Building a global strategy: international market research

In the second part of our global strategy series we will be looking at in-market research providing you with top tips on developing your export journey.

In-market research

In the last module we looked at the importance of doing your research before you leave your desk at home or in the office.

Once you have satisfactorily and successfully completed that research, if possible (time, money, Covid!) you need to visit the market in question. There is nothing like actually being “in-market”, on ground where you want to try and sell. The sights the sounds the smells…… the feeling you get when you there, the atmosphere, the experience.

It will all effect the way you plan to export to that market. And how you execute that plan.

Initial questions

Whilst you are in-market, there is a lot to think about, but here are some starters:

  • How and where your product/service/offering would fit in this market. It might be quite different from where you fit in your home market.
  • What price points do you need to sell at to compete in your target international market? Again, they may be very different to your home market.
  • How do your competitors in your target international market identify themselves to clients and how will you differentiate yourself?
  • Start talking to customers and build a local network in your target market (see note below about business groups).


When thinking about and planning your visit to the target market, speak to your international trade adviser: there may be a trade mission going to that market, with government support, that you are eligible to join; the ITA may have access to a Market Visit Support grant or a Trade Development Fund; there may be invitations from your target market which are normally promoted through their Embassies & trade promotion groups in the UK, so sign up to receive their newsletters and notifications. This is not just about financial support: being part of a group of like-minded companies in an organised group will help you gain access to people and companies in-market that would be almost impossible by yourself.

In-market support

Lastly, in this section, make use of the in-market support through the British Embassies, Consulates and High Commissions, they will have a DIT officer whose job it is to help British companies trying to export to that market.

There may also be help from the local government of your target export market. Include this in your desk research at home before you go, make contact and arrange a meeting when you are there. I am sure they’d be pleased to meet you and would make time you given you have taken the trouble to visit their country. The commitment to visit is important to them and will be recognised.

Also look out for local business groups, chambers of commerce and other such organisations geared towards the promotion of trade & investment between your home market and your target market.

Many are membership driven organisations but the membership fees are rarely high and it only takes one conversation or one introduction to more than justify the fee.

They are a great way of rapidly building a network on the ground in your target market: local experts & professionals, potential partners, suppliers, customers and friends.

They might have programmes designed for companies coming into their market and will always welcome new people to their ranks.

Next module

In our next and final module, we will be looking at the logistics; mainly time and money along with further actions to consider when exporting and all round up any other general comments.

In need of export support and advice? Find out how our team of trade advisors can help.