Posted on 10/25/19 by Danielle Garan
Are you getting ready to step up a notch and extend your business on a global scale?
Fortunately for you, advancements in technology are making it easier for entrepreneurs and businesses to introduce their brands to the international scene. You just need to stay up-to-date with current market conditions, compiling data on relevant topics like pricing, competition, and buyer’s preferences, and personally meet with potential customers.
Just like any other local business expansion, you ought to conduct a thorough global market research if you hope to expand your business overseas.
Tips to Help You Conduct Global Market Research Before Your Products or Services Go Global:
Look for multiple sources of crucial information
This involves collecting data directly from the foreign marketplace you hope to expand to through interviews, surveys, and other means of direct contact with potential customers.
One way to do so is by putting up market research online communities to study how your clients’ existing and potential customers would react on a number of activities. You can create polls, sort and rank, grids, and stimuli mark-ups to give respondents a variety of engaging activities to accomplish. Look for a consistent streak of relevant symbols or emojis, common slang or abbreviations, even popular images, memes or gifs will help you get a deeper understanding of how potential customers communicate with one another and a trend in the buyer’s behavior. This, in turn, will help you devise and create an effective marketing plan that is both interesting and relatable.
You can also look into social media channels and promote the community you have built so customers can further share their insights on your business and extend the reach of your brand. As much as possible, look for an online community that is accessible on all devices – mobile, desktop, tablet, etc.
When you decide to expand your business, you will need to identify where your products or services are in demand. However, you should also be wary of places where there’s too much competition. A great market economy may have a higher demand for your business but may also mean there are too many established businesses to compete with already. You have to assess foreign markets and identify which places have the highest potential for profitability without clashing with too many competitors and with a good concentration of potential customers.
Apart from that, you should also assess foreign market demographics and income levels. Compile as much data as you can about a specific country or region’s population density, education levels, and age and income distribution. If you can, also try to look up other trade statistics, tariffs, and taxes.
While you’re at it, you can also list down a few more promising foreign markets for future ventures.
Seek authoritative sources
Government agencies usually give the public free access to government statistics which are valuable and reliable sources of information. It is particularly helpful if you’re looking for data about a foreign country’s demographics, economics, and its’ commerce department status. You can find economic forecasts, reports, and guides on specific countries and industries here. On the other hand, if you’re looking for reports on industry-specific opportunities in various foreign markets, you can check this out.
Apart from government agencies, you can also attend international trade shows, workshops, and seminars in your chosen industry. If your budget would permit, you can also hire an international trade and marketing consultant or reach out to trade and industry associations.
Another means of obtaining relevant information is to look for publications from your industry’s associations. Professional organizations in the same industry most likely publishes articles on emerging trends in consumers’ preferences and technology, market statistics, and other related information. You can even go to the nearest library, ask the librarian for assistance, and seek credible books, articles, or clippings.
Research about your competitors
Any foreign market you are targeting to extend your business will always have an existing local business that you are bound to compete with. It is only necessary to look up pricing rates within the country or region and research about your competitors. This will help you better understand their pricing policies and the level of competition that exists in that industry.
Now, after conducting a global market research, you should be able to answer the following questions:
- - What foreign markets or countries are currently purchasing or are in need of your products and services?
- - Who are your competitors, how established is their brand, and what is their unique selling point?
- - What are the required certifications, standards, and testing needed?
- - Is there a need for you to modify your products or services to meet specific market laws or regulations?
- - Is your price point appealing and reasonable within the market?
- - What means of distribution should you go for?
- - What are other possible costs?
Once you are done gathering all the relevant and crucial information about the foreign market you’re targeting for business expansion, it’ll be easier for you to determine if moving into that country or region is the right option for your business.