Phase 2 Tools: Communications

Once target markets are understood and a strategy for activating new market segments emerges, active communication and engagement of value chain stakeholders is critical to a real understanding of the results and sufficient confidence in the data to make business decisions that will allow firms to pursue the new proposed strategy.

Activity Value in the End-Market Research Process
Buyer videos: “The voice of the market” If done well and translated into local languages, direct feedback from potential buyers, especially when they are able to inspect the product is invaluable. Short of attending trade fairs or sponsoring inbound buyer trips, this is a great way to establish a personal connection between buyers and sellers. Examples of this approach can be found here.
Trade fair attendance Although a fairly typical component of most value chain and private-sector development projects, trade fair attendance can most effective when attendees are armed with good market intelligence and specific objectives beforehand. These events are a great forum for establishing relationships with buyers in attractive markets and benchmarking competition, but normally do not lead to deals on the spot.
Buyer visits Especially in value chains where relationships and a good story is important, bringing buyers “to the source” can not only improve the chance of closing deals, but gives the value chain a unique opportunity to interact with buyers of their product.
Publicity campaigns Publicizing the results of market research at all levels of the value chain is critical. The most effective messengers for these types of messages can be the industry themselves. In the case of Afghan DFN, a group of exporters put together a poster for illiterate farmers that explained how to improve the quality of their product at the farm level. These same exporters also appeared regularly on TV and the radio to encourage all stakeholders to work together to meet the requirements of the market.