Next Generation Trade Intelligence Portal

Your online guide

Your self assessment score and advice

Self assessment question 1

We have a good understanding of the trade information needs of our key clients and regularly conduct benchmarking against good practices

You answered: Yes

In order to have a successful online trade information service, it is of crucial importance to have a good understanding of the information needs of your key clients. That includes not only the type of information, but also their preferred formats and dissemination modes.

At the same time it is important to assess your performance and benchmark it against good practices in the area of trade intelligence portals.

Go to Step 1 for more information (and learning from the best)

Self assessment question 2

We have clearly defined our portal’s added value, scope, sector and market focus, and human and financial resource allocation.

You answered: Yes

Before you develop a trade intelligence portal it is very important to define your strategy. What is your position vis-à-vis other trade information providers, what is your added value, and how can you focus your human and financial resources to optimize success?

You will need to frame your ambition in relation to your key stakeholders, their needs and performance and your available resources.

Go to Step 2 for more information (and learning from the best).

Self assessment question 3

The content of our online trade intelligence is focused on opportunities for both exporters and foreign buyers and we minimize text and optimize infographics and video formats.

You answered: Yes

Users of online information spend very little time reading. They are triggered by information about business opportunities and visuals. Therefore, try to focus your online trade information on market opportunities for your exporters and sourcing opportunities for foreign buyers. Also, try optimize the use of visuals. Especially infographics are effective.

In addition, video is increasingly used. But when using video, try to limit the duration of a video message to 60 sec. Focus and ‘less is more’ are the key words!

Go to Step 3 for more information (and learning from the best).

Self assessment question 4

With the interface and interaction design of our trade intelligence portal we focus on the ‘AIDAS model and stimulate visitors into action through prominent ‘calls to action’ buttons.

You answered: Yes

It is critical to attract the attention of visitors instantly and convince them they have come to the right place. The AIDAS model helps to do so. The basic principles are to attract the Attention, develop an Interest, create a Desire, that drives users into Action and leads to a Satisfied customer.

Online users are scanning, scrolling and swiping. The stopping power lies into visuals and calls-to-action buttons. So use these prominently. Do not hide them.

Go to Step 4 for more information (and learning from the best).

Self assessment question 5

The design of our trade intelligence portal is first and foremost based on usability performance on tablets and smart phones.

You answered: Yes

With a majority of online visitors using a mobile device to access websites, it has become essential to design and develop trade intelligence portals based on optimized performance for mobile usage.

If not, usability will be compromised and user experience will be negatively affected. In the worst case, this may lead to a loss of customers.

Go to Step 4 for more information (and learning from the best).

Self assessment question 6

We strategically use our social channels in tandem with our trade intelligence portal to attract our key clients to our trade intelligence news and reports on the portal.

You answered: Yes

Nowadays one of the most effective ways to attract attention of your key clients is the use of social channels like Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Make sure you use these channels in a strategic way, with predefined targets and a social media plan, driving your key clients to the intelligence on the portal.

Social media have become so important that you also need to allocate human resources to deal with it accordingly.

Go to Step 5 for more information (and learning from the best).

Self assessment question 7

We have clearly established which types of content are in line with our core competence and have identified other important content to be fed by other content suppliers to stream in through affiliation and syndication.

You answered: Yes

In the current era of information overload we need to look around us and evaluate in which areas of information supply we are truly adding value for our clients or whether we are using up a lot of resources to re-produce something that others are already very good at. Third parties may be well positioned to provide relevant trade information profiles, reports, databases, tutorials or marketplaces on certain topics. Web technologies make streaming in of such information and tools very straight forward.

Go to Step 6 for more information (and learning from the best)/

Self assessment question 8

We have devised and implemented a comprehensive and robust Portal Operations Plan that ensures efficient management of content, social media channels, quality, human resources and technical infrastructure, hardware and software.

You answered: Yes

Maintaining a winning portal is not a small undertaking. Operations in the form of standardised workflow processes and procedures covering a wide array of aspects to manage. With respect to the staff involved, clear roles and responsibilities need also to be worked out and adhered to. Furthermore, human resource development and knowledge management are key to develop and maintain capabilities in the organisation.

Go to Step 7 for more information (and learning from the best).

Self assessment question 9

We monitor the performance of our portal service very closely and have a good grip on who our users are and how they behave on site. We are confidently able to achieve conversion with our most important clients in line with our portal strategy priorities.

You answered: Yes

For the monitoring and evaluation of a portal’s performance to be effective, the undertaking needs to go well beyond patting ourselves on the back for the number of visitors on our site. More detailed analysis of user data (and other sources such as focus group sessions) is required and moreover the analysis needs to be applied strategically. Hence monitoring of performance is meaningful when we tie it to our overall portal strategy and establish well defined performance indicators and goals to achieve therein.

Go to Step 8 for more information (and learning from the best).

Self assessment question 10

We have devised and implemented a comprehensive and robust Portal Sustainability Plan that ensures that we maintain the financial means so as not to threaten the continued existence, effective operation and continuous improvement of the portal.

You answered: Yes

Trade Intelligence Portals require resources to be kept in existence and effective. Sources of finance to sustain it need to be secured or at least carefully planned at an early stage. A Trade Intelligence Portal does not necessarily need to always be a financial burden. On the contrary, it can save costs and even become an income generator for an organisation.

Multiple financial models can be explored such as selling information, cross-selling services, advertising and acquiring sponsorship from banks.

Go to Step 10 for more information (and learning from the best).