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Human Resources Financial Resources

 A management team capable of developing a comprehensive  The financial resources to support marketing
export plan products in overseas markets
 A management team committed to pursuing export markets and  A strong, dependable cash flow
willing to dedicate time, personnel and funds to its export  The financial strength to compete with foreign
program products and services in terms of quality and price
 Adequate personnel to meet increased demand or the capacity  Enough cash, savings, and access to financing to
to hire or contract staff to meet needs support production and marketing for at least two
 Trained marketing staff, or the ability to hire qualified people, years without making much profit
with experience in buying or selling products or services abroad  Adequate knowledge of export payment
mechanisms, such as letters of credit and open
Production Resources/Capacity Logistics Resources
 Ensuring suppliers can provide the raw materials and  They have, or can acquire, an adequate knowledge
components needed to meet commitments of how products or services should be shipped or
 Ensuring there is enough spare capacity, or that it can be created delivered abroad
quickly, to meet unexpected large foreign demand  Their staff is, or can be, trained in export logistics
 Being prepared to modify and manufacture versions of products  Their staff is, or can be, trained to troubleshoot
and services to meet the cultural, regulatory and certification problems quickly and efficiently
standards of a foreign market


Political and legal • State whether the export of the desired product, technology or service is restricted from the
environment source country and whether import into the home country is prohibited or permitted
• Identify the safety standards that apply in the source country and state whether these are
adequate for the importing country
• Describe issues with the political situation that could affect the security of the supply and
access to it
• Identify whether counter-trade arrangements are required

Technological environment • Describe how the infrastructure in the country will affect communication with the supplier

Marketing benefits • Explore the image and reputation the source country has in the organization’s home country:
positive or negative?

Financial environment • Identify financial circumstances that could make it difficult for the importing organization to
make payments
• Circumstances might include monetary policy or the banking infrastructure

Labour environment • Describe the current and expected labour market conditions in the source country
Key Research Objectives for Importing
Domestic market • Identify whether there are tariffs or non-tariff barriers
conditions • Assess whether the product technology is compatible with required standards

Supplier selection • Identify all suppliers that possess the product, process or service that the organization
can use
• Assess reliability
• Assess skills gap
• Describe supplier’s previous experience

Physical selection • Describe how distribution and transportation facilities will affect delivery times

Management of the • Identify product or service adaptations that must be met to meet rules and requirements
business operation of the importing country
on an ongoing basis • Identify labelling standards
• Describe training procedures that must be in place for the employees


Secondary Research is a common research method; it involves using information that others have gathered through
primary research.

Secondary data should be investigated when:

o Cheaper and faster to collect than primary data
o Fulfills the market research objectives without the need for primary research
o Its collection can help improve a researcher’s understanding of a marketing problem and lead to better design for
the primary research

adv Disadv
o The information already exists and is readily o The information lacks specificity or does not exactly address
available -> quick & low cost question of concern
o Helps guide the focus of any subsequent o Some external secondary data may be of suspect quality or
primary research being conducted outdated
o Internal secondary data uses categories and o Internal secondary data such as sales reports and customer
breakdowns that reflect a corporation’s databases may only describe existing customers
preferred way of structuring the world o Information is less likely to exist, particularly in developing
o Secondary research may be the only available countries, due to the lack of primary research conducted in
source of specific pieces of information (i.e. unpopular markets or strict media control from the governments
government data

The two most frequently mentioned advantages of secondary data are the reduced costs involved with secondary research
and the shorter amount of time needed to obtain this information. These advantages take on great value for companies
involved in international trade research because of the distances involved, the limited familiarity with the target market
and the potential issues with language that can add substantial time and cost to data gathered through primary research

The main issue with secondary data is that someone else collected the information for a different purpose. This means
that researchers must validatethe data, the source and the collection methodology to verify its accuracy.

Internal Records and Information from Internal Expert

Source Sample Data

Sales and accounting records Baseline comparisons of trends, costs and target customers

Distributors and customers Buyer expectations and purchase patterns

Employees with experience in the target Opinions about general conditions, cultural impact and business
market methods

External Sources and Experts

Source Sample Data Source Sample Data

Trade or industry Practices, trends and conditions Various Fast access to publications, directories,
associations related to the organization’s websites yearbooks, statistics and market
expertise research reports

Non-government Comparative market, population Government Market assessment publications, trade

associations (NGOs), and demographic statistics, departments statistics, trade regulations and export
universities and trade- competitor information and and agencies and import controls
related businesses credit information

Publications, directors Market statistics, general Representatives Trade and market conditions specific to
and yearbooks information about trends, of the target the country and cultural considerations
interests, demands and country
regulations, sources of
information and advice


Exploratory Research
Exploratory research is an important part of any marketing or business strategy. Its focus is on the discovery of ideas and
insights as opposed to collecting statistically accurate data. That is why exploratory research is best suited as the beginning
of your total research plan. It is most commonly used for further defining company issues, areas for potential growth,
alternative courses of action, and prioritizing areas that require statistical research.
When it comes to online surveys, the most common example of exploratory research takes place in the form of open-
ended questions. Think of the exploratory questions in your survey as expanding your understanding of the people you
are surveying. Text responses may not be statistically measureable, but they will give you richer quality information that
can lead to the discovery of new initiatives or problems that should be addressed.
Descriptive Research
Descriptive research takes up the bulk of online surveying and is considered conclusive in nature due to its quantitative
nature. Unlike exploratory research, descriptive research is preplanned and structured in design so the information
collected can be statistically inferred on a population.
The main idea behind using this type of research is to better define an opinion, attitude, or behaviour held by a group of
people on a given subject. Consider your everyday multiple choice question. Since there are predefined categories a
respondent must choose from, it is considered descriptive research. These questions will not give the unique insights on
the issues like exploratory research would. Instead, grouping the responses into predetermined choices will provide
statistically inferable data. This allows you to measure the significance of your results on the overall population you are
studying, as well as the changes of your respondent’s opinions, attitudes, and behaviours over time.
Causal Research
Like descriptive research, causal research is quantitative in nature as well as preplanned and structured in design. For this
reason, it is also considered conclusive research. Causal research differs in its attempt to explain the cause and effect
relationship between variables. This is opposed to the observational style of descriptive research, because it attempts to
decipher whether a relationship is causal through experimentation. In the end, causal research will have two objectives:
1) To understand which variables are the cause and which variables are the effect, and 2) to determine the nature of the
relationship between the causal variables and the effect to be predicted.
For example, a cereal brand owner wants to learn if they will receive more sales with their new cereal box design. Instead
of conducting descriptive research by asking people whether they would be more likely to buy their cereal in its new box,
they would set up an experiment in two separate stores. One will sell the cereal in only its original box and the other with
the new box. Taking care to avoid any outside sources of bias, they would then measure the difference between sales
based on the cereal packaging. Did the new packaging have any effect on the cereal sales? What was that effect?

• Exploratory research involves collecting information informally to gain insights into some aspect of marketing
or trade. It is helpful in breaking very broad research problem statements into smaller and more manageable
statements. For example, researchers might visit a potential international market to investigate consumer
attitudes. Exploratory research projects often provide a basis for further research and usually involve gathering
qualitative information.

• Descriptive research is more structured than exploratory research and involves gathering information about a
market to explain the current market condition, current demographics or a current business problem. It is often
used to measure the frequency with which something happens or to compare market variables, and is useful in
establishing what is real, rather than what is assumed. For example, an organization considering exporting to
Japan might have heard about new regulations regarding wood packaging material. Descriptive research could
identify the regulations and any necessary certifications required.

• Causal research involves attempting to determine whether one market variable impacts another market
variable. The aim is to detect cause and effect relationships. For example, an organization attempting to break
into a new international market and not having much success might wish to carry out causal research to
determine whether a lower price will have a significant impact on sales.
• Ad hoc research involves investigating a single problem or opportunity at one point in time. Often, ad hoc
research involves gathering information from a range of sources in one specific time frame and is called cross-
sectional research. Cross-sectional research is useful for research objectives that involve investigating the
feasibility of an international trade venture, knowing the right time to make a business move or deciding
whether it is wise to launch a new product.
• Continuous research, also known as longitudinal research, involves long-term research to monitor trends in
customer attitudes and market attitudes. This involves obtaining information from the same sources or the same
consumer groups on several occasions over a defined time period. Continuous research is very useful for
investigating causal responses, such as purchasing habits in response to changing interest rates, or for following
trials of a new product or service.


Primary data is data that is collected by a researcher from first-hand sources, using methods like surveys, interviews, or
experiments. It is collected with the research project in mind, directly from primary sources.
Observation method
In observation method, the information is sought by way of investi­gator’s own direct observation without asking from
the respondent. The main advantage of this method is that it is free from subjective biasness, as it is free from
respondent’s willingness. It is, however, an expensive and time consuming method. Moreover, the information provided
by this method is very limited and some of the more busy people like executives may not be accessible to direct
Interview Method:
in the personal interviews the interviewer asks questions gen-erally in a face to face contact. Through interview method
more and reliable information may be obtained. Personal information can be obtained easily under this method. It is,
however, a very expensive and time consuming method, especially when large and widely spread geographical sample is
taken. Certain types of respondents, such as officials, executives or people of high income groups, may not be easily
Questionnaire Method
In this method a questionnaire is mailed to the person concerned with a request to answer the questions and return the
questionnaire. This method is most extensively applied in various researches of human and economic geography.
Schedule method.
This method of data collection is very much like the collection of data through questionnaires, with little difference that
lies in the fact that schedules (proforma containing a set of questions) are being filled in by the enumerators who are
specially appointed for this pur-pose. Enumerators explain the aims and objects of the investigation and also remove the
difficulties which any respondent may feel in understanding the implications of a particular question.
This method is very useful in extensive enquiries and can lead to fairly reliable results. It is, however, very expensive and
is usually adopted in investigations conducted by governmental agencies or by some organizations. Population census all
over the world is con-ducted through this method.
The primary data are original and relevant to For collection of primary data where interview is to be conducted the coverage
the topic of the research study so the degree is limited and for wider coverage a more number of researchers are required.
of accuracy is very high. • Primary data is • A lot of time and efforts are required for data collection. By the time the data
that it can be collected from a number of collected, analysed and report is ready the problem of the research becomes
ways like interviews, telephone surveys, very serious or out dated. So the purpose of the research may be defeated.
focus groups etc. It can be also collected • It has design problems like how to design the surveys. The questions must be
across the national borders through emails simple to understand and respond.
and posts. It can include a large population • Some respondents do not give timely responses. Sometimes, the
and wide geographical coverage. respondents may give fake, socially acceptable and sweet answers and try to
• Moreover, primary data is current and it cover up the realities.
can better give a realistic view to the • With more people, time and efforts involvement the cost of the data
researcher about the topic under collection goes high. The importance of the research may go down.
consideration. • In some primary data collection methods there is no control over the data
• Reliability of primary data is very high collection. Incomplete questionnaire always give a negative impact on
because these are collected by the research. • Trained persons are required for data collection. In experienced
concerned and reliable party person in data collection may give inadequate data of the research.

The main advantage of primary data is that it is current and gathered to answer specific research objectives. Because the
research instruments used to gather primary data (observation, surveys, questionnaires, focus groups and panels) are
designed and used by the researchers, the information gathered is confidential and cannot be known by competitors. This
provides companies with a competitive edge. Although gathering primary data is usually slower than conducting
secondary research, some types of data sources, such as well- designed online polls, can generate results quite quickly.

Most primary data is difficult to collect. It can take a long time to develop the correct questions to ask and to decide who
to ask. Waiting for responses from surveys and questionnaires can create long delays. The level of effort involved with
developing and implementing tools to collect primary data can make this research expensive. These expenses can be
wasted if questions or target respondents are not chosen carefully and misleading data is obtained as a result.

Uses and Comments and caculated

Mean • Add the value of each response and divide by the total number of responses
• Most data provided by secondary sources is in the form of a mean figure
• Used to draw conclusions about the actions of a group
• When calculated in units, multiply the mean by the total population size to estimate a total number of units
(e.g. market size)
• Mean can be skewed if some responses are much higher or lower than majority
Median • the value of the middle term
• Arrange responses from lowest to highest and find the value in the middle, with one half of responses above
and one half of responses below
• If extreme values exist, median can be a better measure

Mode • the most frequent response

• Certain values might appear repeatedly in a data series; the mode identified the value or values that occur
most often
• Mode is most useful to identify the most frequent amount, purchase or demand
• Also useful where two definite categories of majority response


Nominal basically refers to categorically discrete data such as name of your school, type of car you drive or name of a book.

Ordinal refers to quantities that have a natural ordering. The ranking of favorite sports, the order of people's place in a
line, the order of runners finishing a race or more often the choice on a rating scale from 1 to 5.

Interval data is like ordinal except we can say the intervals between each value are equally split. The most common example
is temperature in degrees Fahrenheit. The difference between 29 and 30 degrees is the same magnitude as the difference
between 78 and 79

Ratio data is interval data with a natural zero point. For example, time is ratio since 0 time is meaningful. Degrees Kelvin
has a 0 point (absolute 0) and the steps in both these scales have the same degree of magnitude. Ratio Scale is defined as
a variable measurement scale that not only produces the order of variables but also makes the difference between variables
known along with information on the value of true zero. It is calculated by assuming that the variables have an option for
zero, the difference between the two variables is the same and there is a specific order between the options.
1. Gross national product (GNP): The market value of all final goods and services produced by the nationals of a country
in an annual time frame. GNP is often used as a measure of the size of a country’s economy, and incorporates income
derived from overseas activity.
2. Gross domestic product (GDP): The market value of all final goods and services produced in a country or region in an
annual timeframe. GDP per capita is often used as a measure of the standard of living in a country.
3. Purchasing power parity (PPP): Compares the purchasing power of different currencies in their domestic countries and
is often used as an alternative to GDP figures for measuring the standard of living in a country. PPP is calculated using the
amount of domestic currency needed to purchase a similar collection of goods in different countries.
4. Household disposable income: The is the average amount a household in a country has to spend after taxes and
payment of essential items, such as housing costs and utilities.
5. Market size: The market’s total number of buyers. The larger a country’s population, the larger the potential customer
6. Market potential: Describes how many people or businesses in a country could realistically be expected to purchase a
product or service.
7. Market resources: The presence of natural resources in a country will have an impact on international business success.
The presence of resources such as oil, soil, timber and minerals increases a country’s wealth and leads to increased
development of infrastructure. It is also important for exporters to consider the geography and climate of a potential
market country, because both have an impact on the transportation of goods and dictate which products or services are
likely to be purchased. For organizations considering sourcing goods from an international market or setting up a
production site in a foreign county, the presence of resources needed for production processes will be essential for
8. Market activity: In some cases, organizations will need to investigate the major economic industries present in a specific
country. For example, an organization wishing to sell building machinery might need to check whether a potential market
has its industry centred on agriculture rather than industry.
9. Infrastructure: A country’s infrastructure, such as the transportation network, the distribution of cities and major
centres, and the extent of the national power supply, will have an impact on the distribution of goods or services and the
costs involved with distribution. In some cases, this information will also indicate a need to adapt a product or service
(because the supply of electricity is intermittent, for example), or will indicate the unsuitability of exporting to that market.
Information about a country’s infrastructure will also give an idea of how effective business communications might be (for
instance, the availability of telephone, Internet and mail services) and how easy it will be to travel to the country for
meetings and to monitor business activities.
10. Urbanization: The amount of urbanization in a country is a measure of that country’s demand for certain goods and
services and its income levels. In general, workers in urban areas are paid higher wages than workers in rural areas.