Ahead of Going Global next month (November 17-18), I’ve been speaking with some of the presenters about the top topics being covered at this year’s show.
We’re going to be there with our Export Action Plan finalists, and in the third piece building up to Going Global, I ask Mark Neal from Armagard and also Export Worldwide what he’ll be presenting on at the show.
You’re speaking at Going Global in November. What are you talking about and why should attendees take the time to visit your talk?
I’m talking about three things.
Firstly, how we used the internet to grow export sales from 6% to 67% of the business for a B2B company selling industrial products, in turn winning the Queens award for Enterprise 2013, and the Chamber Awards National Exporter of the Year 2013.
The second part of my presentation will be about Export Worldwide, a cloud based lead generation platform for small to medium sized enterprises (SMEs) to enter export markets without the huge expense. It is the essence of what we did to grow our export sales by 3000%, and is based upon search engine marketing (SEM) and translating content into the 20 most popular trading languages in the world, covering 84% of world trade.
Lastly, I’ll cover the importance of having a web presence in your target markets domestic language, as research shows that 90% of Europeans will begin an internet search in their own mother tongue language.
Generating leads is often the hardest part of exporting for SMEs. Where do you start?
Your first step should be search engine marketing. If you can successfully position your product or service online when a potential customer begins their internet search and get found, then you’re at the perfect stage to close them as a sale or guide them along the path to a future purchase. Further to this, we’d look into crafting additional content like blogs, white papers and case studies, to nurture interested visitors into fully fledged prospects.
How much should an exporter rely on distributors or agents once they’re working with them and how much should they try to create their own business?
In my view an SME can never truly rely on a distributor, because as a smaller business you’re likely to always be further down the queue in terms of priority and focus. Meaning that your products don’t get the attention they deserve and you never get the marketing effort or sales training that is required for your goods.
An agent can sometimes work provided that they focus on your specific niche market. But personally, I would say that if you’re already creating your own business and customers, then you similarly already own the route to market. In contrast, if an agent or distributor owns your route to market, then there’s always the possibility that they’ll swap out your product line for a competitor.
With Brexit, there is obviously interest from overseas distributors in buying cheaper UK goods, but with manufacture costs set to rise, what approach should exporters take towards making a profit?
Use the internet and search engine marketing – it’s cost effective, flexible, and you’re playing on a field that SME companies can easily win on.
Also use market pricing there is no reason to give money away by making your product cheaper in a foreign market, just because Sterling had dropped 18%. Nobody who wants a successful business should ever sell on price.