In today’s world, it takes more than just a hunch to get businesses to venture into foreign markets. They need accurate and valuable INFORMATION AND MARKET RESEARCH if they wish to internationalize.
On this post, I describe three pillars to make up for a successful market research, and the reasons why companies should rely on professional assistance to get their business to stand out among global competition.
The three approaches to a successful market research and analysis
RELEVANCE – SIZE – COMPETITION
During their daily operations, most businesses already gather information on customer preferences, buying habits and interests — information which is all definitely important for the development of a strategic marketing plan. Data collection becomes a challenge for businesses planning on entering international markets for the simple reason that it’s not easy to obtain them from abroad without a team dedicated to researching foreign customers. So, before expanding internationally or even considering which is the best country to focus on, a business should know who its target market is and if its services/products are needed there.
Here are some questions that need answers at this stage:
- Who will buy your product/service?
- How often do customers buy?
- How much are they willing to pay?
Now, what about the size of the market you are venturing into? It is essential that markets continuously observe the changes in the size of the industry of interest — as these factors can constantly change and have new impacts on businesses. By collecting accurate data on demographics, growth trends, timelines, historical data and statistics, a market research on the size of the industry can provide you with an overview about the potential foreign markets you should access, and the likelihood of your brand having success in doing so.
Here are some questions that need answers:
- What are the relevant data and statistics about your industry?
- Are there product/service-related specifications?
- How do trends behave?
- Which are the best distribution channels?
The third pillar – not necessarily the last one – takes a look at the market competition. Just as a business should never enter a new domestic market without knowing who the other players are and who it’ll be going up against and competing with, it’s also vital for a business to know everything it can about its foreign competition. This will allow you to understand if customers are loyal to other brands, or how stable and relevant your competitors are in that market.
Here are some questions to assess your competitors:
- Is there direct competition for your product/service?
- Who are your main competitors?
- What are their strengths and weaknesses? (S/W)
- Are there opportunities or threats? (O/T)
These are just a small sample of questions and information that a successful market research will answer. It is but important to mention that not all business models are the same, hence not all have the same expectations. In this sense, each market research has to be tailored to the current needs of a company, taking into consideration its current status and the goals it wants to achieve.
A SUCCESSFUL MARKET RESEARCH
The bottom line is that business have to gather information about their product or service within a specific foreign market in order to assess its RELEVANCE, SIZE and COMPETITION. After carefully examining the company’s business model and goals, and taking into consideration all the data and information collected on the three approaches of market research, it will be possible to tailor a business plan that will advise and allow the company to enter into foreign markets avoiding potential losses.
In such a dynamic and digitally connected world, business have to consider information as the paramount tool to achieve success in foreign markets – be it in the form of traditional marketing channels, or via online marketing, such as promotion on social media. The quality and accuracy of the collected information has to be delivered in an extensive, and yet objective enough way, so that it will allow businesses to make informed decisions about their development and expansion goals.
The three approaches to a successful market analysis make up for the core of an intelligent, efficient and solid-base market research.
Got interested? So take a moment to read this article about the importance of project management, and how it can contribute to the development of your business.
*pictures with courtesy from Pexels