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By New Zealand Trade and Enterprise

Why marketing is a must
New Zealand businesses are known for being innovative, but we aren’t always that good at promoting our brands. Marketing is how your product or service will get noticed in overseas markets with saturated product and service categories. If you neglect your marketing, it’s a bit like winking at someone in the dark – they don’t know you’re there.
When entering an export market, you’ll need to spend more on marketing than your already-established competitors.
On average, internationally, businesses spend around 6.5 percent of their annual turnover on marketing. So, if you have an annual turnover of $2 million, you’ll spend around $130,000 a year on marketing.
This might seem like a big number, but it’s what your competitors are likely spending. And if they’re established (in the market for ten years plus) to catch up you’ll probably need to spend more than them, or be smarter in your approach to marketing.
Be prepared for a return on your investment to take longer than you think. Marketing is a long-term play. Businesses often expect to see results right away, but it’s wise to think of marketing as a three- to five-year investment.
How to get started
To successfully market your product or service offshore, first make sure you’re up to scratch at home. This means that you need to:
•    Define your company’s purpose. A clear, concise (one or two sentences) purpose statement helps you answer questions about who you are and what you stand for. It acts as a guiding light in a new market and can help attract talent as well as customers.
•    Create buyer personas. These represent the typical needs and behaviours of your target customers. You can learn more about finding information for your personas and download a buyer persona template at
•    Map your target customers’ buying journey. Good marketing considers your customer’s whole experience with your brand, from knowing nothing about it, all the way through to being your brand advocate. This will help you define what marketing activity you need to deliver at different stages.
Localising your marketing activity
When considering your customers’ buying journey, it’s important to localise it to the market you’re targeting. This includes:
•    The channels through which you’ll reach and communicate with people.
•    The advocates and partners who’ll help you (they will likely be different to your influencers in New Zealand).
•    The language and tone you use. This includes core aspects of your brand such as the tagline, which might not make sense in your new market.
•    Your packaging and labelling.

This is an extract of the chapter. You can buy a print copy of the handbook here or a digital copy here

Cathy Parker

Experience of Governance and management corporate and private companies. Sectors include media, automotive, leasing and engineering. Experience in Business building via acquisition and organic growth and directing a business in a VUCA environment. Strong interest and knowledge in IT, digital industries, media, sales, technology and management. Regular writer in business and automotive area.

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