Ready, set, go with a Sector Export Marketing Strategy

January 20, 2020

When an economic sector or a group of companies is foreseeing internationalisation, strategy becomes a significant element for success. An easy way to start is by conducting a Sector Export Marketing Strategy or a SEMP. Want to know the five major steps?

A strategy is a long-term plan to achieve a major overall aim. Countries, armies and companies have strategies. And all of us somehow have a strategy in our professional and personal lives. The basis of strategizing is getting to know where you stand right now and where you want to go.

Step 1: Analyse the value chain
In the case of a SEMP, you start with a Value Chain Analysis to have a better understanding of what strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats that the sector faces. Then comprehend the different roles and interaction of actors among the value chain.

Step 2: Define what you want to reach
Once you have the analysis ready you can start defining your objective, milestones and goals. For example, an objective could be increasing exports to the European market. Then you will have to conduct a quantitative and qualitative market analysis to identify which segment markets – countries that offer the best opportunities for your product and define target markets.

Step 3: Compose a Market Entry Strategy
When you have identified your target markets, you compare your actual position in that market with competitors and the desired position in the market. Start defining your Market Entry Strategy: what are you going to offer that adds value and distinguishes you from your competitors in terms of product, price, distribution and promotion.

Step 4: Who will do what?
When working on a strategy it is keen to involve the value chain actors, define who will take the lead and distribute management responsibilities among the main private and governmental organizations involved in the sector.

Step 5: Set a budget
The last step is all about the money: set a budget for each activity and determine which organisation will be in charge of financing it directly. Maybe you can even look for financial aids which will enable you to conduct the planned activities.

Are you in need of some extra tips? Here you go:

  • Involve the main players from the government and the private sector
  • Let them work and be the owner of the market strategy plan
  • Look for quick wins – small achievements generate great motivation
  • Get the support of decision-making actors
  • Focus
  • Plan, plan and plan and also have a plan B and a plan C when things won’t work out the way you had planned
  • Financial resources have to be allocated to conduct the activities
  • Appoint a leading organisation that is capable of carrying out the strategy

Marijke Nijdam

Experienced in strategy development

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