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We participated in the presentation of the Yearbook of the Observatorio de Marcas en el Exterior (Observatory of Brands Abroad)

1 de March de 2024





Alicia García-Reyes, head of the Department of Foreign Promotion and Projects and Innovation at FEDACOVA, participated this morning in the presentation of the Mediterranean Marketing Club’s Yearbook of the Observatory of Brands Abroad.

64% of exporting companies in the Valencian Region consider product innovation to be key to competing in the international market, and 56% consider the creation of greater brand visibility to be key. In addition to having an international marketing plan, in 47% of cases, receiving support from public bodies, in 43% of cases, and plans to build customer loyalty, in 40% of cases. However, in 2023, unlike in previous years, price is once again a competitive factor in this list with 12%.

These are some of the most outstanding data of the Observatory of Valencian Brands Abroad 2023 that the Mediterranean Marketing Club (CMM) prepares in collaboration with the Valencian Institute of Business Competitiveness and Innovation, Ivace+i International, and whose 10th edition has been presented today.

Another of the highlights of this yearbook is how product innovation, with 32%, repeats as the area where companies allocate the highest percentage of their budget. This is followed by international trade fairs (31%) and digital marketing (20%).

The investment gap in online and offline marketing is narrowing

The investment gap between offline (37%) and online (38%) marketing is also narrowing. Whereas in 2022 the percentage difference in investment in offline and online marketing was 10 percentage points, with offline marketing being ahead, this year the difference is reduced to 1%.

In addition, companies also increased their international marketing budgets in 2023 compared to 2022. The main increase is in the ranges from 60,000 euros to 100,000 euros and up to 300,000 euros.

The aim of the Yearbook of Valencian Brands Abroad 2023, which has been presented at the CEV headquarters, is to study the behaviour of exporting companies in the Region, from the point of view of marketing and international promotion, and to try to be a faithful and representative reflection of their activity in international markets. In this edition, companies from Castellón, Valencia and Alicante took part, most of which have been exporting for more than ten years.

In its presentation, the general director of entrepreneurship and internationalization of the Generalitat Valenciana and deputy director of Ivace +i International, Ester Olivas and the president of the MWC, Marta Iranzo, together with the director of the Observatory of Valencian Brands Abroad, and member of the Board of Directors of the MWC, Bernardo Abril, have participated.

During his speech, Bernardo Abril has highlighted how this year “we have incorporated new features with which we try to adapt the study to a reality in constant change. And where we have considered the weight that online sales are gaining, so we have included questions about the barriers that companies find to incorporate this modality, as well as the irruption of artificial intelligence as a working tool“.

Thus, according to data from the Observatory, although companies are at a very early stage in the application of artificial intelligence as a promotional tool, 49% are beginning to use it. Training in digital skills and investment in tools are the factors that have the greatest impact on the digitisation process of departments.

In this presentation, the General Director of Entrepreneurship and Internationalisation of the Generalitat Valenciana and Deputy Director of Ivace+i International, Ester Olivas, highlighted the commitment of the Consell to continue working side by side with Valencian companies, “providing them with funding, resources, knowledge, advice and services“. “Our commitment is to make what is difficult a little easier: a complex process of internationalisation with many questions and also with many opportunities“, she said.

Impact of the macroeconomic situation on exports

As the yearbook reflects, the macroeconomic situation is also affecting the region’s brands abroad. The current slowdown in exports is reflected in the companies surveyed, where 41% say that their exports have been impacted.

Threats related to international economic instability (94%), deteriorating profit margins (88%) and falling demand due to high inflation (86%) are the factors generating the highest levels of concern, according to the responses collected. On the other hand, threats such as the difficulty of opening new markets (69%) and competitors with stronger brands (51%) are also of concern, although to a lesser extent.

Despite this impact, 72% of companies are moderately optimistic about the future of their exports in the context of the current international market.

The presentation of the Observatory of Valencian Brands Abroad 2023 also included a debate with representatives from ANIEME, ATEVAL and FEDACOVA as part of the organisations collaborating in this study.

Throughout this colloquium, the head of International Promotion and Communication in ANIEME, Patricia Ybarra stressed that “the furniture industry is making a great effort to continue betting on crucial factors such as innovation and sustainability, which in turn require significant investment. Companies are also facing major challenges such as the implementation of AI systems to improve processes and sales at a time marked by the digital transformation of the sector and the revolution that e-commerce has brought”.

Main exporting countries

The countries where companies in the Region concentrate most of their marketing investment continue to be the European Union, North America and South and Central America.

In this sense, the Director of Internationalisation and Trade Promotion at ATEVAL, Leila Bachetarzi, explained that “the European market is mature and very demanding, so the textile sector has to make much more effort, and marketing is a powerful tool to position itself properly among the most important suppliers in Italy, France, Portugal and the United Kingdom“. And he also stressed “the good harmony, close culture and excellent relations with Latin American countries where textile articles are very well accepted, but it is necessary to persevere in brand visibility and online campaigns to strengthen these commercial ties“.

Thus, 58% of the companies surveyed have a strategy focused on the B2B channel. The group of companies that develop strategies aimed at the end consumer is divided between 31% that work with local partners or distributors (B2B2C) and 11% that work directly with end consumers.

As main barriers to entering the digital channel, the yearbook highlights international logistics (50%), the regulatory framework (49%) and the lack of specialised personnel (40%).

Alicia García-Reyes, head of FEDACOVA’s External Promotion and Projects and Innovation department, highlighted “the evolution that the agri-food sector has undergone in terms of innovation and concepts such as waste recovery or bioavailability, and how the ability to adapt is fundamental in the current context“. And he recalled how, for this sector in particular, “trade fairs are still today the main instrument for presentation and promotion, due to the very nature of its products“.