Chapter # 4 : Market Analysis
Get your mind into Market Research. (Using a Mental Approach)
Selling in the international market scene requires a lot of information. Those who are best informed have the best likelihood of succeeding. Even so, many companies still fail. How come? It is not only the facts that count. There is usually one significant ingredient missing.
When we begin, we collect a lot of information about the market including prices, competition and distributor margins. We find the right distributor. Despite this, things don’t work out as planned. We blame the distributor for not performing. When we ask why they aren’t meeting sales targets, they say that the prices and products are not right, even though we know this is not so. We don’t understand why our plans failed. We’ve done all our homework, haven’t we?
What is wrong?
We did not develop a “feel” for the market. Many companies rely on information and facts that other people have collected, and they base their strategies on that information. They assume a lot but don’t “get to know” the market.
How do we solve this? We need to develop an understanding of how the market works. We need to “touch”, “feel”, “taste” and “hear”. We must get our minds to understand it is not like at home. The temperature is different, people dress differently and act differently and things look different. By reading a report you cannot get that feeling, you must go and visit to get the real feel for it. So, if we plan to enter a market, before even collecting too much information, pay a trip to the country and get “the feeling” of the market. Start 6-12 months before the planned start-up and pay several visits to the end-users. This will give you a better feeling for the market and the way they do business there. It will furthermore indicate if your product fits the market, what you need to adapt. You will also get information about the competition, prices as well as suitable distributors. If you can coordinate your trip with an exhibition you can also walk around and “inhale” the feeling of how products are sold and exposed. Bring a camera so you can show your staff how the new market looks like when you come home.
With all this as a base, you can add the “facts” to decide on how to enter the market. In this case, you have already made your intellectual and mind adjustment and will not fail in your efforts due to a lack of understanding of the market. Firstly when the company can see the advantages it can decide where and how to enter the international market.
What is the difference between Market Information and Business Intelligence? Market information is the data you collect from the market – consumer surveys, sales figures, etc. Business Intelligence is the collection and analysis of market information so that a company can make informed business decisions and convert those decisions into action. You collect and organize the data; you analyze and understand what it means to you. You create a strategy based on that.
Leif Holmvall, President
Export Pro Inc.
In our book “Export & Import – Winning in the Global Marketplace”
ISBN 978-0-9681148-1-0 those topics are covered in depth. You can also buy our book for less than $10 as an e-book visit e.g. https://www.amazon.com/dp/0968114814, where you can read part of the book.
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