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Information Sheet:
International Promotion

Promoting products overseas should include advertising, direct mail, press relations, and printed material. But when budgets are limited, choices must be made.

The company needs to consider the audiences they must reach and how best to communicate to them information about the company and its products.

To better understand this procedure, a company might visualize a "pyramid" of overseas audiences. At the top are the most important and smallest number of people that the company needs to reach with its information. In descending order then of importance, and in increasing numbers, its communications target audiences might look like a triangle.

The most effective medium to reach these audiences is listed below.

1. SARDs:

Salesmen — on your payroll
Agents — commission salesmen (close company image)
Representatives — commission reps (generally other lines)
Distributors — buys from you and resells (your company image)

Collateral Material:

Printed information such as:

  • Corporate/facilities brochure — who you are
  • Sales literature — what you sell
  • Data sheets — product specifications (Metric)
  • BEST if translated (or minimally translate an abstract of your materials)
For today's "Show and Tell"
  • VIDEO — note foreign countries use different formats
  • COMPUTER — the use of compact discs (CD-ROM)
  • INTERNET — may offer world-wide exposure
2. Current Customers:

anyone overseas who has ever bought from you

Direct Mail:

You have their addresses. You can mail letters, flyers, newsletters, or even start your own magazine. Should be translated.

3. Hot Prospects:

mail lists from reputable sources (Department of Commerce District Office)

4. Trade Press:

editors of newspapers, magazines, and journals whose readers are your prospects


Press releases about your company, your products, your services. Must be translated for better results.

5. Prospects:

The unknown potential customers, as well as all of the above.


Paid commercial messages in the trade press or electronic media. Normally must be translated and prepared by a competent advertising agency.

6. Trade Shows & Exhibitions:

Far more important overseas. Will help you reach all of your audiences, as they bring potential reps, agents, distributors, and customers to your "door".

From a concept by Bob Roth of International Ad Age and Bob Barrus of Robert J. Barrus, Inc.

Center for Export Readiness Training and Services
P.O. Box 495
Columbia, MO 65205

Last modified: February 24, 2012.
Comments or questions? email brian@export-ready.com