INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MADE EASY
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When an economic sector or a group of companies wants to enter or expand in international markets, 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 all about how you want to achieve a major overall aim. Strategies are developed at macro level (countries), meso level (sectors) and micro level (companies). 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 the strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats the sector faces. This also includes a comprehension of the different roles and interaction of actors in the value chain and an analysis of markets and segments.
Step 2: Define what you want to achieve
Once you have the analysis ready you start defining your objectives and milestones. Determine priority markets and segments. Moreover: formulate your objectives in a SMART way. That means:
- Specific: describe wich products, markets and segments.
- Measurable: quantified targets in terms of market penetration, export value or volume, market share or growth.
- Achievable and Realistic: targets should be within reach in the context of market developments and available resources.
- Timebound: relate to a certain time period, for example, 1 year or 5 years.
Step 3: Compose a Market Entry Strategy
Have you identified your target markets and compared your actual position in that market with competitors and the desired position in the market? Then it’s time to define your Market Entry Strategy. Ask yourself what you are going to offer that adds value and distinguishes you from your competitors in terms of product, price, distribution, promotion and sustainability.
Step 4: Who will do what?
The entire process of developing a SEMP is done in co-creation with all the relevant stakeholders in strategic sessions. It generates relevant insights from various angles and guarantees ownership of the initiative. Moreover, when the strategy is defined, action plans will be drafted based on the agreements on the roles of the various stakeholders in the implementation of the activities. In this step, it becomes clear who will take the lead in which intervention, how the activities are dovetailed in one another and how management responsibilities are divided among the main private and governmental organizations involved in the sector.
Step 5: Set a budget
The last step is all about the money. Budgets will be linked to each activity and funding sources will be specified. Private and public sector organisations make a financial commitment and sponsors can be identified to finance the planned activities.
Some extra tips
Are you in need of some extra tips? Here you go:
- Involve the main players from the government and the private sector.
- Adopt a co-creation approach for maximum ownership.
- Look for quick wins – small achievements generate great motivation.
- Get the support of decision-makers.
- Plan, plan and plan and also have a plan B when things don’t work out the way you had planned.
- Establish a management mechanism and agree on a lead-organisation that is capable of coordinating the implementation of the strategy.