This part of the research brief is quite important and will outline how you plan to carry out your export marketing research. In this regard, there will be two main objectives behind the research methodology that you implement (linking up with the market and marketing research persepectives we mentioned in the previous section):

The first part of the methodology is to evaluate countries abroad and to segment these countries into two or three groups, the main group being a shortlist of three to five countries that you believe offers your firm real potential for exports (the other two groups are those with some potential and those with no potential). These countries/markets you have shortlisted will be further studied in order to

Narrow your shortlist down to one or two countries – this you would do using more extensive desk research

Select one or more market segments within the countries you have chosen on which to focus your marketing research efforts (see point two below)

To better understand the foreign environments that you will be competing in in the case of these two countries – done using desk research and in-market research

Go to to find out more about individual countries.
To better understand how your company and its marketing mix will best meet the needs of the customer within the foreign marketplace – done using desk research and in-market research. To this end, you may need to undertake both desk and in-market research, as well as secondary and primary research (we discuss the later on in this section). In this section, you would need to elaborate on the means of doing this research. For example, will you need to interview several hundred potential customers to better understand their needs, or will you simply interview several intermediaries and trust their feedback and view of the marketing opportunities for your company?