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AN INVESTIGATION OF THE SIGNIFICANCE OF TRAINING SKILLS REQUIRED TO BE EFFECTIVE IN EXPORT MARKETING BY SMALL AND MICRO ENTERPRISES (SMES) EXPORTING LOCALLY MANUFACTURED PRODUCTS IN KENYA

Export marketing skills are important ingredients for every company in today’s global
economy. This study sought to identify the significance of training for skills required
to be effective in export marketing by Small and Micro-enterprises (SMEs) in Kenya
exporting locally manufactured goods.
Data were collected, regarding skill importance, and degree of possession of those
skills through two participant samples drawn from fifty SMEs exporting locally
manufactured goods. The first sample comprised fifty owners/managers of the SME
firms who were surveyed regarding the skill importance, and second sample
comprised fifty employees of the participating SMEs who indicated the degree to
which they possessed the identified skills. Possession ratings were compared across
importance ratings, in a way that allowed skill-based areas for training programs to be
prioritized.
An extensive review of the literature was completed relative to determining which
skills are required for effective export marketing. The literature provided several
organizational frameworks, which focused on general elements of export marketing.
Thirty five skills were identified as necessary for effective export marketing, and were
classified into, and analyzed within categories - (1) planning and operational skills;
(2) pricing skills; (3) promotional skills; (4) product skills; and (5) distribution skills.
Twenty-two of the skills were rated as being highly important, thirteen were rated as
being of medium importance and none were rated as being of low importance.
Possession ratings were compared across importance ratings, which identified twentyseven
export marketing skills as training priorities.
There were two major managerial implications based on the findings: (1) Implications
relating to the degree that small and medium-sized actively exporting companies may
participate in export marketing training programs; and (2) export planning and
operations skills as well as promotional skills should be the topics most emphasized
when offering export marketing training programs.

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