Before he ventures abroad in search of suitable markets for his products, the Export Manager should undertake as much desk research as possible. Overseas travel is expensive and time-consuming. To visit a country without having 'done one's homework' beforehand can be a waste of effort.

The depth of research which can be undertaken will depend very much upon the country concerned. In highly developed Western countries, for instance, there will exist a considerable pool of knowledge in published form upon which the Export Manager can draw. When one is seeking information about less developed regions, however, published data may be scanty or non-existent. Market Research, as we know it in Britain and the United States, is heavily dependent upon the sociological and mathematical sciences. The preparation of statistics requires personnel who have received the necessary training. Indeed, the entire basis of consumer research, as we have seen, lies in response to written or verbal questionnaires. In those areas of the world where literacy among the population is limited or nonexistent, the conduct of market research programmes is consequently made more difficult.

Nevertheless, a considerable amount of research can and should be done before visits to prospective markets are under-taken. It may be classified under four headings:

(1) Market Research

(2) Product Research

(3) Distribution Research

(4) Operational Research.

Read more - Salesman Assessment Report

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