits of company executives, of new products or services, can do an exceedingly useful backup job to support the activities of one's local agent and distributors. Publicity of this kind helps to 'personalize' the company for overseas clients and breaks down some of the feeling of remoteness which must attach to a supplier who is based hundreds, and sometimes thousands, of miles away.




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