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August 2011

emita is pleased to announce STB Direct Marketing Ltd as August's Member of the Month. You can find out more about this local company below from their Managing Director, Sue Barnes, including the company’s overseas challenges, international achievements and aspirations for the future

STB Direct Marketing Ltd

1.    Please provide a company background including when it was established, where it is located, how many staff you employ etc.

 

STB Direct Marketing Ltd was established in 2001 and have recently moved to the Pegasus Business Park near East. Midlands Airport seems like a good idea, but it looks like a huge step forward for us into an area where we feel uncomfortable. It is a large investment and we have a lack of skills and internal experience. We are really not sure where we should start to get this process off the ground.

 

2.    Please provide an overview of the products and services offered and areas of specialisation.

 

STB help businesses that broadly fit into 3 key scenarios:

 

             I.      Europe seems like a good idea, but it looks like a huge step forward for us into an area where we feel uncomfortable. It is a large investment and we have a lack of skills and internal experience. We are really not sure where we should start to get this process off the ground.

 

           II.      We have broken into 1 or 2 markets in Europe, but it’s been a challenge for us. It’s taken us longer than expected to achieve the desired results and we have had to learn by our mistakes. We want to move forward and expand further, but feel we probably need some help. 

 

        III.      We have made great strides into Europe and have become well established, but have started to experience some deterioration in our results – we are open to new ideas.

 

Our services including

 

·     Market research

·     Business structure/tax advice

·     Strategic marketing guidance

·     Country specific knowledge

·     Database development/structure

·     Process design and fulfilment

·     Marketing data lists

·     Language translation 

 

3.    How did you find out about emita and what benefits do you find the most valuable?

 

We found out about EMITA originally by receiving an e-mail about an event, which we signed up for and we also decided to become members at the same time. We have found that the ability to network with other businesses who are either already exporting or who are thinking about it particularly beneficial.

 

4.    How long has your company been active in the export / import market and which countries do you currently trade with?

 

STB Direct Marketing has been active in the export and import market for 10 years. The number of countries that we trade with overseas is quite large and seems to be growing all the time. I would summarise as follows: Europe including Eastern European countries, Australia, US, Hong Kong, South Africa, and the Middle East.

 

5.    What made you decide to expand your business overseas?

 

When we set up the business 10 years ago, we realized that there were very few resources available in the market place that could assist businesses in making the move to sell their products/services into the rest of Europe. Especially ones that could provide advice on how to go about marketing at a strategic, as well as the more detailed level covering cultural and language requirements. Success very much depends on paying attention to the detail. Without it costly mistakes can be made.

 

6.    What has been your biggest exporting / importing challenge?

 

One of the biggest challenges for us has been currency exchange management.

 

7.    What’s the most helpful piece of international trade advice you have received?

 

The most helpful piece of international trade advice we have received would be ensuring that you spend time on initial market research and understanding the culture of the country you are looking to market into. This time spent in the early stages can pay huge dividends in determining success or failure later on.

 

8.    What does the future hold? Any particular markets you are looking to target next?

 

Our future growth plans are to stay focused on our core business, but to grow our customer base in the UK and US.

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