Expanding your business on a global scale requires conducting extensive market research and adjusting your entire brand and content to become more approachable to each local audience. Managers who have their minds set on entering new markets know that failing at either of these steps can threaten their business’ success.
Statistics show that the global market research services market has grown from $76.42 billion in 2021 to $81.69 billion in 2022. This 6.9% CAGR speaks volumes about the importance of international market research these days. In fact, all of the different obstacles companies face when entering a new market and conducting successful localization can become really challenging if the team responsible for the research is not on top of their game.
If you fail to carry out rigorous international market research beforehand, you risk being unprepared for the already challenging localization process. This informative article will take a closer look at some of the most influential international market research methods and tips on handling the process like a pro.
The 6 steps you should take to conduct proper international market research
Like any other type of market research, your should do international market research in smaller, more easily manageable steps. Here’s a quick, high-level overview of them:
Determine your target audience
As you may already know, the initial step in any comprehensive market research strategy is to determine the target audience. Knowing the target audience will help you narrow down your research efforts and ensure that you’re obtaining data and information that’s actually relevant to your business’ needs.
For instance, if you’re willing to expand on the French market, an example of an audience you might target would be “French lower middle-class men ages 35-50.”
Identify your market research goals
Next, you should identify a problem, issue, or business opportunity you want to understand better about your target audience. For instance: “With this research, our company wants to understand what hair care products French lower middle-class men ages 35-50 prefer when shopping at their nearest supermarket. This way, we can know better if our product stands a chance in the highly-competitive French hair care market.”
Choose your research techniques and methods
Once you set your target audience and market research goals, you’ll need to choose the techniques and methods that will help you obtain the data you need. When working on research, there are numerous different techniques and methods you may utilize, both qualitative and quantitative.
For the case above, to find out more about the hair care products French men buy and consume, you can conduct a market survey. Through the survey, you can ask men that fall under your target audience about what they do when it comes to taking care of their hair.
Establish your research plan
Once you know the techniques and methods you’ll utilize in your research, you can start establishing and developing your research plan in greater detail. This should include a comprehensive description of how you’ll execute your international market research, including setting a budget and timelines for particular activities and noting any challenges or risks you anticipate. For instance, if you plan on conducting surveys in France, you’ll definitely need to consider challenges such as cultural differences and language barriers.
Collect and analyze the data from the research
Right after you’ve carried out your research plan, you should start collecting and analyzing the data from the research. Many times, this could be a long and complicated process, depending on the techniques you’ve utilized and the type of data you’ve obtained. For example, if you carried out a comprehensive survey, you might want to rely on statistical software to analyze the final results of the survey.
Present your findings
Last but not least, after you’ve collected and analyzed your data, you will need to present your findings in a way that’s easy for other individuals to understand. For example, if there are stakeholders in your company, they can use these findings to make well-informed decisions about things like marketing, product development, and even the big-picture expansion plan.
How you’ll present your findings will depend on the type of data you’ve gathered and the goals of your research. For the example from above, you can create a presentation or report that includes graphs and charts regarding male hair care products in the French market.
Do your expansion homework and set your business up for success
In the end, remember that these steps are just a high-level overview of international market research. Each market research project is unique, so you’ll need to tailor your approach to fit the particular needs of your company.
Keep in mind that the process of conducting comprehensive market research is an essential and unavoidable task if you want your localisation and expansion strategy to be successful. Make sure not to skip this incredibly important process while planning to conquer international markets and do the research in a professional manner.