Practical advice for business
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Exporting - an overview

To succeed, your marketing strategy will need to be tailored to each target market.

You'll need to appreciate the traditions, culture and legislation of the countries you are trading with to exploit your exporting efforts. For more information, see the page in this guide on working effectively with different cultures.

You can find language support services on the National Centre for Languages website - Opens in a new window. You can also find help with language and cultural guidance on the UK Trade & Investment website - Opens in a new window.

You can read about export opportunities in various countries around the world on the UK Trade & Investment website - Opens in a new window.

Sales promotion overseas

Customisation of your marketing activities is essential if there are cultural differences affecting the consumption of your product.

You should consider:

  • Using different media. TV viewers in one country may belong to a particular socio-economic group, while in others TV ownership is far more widespread.
  • Changing symbols. For example, you may need to respect different standards of dress in promotional activities in some countries.
  • Changing the market proposition. For example, bicycles are presented as a leisure item in one country, but as essential vehicles elsewhere.

Using local agents

Non-specialist research can be conducted in-house but you will need to be clear about the data you require. You will also need to set a realistic budget to cover the necessary costs.

Alternatively you could delegate the research to local agencies to save money. Local market research agencies have direct access to your potential customers. However, you should carefully consider the reputation of the agency.

The UK Trade & Investment Accessing International Markets programme can provide support and help in planning your entry into new overseas markets. Find out about Accessing International Markets on the UK Trade & Investment website - Opens in a new window.

Read about how to market products abroad on the International Business Wales website - Opens in a new window.

Get information on exporting at the Scottish Enterprise website - Opens in a new window.

Use our interactive tool to identify export opportunities in your target country.

Subjects covered in this guide

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Starting up

Importing and exporting


Exporting - an overview





Planning to export?


Selling and distribution in overseas markets

Current section

Marketing your product or service overseas


Your legal responsibilities as an exporter


Transport considerations


Financial considerations


Working effectively with different cultures


Developing Your International Trade Potential


Ten key steps to successful exporting


Here's how I developed a strong export market


Here's how I kept my business profitable by exporting my products abroad (Flash video)