Home About Contact  
Export Assistance
Guides to Exporting
Finding Export Finance
Export Consultants
Export Documentation
Register as an exporter
Proforma Invoice
Commercial Invoice
Letters of credit
Packing Lists
Exchange Control Forms
Insurance Forms
Customs Documents
Document Completion Guide
Export Training
Training providers
Training calendar
Export Guide
Export Marketing
What is involved in export Marketing?
Export Marketing Channels
Using Export Agents
Finding Export Agents
The Role of Trade Fairs
Preparing to participate in a Trade Fair
Finding Trade Fairs
Inward Bound Missions
Outward Bound Missions
The Internet and Exporting
Website internationalisation
Export portals
Overseas Trade Missions
Embassies and Consulates
Financial Assistance for Export Marketing
ETO Systems
Dealing with Export Environments
Trade Agreements
Export Tools
Export Readiness Checker
Export Checklists
Export Business Planner
Export SWOT Analyser
Country Risk Evaluator
Product map
Translation Resources
Currency Converter
Export Documentation
Document Completion Guide
SA and Foreign Tariff Databases
Export Software & Technology solutions
Tracking tools
Exporting & the internet
Export e-Newsletter
Export Law
Laws affecting Exports
Maritime Insurance
Exchange Control
SA Export Regulations
Trade/Maritime Lawyers
ITC Services

Step 7: Selecting and researching potential countries/markets abroad

You are here:Step 7: Selecting and researching potential countries/markets abroad > Implementing the research brief > Evaluating the shortlisted counties in more detail > In-market research > Problems with in-market research



Problems with in-market research



The problems of field research in exports stem mainly from the linguistic, social and cultural differences that exist between nations. The nature and extent of these problems will vary significantly from one country to another but they are generally far more pronounced in developing countries.

Language problems

Conducting market research in South Africa, one enjoys the benefit of a certain degree of familiarity with the nature of the society, its values and laws. Foreign market research is like a great leap into the dark, where many variables are unknown. Unless it is conducted by local nationals in the country concerned. The scope of error is vast. This is particularly so where a multinational may be enquiring about the local acceptability of a product, concept, service or slogan currently in use in other parts of the world. "Come alive with Pepsi" may be a familiar slogan in the English-speaking world but how would the English-speaking manager react upon hearing that his product slogan had been translated (in China) as: "Pepsi reawakens your dead relatives"? (Source: S. Paliwoda, International Marketing)

Fewer reliable statistics available in developing countries

It is generally accepted that the availability and reliability of market data are in proportion to the level of economic development in a particular country. Thus, the lower the national income, the more difficult it becomes for a researcher to obtain representative and reliable information about a particular market. In many developing countries, it is not possible to draw a reliable sample for surveying the market. Often, demographic statistics are inadequate, street maps are unavailable or are out-of-date, and houses may not be numbered. Furthermore, several family units may occupy a single dwelling.

Cultural factors affect in-market research

Cultural factors are often the main cause of the problems related to data collection in developing countries. Where the researcher is unfamiliar with the local cultural system, questionnaire design and the interpretation of results could be difficult. In international research, translation of the questionnaire is often essential, providing yet more scope for misunderstanding. Moreover, in some societies there is an inherent reluctance to answer questions possibly resulting from the mistrust of strangers, conservatism or fear of losing face or status, or revealing one's deficiencies.

Opinion formation particularly outside the capital and main urban areas tends to follow traditional cultural patterns with the result that respondents might not express an opinion on certain issues (e.g. earnings, savings, spending patterns, etc.). Exaggeration is a common practice, especially in the Middle East, and this could cause additional problems for the researcher, because a respondent may be tempted to make exaggerated claims about the market potential. In some cultures, a woman may only be interviewed in the presence of her husband.

The personal interview, although probably the most effective in-market research technique in developing countries, is often complicated by the fact that family members or colleagues are present during the interview and the respondents may be reluctant to answer questions frankly. Alternatively, the cultural norm may dictate that the respondent, as a gesture of politeness and respect, give the answer that (s)he believes the interviewer wishes to hear.


Top of page


Step 7: more information

Step 7: Selecting and researching potential countries/markets abroad
      Preparing a research brief
      Implementing the research brief
            Compile a shortlist of countries
            Evaluate the shortlisted countries in more detail
                        Focusing on the customer – Undertaking marketing research in your
                        foreign target market
                        Circumstances favouring in-house research
                        Circumstances favouring agency research
                        Commissioning an external market research agency
                        Checklist for selecting a marketing research agency
                        Desk research
                        Sources of information for desk research
                        In-market research
                              .Techniques for formal in-market research
      Preparing a research report


Click where you want to go

© Interactive Reality

More information on Step 7
Learning to export...
The export process in 21 easy steps
Step 1: Considering exporting
Step 2:Current business viability
Step 3:Export readiness
Step 4:Broad mission statement and initial budget
Step 5:Confirming management's commitment to exports
Step 6: Undertaking an initial SWOT analysis of the firm
Step 7:Selecting and researching potential countries abroad
Step 8: Preparing and implementing your export plan
Step 9: Obtaining financing for your exports
Step 10: Managing your export risk
Step 11: Promoting the firm and its products abroad
Step 12: Negotiating and quoting in exports
Step 13: Revising your export costings and price
Step 14: Obtaining the export order
Step 15: Producing the goods
Step 16: Handling the export logistics
Step 17: Export documentation
Step 18: Providing follow-up support
Step 19: Getting paid
Step 20: Reviewing and improving the export process
Step 21: Export Management
Export Reference
HS Codes
SIC Codes
Country Codes
Airline Codes
Airport Codes
Port Codes
Telephone Codes
Industry specific export control
Electricity Voltages
Transportation Types
Container Types
Hazardous Cargo Symbols
International Trade Agreements
Country Info
Export Documentation
Trading cycle
Export Articles
Export Glossary
Export Acronyms
Export Opportunities
Export portals
Export calendar
Inward Bound Missions
Outward Bound Missions
Trade Fairs SA
International Trade Fairs
Country Info
Country Help
SA Missions Abroad
Missions in SA
SA Representatives
Bilateral Chambers
Export Network
SA Economic Representatives
SA Missions Abroad
Missions in SA
Export Councils
Export Consultants
Export Trainers
Export Agents
Customs Clearing Agents
Trading Companies
Export Financiers
Bilateral Chambers
Government Departments
Trade Associations
Freight Forwarders
Airline Companies
Shipping Lines
Road Haulers
Courier companies
Trade/Maritime Lawyers
World Trade Point Federation
South African Translators
Universities with international Expertise
International Trade Statistics
Import and Export Statistics
Main Trading Partners
Main Export Products
Economic Statistics
SA Statistics
SA Reserve Bank
Data Mapper®
UNCTAD Statistics


     Our sister sites:

Indexing the World


Trade Training





     Other useful links:

Freight & Logistics Gateway

Freight quotes