Using market research and analytics to pinpoint your target market
Article co-written by Claudius du Plooy
Market research is especially integral for the successful expansion of a business into new international markets. A thorough market research process will help you screen potential markets and identify which are the best fit for your business, allowing you to focus on a success strategy to enter those particular markets.
It’s best to use a variety of resources when researching. We recommend using primary and secondary sources, beginning with secondary sources. Secondary sources are good to begin with because they provide a broad overview of information which can help you to pinpoint the issues most relevant to you. Examples of these include website articles, encyclopedias, international business books and your target market’s economic or business hubs, like the chamber of commerce. By beginning with secondary research, you might find out from a blog that a cultural taboo exists in your target market that greatly reduces the viability of your product. This kind of information would likely be missed if you had started with primary research, like specific laws and regulations. Once you’ve conducted your secondary research and determined there aren’t any “soft” barriers to entry, conduct primary research looking at the specific laws and regulations to access the legal barriers.
Things to consider
When conducting market research, it is in your best interest to examine each market from various angles. Consider the following:
- The level of development of a country’s economy as a whole, in addition to the development of your specific industry
- The political and economic climate
- Cultural business norms
- Local support and resources available for businesses like yours
- Qualities and conditions that could affect operations in that market
- Current market demand for your product or service
Once you’ve compiled enough information you should have a clear understanding of each market and be able to confidently make a decision on which markets to enter. Knowing what the current market demand for your product is allows you to avoid entry barriers that arise from non-existent and oversaturated markets. Another example is the ease of sourcing resources and supplies in the local economy. Harsh restrictions on the transport of certain substances could reduce economic viability in the region. It is important to understand the specifics of your industry and products in the overall economic scheme of your target market.
We know market research can be overwhelming, but it doesn’t have to be. Your research must address your industry and products specifically, so it’s crucial you don’t overlook anything. If you plan on expanding internationally we highly recommend dedicating resources to international market research to increase your chances of success. If you require any support, the Du Plooy Law team can connect you with market research specialists and even present you with some funding opportunities to cover the cost of your market research.
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