5 of the best sources to use for your initial market research

26/09/2016

initial market research

initial market researchIf your company is planning on expanding into a new market, then effective market research is a crucial asset. After all, in order to achieve success in a new market, it’s critical to have a proper understanding of it.

You will need to know a great deal about the competitors, the consumers, the government, and how to connect your supply chain to this market. In other words, there is a lot of research that must be conducted before any further steps can be taken.

When it comes to market research, some sources are of much higher quality than others. Here are five of the best sources to use for your initial market research.

1. BBC News Country Profiles

This site provides in-depth reports and profiles on every country in the world. These profiles outline the political, economic, geographical, social, and historical aspects of each country. They also provide important information such as population, life expectancy, currency, and the major languages spoken in each nation.

All of this information can be imperative for a company considering a future expansion market.

BBC News provides a brief report on each country, as well as full overviews that go into greater detail. Reading these profiles can quickly catch any international trade professional up to speed on important facts about the country. This can lead to a much better understanding of the business environment, as well as the consumers in the region.

2. International Trade Center

The International Trade Center is an organization whose goal is to support the internationalization of small and medium sized businesses. The site for this organization, intracen.org, is a fantastic resource for international market research, providing a wide variety of incredible research tools.

For example, you can find trade statistics, tariff and market requirement information, foreign direct investment data, voluntary standards, market analysis studies, and lots of other market information for various countries.

Given the depth of information and the importance of this type of market data, the website will be indispensable for companies looking to expand into new international markets.

3. The CIA World Factbook

The World Factbook provides detailed reports about countries all around the world. Like the BBC News Country Profiles site, it explains each country’s government, economy, languages, military power, communications, and transnational issues.

Because this information comes from one of the most powerful intelligence agencies in the world, it is likely to be highly accurate and up to date.

Those who wish to use the World Factbook to gain information on new markets can search through an alphabetical list of countries to find the one they are looking for, then simply peruse all the useful information provided.

4. The International Trade Administration – Trade.gov

The International Trade Administration is an agency of the U.S. Department of Commerce, and their website designed to promote competitiveness for American global trade. Fortunately, anyone can access it and benefit from it.

This site is incredibly useful for market research because it provides a large volume of trade statistics and information, such as the top imports and exports by country. It also provides trade leads, licensing information, industry analyses, competitiveness information, and much more.

In addition to this information, the ITA allows you to conduct a search by industry. The industry specific searches are a particularly useful feature for companies working in niche or very competitive industries, with many companies already fighting over the same market share.

5. Internet World Stats

This website provides data about internet usage by country. It can be very helpful for any company that makes electronic equipment designed for internet use, such as computers, smartphones, tablets, wearable electronic devices, and others.

It is also vital for any company planning to enter a market via e-commerce to get a better sense of the size of their potential market.

In addition, this website also gives details about national populations, and provides other market statistics. There are also a number of informative articles, including pieces detailing Facebook growth by country, the top ten languages used on the internet, countries with the highest mobile internet usage, and more.

Get ready to start searching and reading

Effective research can be pivotal for understanding new markets. Failing to do effective research means the chances of successful expansion into a new market will be much lower.

In other words, it is oftentimes not enough to have a great product, an efficient supply chain, and a profitable business in order to succeed in market expansion.

You also have to understand the culture, the people, the government, the tariffs, the regulations, the competition, and other factors involved with this new market.

In order to gain this critical information, trade professionals can use the five websites already listed to get high quality market research.

If you have any others you have used for initial market research and would recommend to others, please mention them in the comments below.

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in this article are those of the contributing author, and do not necessarily reflect those of the Forum for International Trade Training.

About the author

Bennett O'Brien

Author: Bennett O'Brien

Bennett O'Brien is a freelance writer from the state of Massachusetts in the United States. He holds a bachelor's degree from Westfield State University, and graduated cum laude. Currently he is expanding his freelance writing career, and enjoying the opportunity to write on a variety of business topics.

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