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Export Research - the facts

Export Market Research

By Anton Pemmer, Trade Advisor, TradeStart

Market research should not be an academic exercise of assembled facts and figures. Good market research entails finding out what actually drives a market – and how to get the best out of it. Learn to think and act like a local. 

Market research involves finding out about things you need to know such as import duties, regulations, distribution channels, market size and growth, competition, demographics and local production – so you can assess market opportunities.

Gathering this information is usually straightforward and helps you understand how a market operates. The most valuable element of market research is information about ‘market feel’. How will your product or service compete in the environment where you will be doing business? Sitting in your own office doesn’t give you a true indication of what an export market is really like.

Market feel is a first-hand appreciation of how buyers operate, the dynamics of business meetings, what your competitors are doing and potential obstacles to market entry.

Sound market research will encompass intelligence from people who are streetwise and can convey market knowledge in a practical fashion. This includes descriptions of the types of buyers you will meet, how they negotiate, cultural factors in business dealings and a flavour of the market environment.

Try to gain a sense of how business is done by speaking to companies with experience. Attending seminars on “How to do Business” in various countries really helps, take a step to the left and stand in your customer's shoes, look from there perspective.

The first step is to gather basic market information ranging from import regulations to exchange rates. This is available from a multitude of free online sources.

One of the first factors to consider is your sale price, and comparing it to the market price for the same commodity, if you need or want let’s say $100 for your product or service, and within your market of choice, the going rate is $50. Then stop there save your money, and look for another market that will accept your price otherwise you will be spending good money for little or no return. 

This information is the tip of the iceberg, and should just give you some food for thought, feel free to contact your TradeStart Adviser or the Austrade office for more assistance.

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