Key Factors to Consider When Researching Your Target Market

Once you’ve made the decision to go global and expand business internationally, you’ll no doubt be starting to think about collecting information on pricing, competition and customer preferences, as well as looking at the local demand for your products or services in the markets you are targeting, figuring where to place your prices and getting a general gauge on what to expect from competition and customers in the industry.

This research will help you prepare, and could determine the success of your company’s entire international expansion of business, so here’s what to consider researching in the early stage of planning an international expansion.

Determine what you need to find out

Your research should start with a comprehensive market analysis to determine the intricacies of your new customer base. Find out if there’s a need for your products or services in this market, what the consumers’ habits are and the best way to target them, as well as how your competitors are marketing their goods and services.

Approach with caution

It’s advisable to approach your research just as you would normally for a business plan or big meeting, for example. This means going into it with an open mind so as not to fall victim to confirmation bias, but also having a plan for what questions you intend to answer.

Seek out multiple, authoritative sources of information

You should always seek independent and trustworthy sources; expanding your business abroad is a significant decision.

For most foreign markets, official information should be readily available; if anything, there’s will likely be such a large amount of information that you will need to sift through it to get to the most accurate and relevant sources.

And you should ensure the sources you take information from are authoritative and up-to-date. Governmental data will often be one of the best places for you to start, both in your home country, and in the country you’re expanding your business to. This will give you a good grounding for regulations, as well as crucial demographics and consumer trends.

Consider other sources more cautiously

When the important questions are answered, you can also spend some time looking at consumer surveys, as an additional aside. While these are often flawed due to their reliance on self-reporting, and often biased by being conducted by a company in the industry with a direct interest in giving a positive spin, they can still be insightful if you take them lightly. Think of it as light, additional reading into your future potential market and customers.

Research local competitors

One effective way of getting to know your target market is looking at what consumers are spending their money on. Target some of your new competitors and look at how they’re conducting business, what their pricing, marketing and communications looks like, down to smaller details, such as their returns policy and promotions cycle.

But remember to look beyond your consumers and at the country itself to find out about regulations such as local tax legislations, policies, the talent pool, partners, resources and the infrastructure.

Making sure you’re well researched and prepared is crucial for a successful international move. Get in touch with us for advice on how to best approach target market research, or any other aspects of international business expansion.

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