Copy of Market research across borders: 3 tips for targeting an international market

The market research that we do so that we’re able to accurately target our audiences often isn’t limited to the boundaries that surround our own nation or that of the business. Sometimes, it’s necessary to reach out across borders so that we can gain insight into people of different geographical backgrounds. The truth is, we can’t just copy what we’ve done in one region and expect the same results in another. People are different, and this especially holds true across different international borders. This may be intimidating to some business owners or marketing teams, as they’re not quite sure how to approach consumers in countries outside of their own. Here are a few hints and tips to get going in market research across borders:  

Systems and processes matter

When embarking on an international market research project, it’s essential that there are systems in place and a process that ensures the consistency of the manner in which the research takes place. Just because you’re doing research in multiple countries, it doesn’t mean that you can’t centralize the system and the way in which it’s carried out. Here, we recommend that you appoint a general manager to lead the project who then taps into the local markets and strategizes with individuals who know and understand the region. This will enable the co-managers of the project in each region to follow the correct procedure as set out by the general manager of the project, however, empower them to adapt it accordingly to gain the optimum number and quality of responses. 

Develop and work on a defined timeline

Remember that each region will most likely work in a different time zone as well as their own research pace. This is why it’s essential that you develop and plan for a workable timeline that allows for the different cultural nuances and geographical challenges to be overcame for the greater good of the project. If you try to rush the research, you may not get the accurate data you need to make smart business decisions. Likewise, if you take too long, you may miss out on the opportunity to take your product or service to market. Timing is everything when conducting international market research.

Don’t leave anything to chance

Have you prepared and put together well defined research briefs? Do you know if the region you’re planning to research will understand and accurately receive the information that you’re trying to communicate? This is where the age-old adage of, “If you fail to plan, then you should plan to fail,” comes into play. Ensuring that your research briefs are completed and defined in accordance with each specific country is just as important as appointing the right people to carry the research out. They may need to be different depending on the cultural and geographical differences you encounter in each region you plan to research, so ensure that you have the time and have done the groundwork before you begin.

We know this may be a lot to consider before you set out on conducting market research into different countries or regions that you want to take your product or service into. It may even put a damper on the excitement you feel when thinking of all the possibilities for your business’s growth. That’s not the intention though. It’s important to consider how, when and why you’re planning to target these international markets before you simply pull the trigger. Not doing so may leave your business vulnerable to unplanned expenses or extremely costly mistakes. 

Let help you out when you’re planning to take things international or expand your offering across borders. We’ll take care of all the nitty gritty so that you can focus on the bubbling excitement of truly growing and expanding your business.