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Big Picture: November 2019


Big Picture Report: November 2019
Bernadette Wiltz, SUSTA

Now is the Time to Re-evaluate your Export Marketing Strategy

SUSTA is wrapping its 2019 program year, and it sure has been a busy one. Through our Global Events program, we organized more than 40 events ranging from trade shows, to inbound and outbound trade missions, targeting more than 20 markets. And through the 50% CostShare program we approved more than 190 country marketing plans, from Argentina to Zambia, and are supporting small and medium-sized companies – many of them just like yours – with up to 50 percent reimbursements of their qualified marketing expenses. We are planning an equally ambitious 2020.

Right now, we are reviewing all of our 2020 plans to make sure we are doing the right activities in the right markets for all of our SUSTA companies. We will offer something for everyone, big and small, or whether you are an old hand at international business or a new-to-export company. Moreover, we are continuing to work at expanding your export horizons by developing new and diversified markets. For example, we added activities in new countries like Costa Rica and Panama, and added new regions like Scandinavia to our strategy.

I urge you to re-evaluate – and update if necessary – your export marketing plans and strategies. There have been many trade challenges in the past couple of years, but there is still, literally, a world of opportunity out there. So before the New Year begins, take time to make sure you are targeting the right markets for your products. SUSTA can help! We have a resources section on our webpage that is full of valuable information, including in-depth market reports developed by USDA’s Foreign Agricultural Service officers who are posted overseas.

SUSTA also maintains a network of in-country foreign marketing consultants that help find opportunities for export promotion activities and to provide feedback on the local export markets. They assist not only in-country during promotional activities, but participate in SUSTA webinars and live educational seminars in the U.S.

This is a good year to do a “check-up” to make sure your export market “vision” is perfect – after all, it is 2020! We want to make sure that you have a clear and strategic view of the export opportunities out there and assure the markets you set your sights on are the right ones for your products. Look into such things as: Is there an opportunity to sell there? Are there any requirements for packaging or labeling? Are there any restrictions or trade barriers?

It will be well worth your time. A good plan not only can save you the frustration of being in the wrong market at the wrong time, but it can be a powerful sales tool with potential importers and distributors. It demonstrates your company’s commitment to the market, highlights your products’ strengths, and shows that you have well thought-out goals. In short, it shows you are serious about growing your export business.

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