As every business owner knows, the marketing department needs to develop crucial data before any major undertaking is ever begun. This means that if you plan on expanding your business overseas, your export marketing people must know which foreign markets to target. This is done by assessing the target market properly.
Here are the questions your export marketing personnel must answer in order to provide an accurate evaluation:
1. What are the trends for your products?
This means that if you are selling bicycles, for example, you have to know how many bicycles are sold in your targeted market. You have to know how many bikes are sold in the country, and who is buying bikes. You need to know how and when bikes are bought, at what price they are most popular, and the ages and locations of the bike buyers in the country.
2. What’s your competition like?
Here, you need to know how many bikes are made and sold by local competitors, and you also have to know how well your fellow foreign bike sellers are doing. You may also want to take a look at the promotional methods your competitors are using to see which methods work.
3. How do you sell your products?
There are many factors that can affect the answers to this question. For example, you have to think about your channels of distribution. Where do you sell your bikes? Then there are certain cultural preferences you have to address. Your target market may want bikes in certain configurations or different colors. You may even have to change the name of the product to promote a better image or more attention from potential buyers.
This step also addresses how you need to promote your bikes. Do you advertise in print, and if so in what publications? Do you do some TV spots, or perhaps hire a local celebrity to act as spokesman for your bikes? Can you sponsor local bike events and competitions?
Your assessment must be detailed and complete, and it must contain all of these elements as well. The assessment, if possible, must contain cost estimates for these various promotional activities.
4. What are the potential barriers put up by the target market and by the government in your country?
For example, the target country you want to enter may impose tariffs for any bike imported by retail shops into the country. Or perhaps your country’s government may have export limits so that you can only export a certain number or volume of your products.
5. Are there any incentives?
Perhaps your own government may give you some rewards for exporting to a certain country. Or maybe the government in your target market, in an effort to promote wellness and health, is offering incentives for exporters to send their bikes to their country.
By answering these questions for several target country candidates for your business, you may identify the right country to which you can export your products.