The ‘Agroexport’ and MGIMO Held an Advanced Training Program on Marketing in Global Agricultural Trade

From November 26 to December 10, MGIMO together with the Agroexport Federal Center conducted an advanced training program "Marketing in Global Agricultural Trade". The course was organized jointly by the Agroexport Federal Center and MGIMO with support from the Russian Ministry of Agriculture as part of the strategic project "Institute of World Agricultural Markets" under the governmental program supporting Russian universities "Priority 2030".

The final program was opened by MGIMO Vice-Rector for Development Artem Malgin. He noted that this year IWAM succeeded in forming a community of those who had attended all programs. "Besides major events, such as ATP, we, together with the Russian Ministry of Agriculture and the Agroexport, are preparing other projects in the framework of the Institute of World Agricultural Markets, " he continued. "In a year and two months, we have implemented new educational courses, updated the master’s program, as well as created a new one. We also prepare a number of new products — an annual report on global agricultural markets, which we will present in March 2023, a textbook on global agricultural markets, as well as a series of textbooks on foreign languages for the agro-industrial complex".

Competence development and expertise in the field of world agricultural marketing are the conditions necessary for exporting domestic products, added Dmitry Krasnov, Head of the Agroexport. "In recent years, we have seen a change in the structure of our exports. In 2021, the share of raw materials in total agricultural exports were down by 10% compared to 2018. Investment activity supports this trend — in the total volume of revenue from investment projects, 74% is accounted for by intermediate materials and finished products. Exporting such products requires a good expertise of the foreign market and marketing, as well as the ability to build communications with foreign partners and consumers, " he summed up.

The program lasted three days and consisted of several thematic blocks. The first one was devoted to the theoretical foundations of world agricultural marketing. Representatives of the "Agroexport" enumerated diverse approaches to marketing research of foreign markets and analyzed the benefits and drawbacks of different agricultural marketing channels. The experts provided course participants with the successful cases of services responsible for promoting agricultural products, as well as the means of creating and developing national brands.

Andrey Kucherov, Deputy Director of the Agroexport, noted that for agricultural products to be promoted under a single brand, it is necessary to form appropriate associations with a producing country: "Branding refers to the process by which a country claims a specific brand positioning in the minds of both its citizens and international consumers in the global marketplace. The result of a successful marketing strategy is to create a strong association between a country, its products and the level of its quality, as well as the values they reflect".

The second part was practical. Representatives of the largest Russian agricultural holdings — Blago Group of Companies, Yug-Rusi Group of Companies, Makfa JSC, Belevskaya Confectionery Company LLC, Torero confectionery factory — revealed what marketing tools they use to promote agricultural products in foreign markets. In turn, experts from leading advertising and consulting agencies, such as KEPT JSC, Rincon Management LLC, Trust Technologies LLC, Depot, maslov: agency, RUSFAIR, showed strategies for analyzing potential competitors in the global agricultural markets. Speakers paid special attention to the key mistakes that agricultural exporters made while elaborating a marketing strategy.

"The manufacturer’s mission today is to improve Russia’s reputation in domestic and foreign markets by means of successful local brands," says Anna Lukanina, Depot Managing Partner, President of the Russian Association of Branding Companies. — Brands, not goods, are a significant source of the country’s development. The product will never promote itself — exporters need to form a brand and build an emotional connection with consumers".

This point of view was shared by Valery Kaigorodov, founder and CEO of RUSFAIR. "On the world market, Russia is not formulated in terms of consumer characteristics. Our partners consider us as a large, northern, cold country, but they do not fully understand what specific products we can export. Thus, agricultural exports are also a contribution to understanding of what Russia is".

In total, about 500 people took part in the program, about 70 were present offline. Now participants have to pass a final test. Those who successfully do it will receive certificates from MGIMO.