Report: E-Marketing of Agricultural and Food Products Training Course, May 11-15, 2015, Taipei, ROC

Class Photo of Participants

Class Photo of Participants

E-Marketing or electronic marketing refers to the application of marketing principles and techniques via electronic media and more specifically the Internet. This marketing strategy has had a major impact on retail businesses because of the many unique benefits it offers, notably lower costs for the distribution of information, promotion of products to a global market, and quick responses to and from potential customers and suppliers which facilitate faster transactions. It also allows them to undertake a personalized marketing approach in delivering their messages. The flexible, cost-effective nature of e-marketing makes it particularly suitable for small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Potential customers can find out about products or services and make purchases when a company’s premises are closed or even if it has no physical business premises at all. Transactions are conducted online so savings are realized in terms of personnel costs and customer service. When implemented correctly, the return on investment from e-marketing can far exceed that of traditional marketing strategies.

The training course was organized and sponsored by the Asian Productivity Organization (APO) and China Productivity Center (CPC). It aimed to:

a) Enhance the participants’ knowledge of and skills in the tools and techniques of e-marketing of agricultural and food products;
b) Promote the dissemination of such knowledge and skills among various stakeholders in member countries; and
c) Develop a training manual on e-marketing of agricultural and food products.

OBJECTIVES FOR PARTICIPATION

V. Soriano, DTI-EMB

• To increase my awareness on the tools and techniques of e-marketing of agricultural and food products
• To equip myself with knowledge and skills as a future resource person in this area
• To advocate the use of e-marketing of agricultural and food products in our country
• To  help develop promotional materials such as but not limited to training manual to advance such advocacy and make these promotional materials readily available for internal and external clients
• To gain knowledge of the best practices from other participating countries and adopt the same in our country
• To establish a network among participants and sustain exchanging of ideas after the training

J. Pastrana, DAP-CQC

As Associate Project Officer for agriculture productivity enhancement programs, i was given the opportunity to gain more knowledge on electronic marketing of agricultural and food products. The knowledge will facilitate in developing new products and services in marketing agricultural and food products which will ultimately improve farmers lives and incomes. With a background in IT, i was able to integrate IT and agriculture in facilitating and implementing IT for Agriculture (IT4A) projects.

With the emerging new technologies in marketing and IT and with the Philippines’ preparation for the ASEAN Integration, the training further enhanced my skills in utilizing the tools and techniques of E-Marketing of Agricultural and Food producst to help Filipino farmers to be more competitive in marketing their produce.

PROFILE OF PARTICIPANTS

There were a total of 24 participants, two coming from the Philippines. The participants came from both the government and private sectors, holding positions ranging from technical, supervisory, and managerial.

SCOPE, CONTENT AND METHODOLOGY

Resource Speakers from Singapore, Taiwan, the Philippines, and Malaysia talked on the following topics:

1. Dr. Kheng Soon Rodney Wee (Singapore)
• E-Marketing and e-Agribusiness – An Overview
• Framework for Developing Effective e-Marketing System

2. Ms. Michelle Wu (Taiwan)
• Online Marketing and e-Commerce of Taiwan Agricultural and Food Products

3. Mr. Dustin Andaya (Philippines)
• e-Marketing Challenges and Opportunities for Agribusiness and Food SMEs
• Developing an Efficient, Effective e-Marketing Campaign
• Webpage Design, Development, and Management

4. Ms. Maggie Chen (Philippines)
• The Experience Sharing of Promoting Fresh Agricultural Products in e-Commerce Way

5. Ms. Fione Tan (Malaysia)
• Internet Marketing Strategies, Tools and Techniques
• Social Media Marketing for Agricultural/Food Products
• Selling B2B and B2C on the Internet
• Creating Your Video Channel Online for Free

Except for Ms. Tan, who conducted hands-on exercises in addition to her lectures, the rest of the speakers presented their topics using the lecture style. On the other hand, Dr. Wee gave a group assignment which was presented in one of the sessions.  For every presentation, a Question and Answer (Q&A) session ensued.

One session was devoted to a site visit to the distribution center of Farm-Direct Co., a distributor of raw food items such as fish, fruit, meat and vegetables in Taiwan. The center practices e-marketing.

Site Visit at Farmdirect Taiwan

Site Visit at Farmdirect Taiwan

The Philippine country paper highlighted the following:
• No official data regarding the revenues derived from e-commerce, specifically from e-marketing of agricultural and food products, exist at present.
• A lot of e-commerce transactions happening in the country are not captured.
• There are some published figures that picture how big the e-commerce market is, but no widely-accepted data exist for the Philippines.
• Extent of penetration and usage of credit cards in online transactions is low in the Philippines.
• The issue of bogus firms marketing online products without delivering anything is present.

Country papers presented by other participants highlighted the following:
• Some SMEs are already engaged in e-marketing with Facebook as the number one platform. Still, e-marketing in most countries represented is still in its infancy stage.
• Given the above statement, there is still a great potential for B2C-centric e-marketing in most countries represented.
• Internet connectivity is a concern to the countries of some participants.
• Some countries are faced with
• Growth factors for the adoption and expansion of e-marketing in some most countries represented include growing Internet penetration, rapid mobile adoption, increased social media usage, and higher spending power of the middle class.

OUTCOMES AND EVALUATION

V. Soriano, DTI-EMB

The training course has given me the following insights and benefits:
• The current status of e-marketing in the countries of the different participants vary: some are in its infancy stage, others, in advanced stage.
• The experiences of other countries in e-marketing provide a good point of comparison with our country’s own experience.
• Networking with other countries provides a lot of advantages.

The training course met the organizer’s objectives as well as my personal objectives.

Majority of the resource persons were knowledgeable and effective in their presentation.

J. Pastrana, DAP-CQC

The resource speakers shared useful information, tools and techniques in E-Marketing agricultural products. Information such as the role of E-Marketing in the supply chain of agricultural and food products as well as the framework for digital internet marketing were shared by Dr. Rodney Wee. While Mr. Dustin Andaya of IslandRose.net discussed effective ways and means of marketing a product in the WWW. An acual hands-on experience in web development, creating and uploading video and creating FB page was effectively facilitated by Ms. Fione Tan of eOneNet.com.

RECOMMENDATIONS AND ACTION STEPS

V. Soriano, DTI-EMB

The participants all agreed to have the same training course replicated in their respective countries. In the same manner, it is recommended to the Philippine NPO to conduct a series of echo sessions in the country with SMEs as main participants.

The Philippine Government should provide a financing assistance to SMEs to fund the development of their own professional-looking websites to give them credence and attract more buyers.

Our own bureau could also replicate the training course locally with SMEs already doing e-marketing or e-commerce as Resource Speakers, aside from myself.

Aligned with the recommendation for the Philippine Government, our bureau could develop a program for SMEs that would provide them technical or funding assistance in setting up their own e-commerce websites

As for myself, I intend to do the following to create a multiplier effect:

• Make a comprehensive presentation to my colleagues or other interested stakeholders from related organizations on information/knowledge/inputs received from the training course;
• Prepare an article/news item on the subject for publication in newsletter, newspaper, journal, or on the website of our organization or any other relevant professional websites;
• Take part in any relevant national seminar/conference in the country and deliver a presentation as one of the resource speakers on  e-marketing of agricultural and food products; and
• Initiate an assignment/project/study on e-marketing of agricultural and food products or carry out the action plan presented during the training course.

J. Pastrana, DAP-CQC

For DAP as NPO to effectively prmote E-Marketing of agriculture and food products in the Philippines, a program with the Department of Agriculture together with extension workers shoudl be implemented to capacitate farmers cooperatives/associations, SME agribusinesses and LGUs.

As part of Agricultural Productivity Enhancement Division implementing various productivity projects for the agriculture sector, i am willing to share and apply knowledge i gained from the training to the projects DAP is implementing in relation to E-Marketing of Agriculture and Food Products as well as other products or services that could be promoted using the Internet. This is through the conduct of trainings, training module development, web development and other methods where the knowledge gained would apply.

SUBMITTED BY

VICTORINO SORIANO
Chief Trade Industry Development Specialist
DTI-Export Marketing Bureau

JOMAR PASTRANA
Associate Project Officer II
DAP-Center for Quality and Competitiveness

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