Export Marketing: plan your international online promotion

The meaning of export marketing

Export marketing involves the creation, documentation, pricing and promotion of an offering that will attract overseas customers and buyers. Often the offering will be made available and distributed through an overseas agent or distributor. But here we focus on online channels, and export marketing then also includes setting up the right channels for payment.

The difficulty with export marketing compared to general marketing is that you have to take into account cultural differences, language differences and differences in payment systems and preferences. E.g. in Western Europe credit card payments are less common than in the United States.

The importance of a global brand

The brand of a company represents everything the company stands for. It becomes the label of the company’s values, services and reputation. Branding offers a competitive edge through differentiation. This makes it vital to create an effective international brand.

Since, choosing a company name, slogan or brand can make or break a company, one needs to be aware that certain brand names could have different translations in other countries. A great example of this is Mercedes-Benz. They entered the Chinese market with the name “Bensi,” which translates into “rush to die” in Chinese. Another branding failure was Pepsi’s slogan in China that translated as “Pepsi Brings You Back from the Grave,” instead of its original English idea : Pepsi Brings You Back to Life!

Online promotion: part of your export marketing plan

There is a large number of ways to promote the products that you have online, either on your own website, or on open marketplaces like Amazon.com. Mostly you can divide them in three categories: posting, advertising and influencer marketing.


The easiest way to promote products is to post about them on your own social media channels such as facebook, Instagram or LinkedIn. This mostly takes some time, but hardly any costs, and if your product is unique enough your postings may be picked up.


You can advertise on many places, with Google Adwords, within Facebook and even within LinkedIn. If you have your own website, this may pay off not only in conversion, but also in your website ranking. If you advertise on open marketplaces, you may also explore the advertising or highlighting options there.

Influencer marketing

When others with a large crowd of followers write about your products, that is even better. You can just send your product samples to important bloggers, and wait whether they are enthusiastic, but you can also in some cases have them advertise your product against a fee.

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