Why make the visit?
A well orchestrated market visit is essential for developing your export business. You can’t beat first-hand experience for gathering market research and intelligence, and gaining a true perspective of a market. You can see for yourself how your products and services are likely to be received and what else is selling and why.
Several visits to the market are often required to achieve the first export sale and for identifying and building relationships with agents, distributors, resellers and direct sales.
What is the aim of my first visit?
Your visit should be aimed at carrying out market research and development – in other words, activities that you are unable to do from Australia, and that no-one else can on your behalf in the overseas market.
Click on the heading below to ascertain what your visit can enable you to do.
On your visit you can:
- Learn first-hand about the local market, social environment
and its unique characteristics.
- Confirm the accuracy of your research data.
- Search for suitable agents, distributors and partners
and discuss appropriate market entry strategies
When should I go?
Because of the expense, time commitment and use of staff resources, you should only make a visit when you’re absolutely ready. This is once you have prepared an export strategy, properly assessed and decided upon your priority markets, and carried out all the market research and preparation that you can do domestically.
What should I try to achieve on the visit?
By visiting your market in person you can personally assess the potential of the market.
Click on the following headings for further information on each of these points.
Get a feel for the market
- Understand the culture and the way things are done.
- Assess the size and scope of the opportunities.
- Identify the costs and processes involved in getting your product or service to the customer.
- Understand the channels of marketing and distribution of like products to assist in the development of an entry strategy.
- See how your products or services are, or will be, used in the market and by whom.
Conduct in-market research
- Carry out personal market research that you could not have done from Australia and that could not be done by anyone else.
- Cross-check the findings of earlier research.
- Learn by talking to people on the spot.
Analyse and understand competitors
- Look at what is available from your competitors and how it is promoted and presented.
- Identify where you have some competitive advantage.
Conduct customer research
- Visit customers to see how well the competition satisfies them.
- Begin to develop personal relationships with potential key customers or partners and understand their tastes, preferences and quality expectations.
- Determine the need for sales back-up service.
Identify and understand pricing
- Identify the key in-market pricing issues.
- Carry out a reverse pricing analysis, i.e. start at the market price for similar products or services and work back through each stage to determine your profit potential.
- Assess the premium customers will pay for particular benefits and features.
For more detailed information on pricing refer to the Pricing for Export course
Research potential contacts in the market and/or appoint an agent or distributor
- Assess the ability, resources and business of your potential agents, distributors, representatives or partners and inspect their premises and operations.
- Meet potential partners and build relationships for developing business.
- Understand their needs and how they might satisfy yours.
- Design initial measures for performance and feedback.
- Begin to develop an agency/distribution agreement.
Implementation and monitoring
- Confirm the rules and regulations that will impact your exports, for example labelling requirements.
- Confirm how the government will react to your market entry and product or service, for example Free Trade Agreements.
- Start to develop relationships with key government people who may be relevant to the development of your exports.
Research government issues
Confirm that your promotional and training materials and samples are compatible with local customs, regulations and technical standards, for example PAL/NTSC; 110/220 volts etc.