market research

Marketing 101: What to do With Original Research

As the varied and wide expanses of worldwide marketing have shown, no two strategies are alike. Each strategy will have to cater to different project needs, and knowing which strategy will work best for you is the starting point in any successful endeavor.

One of the most difficult hurdles to overcome in marketing is the mass amount of effort needed to create an end product worthy of beneficial responses.

In all things, there are those who thrive and those who dwindle; with the latter coming in at an astounding 65%. It’s natural for one to start asking why. 

What is it exactly that “successful” marketers are doing that the less experienced ones aren't? 

Overseas Market Introduction Service

OMIS Report

What Does OMIS Entail?

The Overseas Market Introduction Service (OMIS) provides support for businesses pursuing export activities overseas. The information provided often includes competitor analysis, market reviews, bespoke events, and assistance with adjusting to local business etiquette and culture. Essentially, OMIS gives businesses an instant link to invaluable insights and set them on the right track. This service is tailored to each individual businessperson and assistance depending on the needs of the client. 

OMIS activities and support can include market information, advice and practical support, such as:

  • Understanding how to do business in the market

  • Having the confidence to explore or expand in a new market

  • Market analysis and feasibility studies

  • Identifying business opportunities and prospects

  • Understanding the competition

  • Identification, assessment and contacting of potential distributors, partners and contacts

  • Promoting business and products through events such as receptions and product launches

  • Meeting arrangements with business contacts

  • Deciding on the best market entry strategy

  • Understanding local regulations and standards

  • Overcoming barriers to entry or expansion

  • Raising profile and credibility in the market

Why is an OMIS Report Helpful?

Any business aiming to expand in the overseas market may face barriers in accessing the right international contacts or partners. Additionally, it can be equally challenging to find the best ways to operate in a specific overseas market and to successful market entry strategy in an entirely new sphere (both economically and culturally). Businesses seeking to increase profits by employing an effective overseas promotion may find OMIS to be particularly helpful.

There is no doubt about it: internationalisation is a difficult task. Differences in time zones, languages, and cultures are inescapable obstacles that must be faced. OMIS provides a wealth of practical support, advice and key market information, supporting business owners through each stage of their international expansion.

Each expansion starts with the process of market research. However, international research can be particularly challenging without contacts ‘on the ground’. The socio-economic environment is often quite specific, something not many business owners are used to or even aware of. Even when the necessary research information is in another language, OMIS teams can prove invaluable in finding the information needed. Unsurprisingly, these reports can open doors that would otherwise remain closed.

When it comes to actually visiting an international market in person, OMIS can be handy too. Booking meetings for a market visit and sending marketing material abroad can be time-consuming and frustrating. Using OMIS’ market specialists removes considerable stress and hassle both during the organisation of your visit and once you’ve actually landed in the country.

Thus, OMIS puts you in touch directly with overseas markets. It is beneficial for business, as it helps with the following:

  • Access the right international contacts or partners

  • Provide insight of the overseas market

  • Find the best way to do business in a market

  • Achieve a successful market entry strategy

  • Increase profits by using effective overseas promotion

What are the Characteristics of a Good OMIS Report?

It’s likely that the closer a business is to entering a chosen market, the more practical the services will need to be. Key tips here are the followings:

  • Mix and match OMIS services to select those that best meet your needs and requirements

  • Use OMIS for ‘value added’ services (i.e. activities that you are unable to easily do yourself)

For market research, one needs to choose between depth and breadth depending the current level of understanding. It is necessary to dive deeper into the market if there is  already an understanding of the broad brush strokes.

To obtain a comprehensive OMIS report businesses need to:

  • Provide a fully comprehensive brief of their request

  • Specify their objectives

  • Maintain personal involvement throughout the OMIS process

  • Set up milestones and due dates

  • Ensure that they obtain sight of draft/initial research so that they can be involved in final revisions/tweaks

  • Once the research has been completed, business owners need to make sure that they sign off on the brief and they you’re happy it has been met

  • Prior to sign off, businesses should ensure that they obtain any final amendments that they feel are needed.

A typical content of OMIS market report includes:

  • Identification of market size, market potential and key trends within a marketplace

  • Provision of localised industry and sector advice

  • Analysis of possible routes to market

  • In-country competitor analysis

  • Assessment of the potential level of demand for your products or services

  • Identification of opportunities and prospects.


If you are looking for an Overseas Marketing Report get started today with a Free Trial

Market Entry Strategy: The Basics

There are a few phrases in the business world that can strike sudden fear into the hearts of newcomers. One such term is Market Entry Strategy. As is often the case, however, such panic is largely unnecessary. It is important to remember that the word "market" is used very loosely in the business world. It can refer to anything from a certain group of people, to an entire region of the globe. In short, your market is the people or businesses who are in need of your product or service. This makes the idea of a market entry strategy easier to understand. Your documented strategy will include various different types of information, including how you plan on introducing your goods or services to your specified market. It is a blueprint to your success - a game plan, of sorts.

To simplify the entire process, it is advisable to seek the assistance of a professional marketing team. The maximum efforts of a dedicated team can make all the difference in getting the name of your product or service out into the real world in a tangible way. A solid plan will always include information about your company's budget and a detailed analysis of its strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and threats - known as a SWOT analysis.

Identifying New Market Segments

Identifying and defining a new market segment can present many exciting opportunities. When done in a professional manner, it is possible even in today's crowded Business World, to find a new niche for your company's product or service. Well there are many steps in the process, there are a few steps that feature prominently at the top of the list of priorities. The first step is to come to terms with defining your target market. You can go into as much or as little detail as you like when defining a target market. The more detail you provide, the better the plan turns out. Key identifiers may include geographical location, demographics, and even cultural or religious beliefs. The more confident you are about your segment definition, the better.

Once phase 1 is completed, it's helpful to go a little deeper. Success lies within the details, which can be ironed out by asking a few key questions. Arguably the most important question of all is whether or not the segment you have defined is large enough to support your business' product or service. This will help you get an idea of whether or not this segment will fit in with your company's business model.

The third step involves taking an even closer look at your existing data. Many types of data will assist you in your entry into a new market segment, such as the current purchasing habits and patterns within your desired market. The key is to focus on gathering as much information as possible.

Following these steps doesn't in itself guarantee you success, but will go a long way in helping you to bring it about for yourself. When in doubt, do more research and don't be afraid to ask questions.

White Papers for B2B Customers

Business to business selling, commonly referred to as B2B, can be a huge help in linking supplier businesses and wholesale outlets to their retail business customers. A common adage mentions that, over and above acquiring their desired products for the best price, what B2B customers really want at the end of the day is flawless customer service. One of the biggest obstacles in the sales process is miscommunication between buyers and sellers on a fundamental level. This usually occurs when products and their descriptions become overly complicated and wordy. A great tool to overcome this obstacle is the humble white paper.

In layman's terms a white paper is a summary of a complex issue into wording the average Joe can understand. By carefully constructing and supplying your customer with a white paper describing the benefits of your product, they will immediately become clearer on how exactly this product will benefit them. A white paper should always be as clear and to-the-point as possible.

There is no sense in struggling to communicate a point when it could be made simply and succinctly, eliminating jargon and other confusing terms that may be a barrier to a successful sale.

Knowing About Market Penetration

In the marketing sphere, it is often necessary to keep your fingers in many pies, so to speak, in order to maintain a competitive edge. When marketing a new product, it is of utmost importance to keep a close eye on your market penetration statistics. Market penetration, in a nutshell, refers to the extent to which a product or service is being purchased by customers in the current market. As one would imagine, the market penetration figures for a new product can give a real-world representation of the efficacy of a company's marketing strategy as a whole. The more convincing you've been, the higher the number tends to be. There are a number of strategies that exist to increase your market penetration, such as dropping the price of your product, bumping up the number of promotional schemes and encouraging non-users to take the plunge and try something new.

All in all, the market penetration figures for a product or service will give you a very clear impression of its popularity, and by extension can validate an entire marketing strategy. It gives a solid impression of the initial and ongoing impact your strategies are having on customers and as such, should be regularly monitored.

Price Comparison Websites are Not the Enemy

All things considered, businesses can learn a great deal from price comparison websites. Rather than viewing them as the enemy aiming to pull customers out from under your nose, you may wish to consider the value in using these sites for market research. The Internet is quickly becoming the number one place to source the next big bargain. Consumers tend to visit price comparison websites before making any major (sometimes even minor) decisions that require money-spending. It isn't all about finding the lowest price tag. Price comparison sites can be used to find out precisely who is selling what, how much products cost, and what buyers really think of the products they have spent their hard-earned money on. User ratings and customer reviews may very well be the most useful tool available to business owners today. Realistically, when launching a product, you need to know exactly what consumers are looking for, how other companies have let them down, and how you can take advantage of these companies' shortcomings.

Price comparison websites offer the fantastic opportunity to do some trend-spotting. Find out which items are trending in which markets, and why. Hopping on the trend-bandwagon is generally a good start when you need to find a good angle in the market.

Market Analysis: Understanding your Customers

In order for any business to succeed, an understanding of customers' wants and needs is vital. It is of the utmost importance to gain an understanding of your market long before you take a serious financial plunge. A properly structured market analysis will provide you with all the information needed to make smart choices further down the line. Without this solid foundation, any business may struggle to stay afloat, let alone play in the "big leagues". Consumer research is generally the best starting point for market analysis. In order to provide customers with a product or service that they truly need, you need to understand their behaviour a little better. Find out what makes your potential customers tick, and then find out how your product will be able to fulfill these needs. Open up the channels of communication, do a survey or two, and spend some time figuring out how you can gain the edge on your competitors. Do some trend-spotting, and zone in on any gaps in the market that your company may be able to fill.

Decide on your target market and then build the rest of your business plan around this focus. Play to your strengths.

Why White Papers Matter

Contrary to popular belief, white papers are not losing their punch. In fact, they are still one of the most valuable tools available to anyone wishing to market their business. White papers give your business proposal the extra “clout” needed to push it over the edge. Filled to the brim with facts, figures, case studies, reports, and analyses, a white paper is an invaluable marketing instrument. White papers are thought of as some of the oldest marketing workhorses out there. “Old”, in this case, most certainly does not mean “outdated”. Perhaps the best aspect of a white paper is the fact that its major purpose is to educate rather than sell. In an age where sceptical millennials are in charge of many (if not most) important business decisions, hard selling is no longer the best option. Consumers are looking for more than a mere sales pitch; they want to learn, absorb information, or understand a particular message.

White papers should always have a firm foothold in ground-breaking ideas and thought-provoking innovations. The issues addressed should be clear, concise, and relevant to their time. All research should be substantive, in-depth, and lead to a conclusion that makes sense to the target market. In every section of content, the white paper should drive your point home, using as many relevant resources as possible.

What is Social Market Research

It seems fairly obvious that there should be many variations of market research, each one as important as the other. Social market research, in particular, is becoming increasingly more significant as millennials make their way up the economic food chain. Social media platforms (particularly Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter) are becoming the smartest way to obtain valuable information for businesses wanting to launch new products or services. Social market research focuses on the behaviour of a particular target market. In order to accurately complete this type of analysis, one would need to gather information relating to the opinions, needs, attitudes and motivations of a group of people. This data can then be used to pinpoint which target market would benefit the most from a particular company’s products or services. Due to the inherent “openness” in the behaviour of most millennials, it is relatively easy to collect the information needed to complete the social market research process.

For a business to succeed in the Information Age, it is necessary to fully understand the target market. Customers are always looking to support businesses that are conveying a message or aiming for a socially conscious goal. Connecting with potential customers on social media platforms is probably the smartest move any business can make; inspiring communication whilst collecting valuable behavioural data.

Potential Buyers List: The Smart Approach

Around 50% of sales go to the first person to contact the buyer. This statistic alone proves that potential buyers lists  are invaluable to up-and-coming business owners. While it may only be a small part of the entire market research process, compiling a buyer’s list is certainly one of the most important. Without a potential buyers list, selling a product would be a lot like shooting the hoops blindfolded. Generally speaking, the most effective way to compile a potential buyers list would be to approach a company that is highly experienced in the field of market research. A team of these researchers is generally better equipped to deal with the legwork involved. Consider the fact that these sorts of companies have access to vast transaction databases, as well as a remarkable leveraging ability with all of their existing connections. It is much simpler for these professional market researchers to put you in contact with the right people than it would be for you to plunge headfirst into the unknown.

These market research professionals are often referred to as “advisors” or “business advisors” as they have the ability to make lucrative suggestions to start-ups who may be struggling to get a foot in the door.

Innovation for Existing Companies

Some might say that entrepreneurs have it easy in terms of innovative thinking. Their ideas are fresh and new; they are hitting the market from a completely new angle. For companies that have been active in their industry for a long time, however, innovation can seem challenging. The key, it seems, to be successfully innovative is to take consumers by surprise. Taking your company in a slightly new direction may be the best way to make an impact. Of course, this does not mean that you should stray from your core concepts, services, or products. Think of it as an opportunity to expand or a chance to fill a gap in the market.

To come up with an innovative idea, you cast your eyes to the future. Consider which products or services could render you obsolete. There may be small adjustments you could make to current products that will make them seem revolutionary. Perhaps the best way to do this is to take a look at the up-and-coming competition. Budding entrepreneurs in your industry are guaranteed to have ideas that you may be able to adopt.

Remember that start-ups are only successful if and when they have created something that consumers have been unable to purchase from your company and others like it. To stay ahead of the game existing businesses need to continually push boundaries, keeping funds aside for continuous research and development.

Innovative Thinking: Why is it so Challenging?

Innovation may very well be the most challenging aspect of creating a new product. Innovative thought has a highly unpredictable nature, often making it difficult to separate a fantastic new idea from something a little staler. Brainstorming is always the first port of call for entrepreneurs, though there is a worry that this is a hit-and-miss strategy. The fact of the matter is that lateral thinking techniques are absolutely necessary, though they are certainly not intended to be the only type of research in place. Mind-mapping, group facilitations, and consumer surveys are all a part of the innovation process. Unfortunately, this is where many entrepreneurs end their research and fall short as a result.

There is the assumption that product development needs to be rushed. The major error with this type of thinking is that the inevitable solution is a "quick fix", without any real understanding of which functions the product should fulfil or the problems it should solve.

Consumers are no longer looking for products from businesses that churn out one useless item after another. The modern consumer is looking for a message. Products need to fulfil a purpose whilst inciting some form of excitement at the same time. Proper marketing analysis is the only way to achieve genuine innovation. In-house brainstorming sessions no longer provide the ammunition needed to tackle the ever-growing, ever-changing consumer base.

Outsourcing in-depth primary and secondary market research is one of the most valuable tools available to up-and-coming companies. The outsider perspective, combined with years of experience in knowing what makes consumers tick, is what makes these analysts so invaluable at the early planning stages of product innovation.

Pinpoint your Potential Competitors: The Foundations of Market Research

In running your for-profit business, consider the fact that you are competing to win. In the same way that you would compete for the ultimate prize in a sports event, your business is aiming to win the “profit prize” from the competition. For this reason, it is of the utmost importance that you suss out precisely who your competitors are; in the business game you need to know the competition before you can beat it. Perhaps the quickest way to figure out who your biggest competitors are, is to (figuratively) remove your business from the equation. Without your existence, who would be supplying customers with your products or services? Now, put your business back into the equation. Who is trying to “steal” your customers? On the flip side, whose customers are you trying to steal? In answering these questions you will be able to identify your direct competitors.

To identify your indirect competitors, you will need to ask yourself the following question: “If your products did not exist, what other products would customers buy to fulfil their needs or solve their problems?” These businesses tend to offer alternative products or services to those you are offering. While they may not currently be a threat, they could become your direct competition in the future.

Once you have built up a database of who your competitors are, you have the opportunity to determine their strengths and weaknesses in terms of product offerings, price, client base, available resources, customer service, and marketing material. Use this information to build a better marketing strategy, funnelling their customers your way.

Trade Shows: The Modern Businessperson's Treasure Trove

As the owner of a budding business, or an entrepreneur focused on researching new business potential, you are undoubtedly aware of the challenges presented in the ever-changing modern business environment. The stark reality is that this rapidly changing business world requires professionals to become more creative in finding ways to connect with their target market. Trade shows, believe it or not, are the equivalent of having your target market served up on a platter. Skyline mentions that roughly 99% of marketers say that they find unique information at trade shows that are entirely lacking on most other marketing platforms.

In an environment where digital interactions are becoming more and more prevalent, it may seem surprising that attending trade shows is an effective past-time. The fact of the matter is that this type of event guarantees access to an audience of interested, like-minded potential customers who are itching to make connections. According to the Center for Exhibition Industry Research around 81% of trade show visitors (4 out of 5 attendees) have some form of buying power.

Add to this the fact that trade shows offer free media exposure, educational opportunities, hype generation on social media, product demonstration platforms, and face-to-face contact with many valuable connections, and it becomes clear that these events are a remarkably valuable tool.

Coming to Terms with the Basics of Competitor Analysis

When drawing up your business plan, creating a “competitive analysis” section is of the utmost importance. Competitor analysis allows you to understand your current and potential competition, ensuring the survival and growth of your business. Think of this as a basic profile detailing the strengths and weaknesses of your competitors; enabling you to plan ahead and be at the top of your game. The first step in your competitor analysis should be to figure out what their strengths are in terms of service, price, inventory, convenience, and location. Balance out these strengths by noting any corresponding weaknesses that you may be able to take advantage of. Take note of their marketing strategies and consider how you could adapt your own strategies to be a step ahead of them. Take the time to figure out what your competitors’ basic objectives are and who their target markets are. Try to tweak your own objectives to set yourself up as a future industry leader.

Competitor analysis might sound complicated and time-consuming. You may have no idea where to begin. Gathering information, however, may be simpler than you think. You have a wealth of valuable resources at your fingertips. Visit competitor websites, search the web for news, public relations, blog posts, social media posts, and product/service comparisons. Make use of online tools, such as Similar Web, which uses a panel of over 100 million monitored devices to gather information, to compare your competitors’ online marketing strategies to your own.

Finally, take a trip to your competitors’ locations and get a first-hand account of their sales materials and of their customer service. Learn from their mistakes and successes.

Advantages of Secondary Market Research

Secondary market research plays a pivotal role in laying the foundation for an accurate, effective, goal-driven market research project. The term “secondary” may lead one to believe this initial stage in the market research process to be quick and easy, and perhaps slightly less important than primary market research. The fact of the matter, however, is that this type of research is invaluable to business owners around the globe. In seeking out data that already exists and using it to pin-point market trends, compile customer databases, and document competitor comparisons, secondary market research often eliminates the need for more expensive resources. Large amounts of industry specific research data are available through universities and colleges, simply because this is a hub for budding researchers and analysts. Using this type of research lowers the need for expensive market research professionals simply because the information is right at one’s finger tips.

According to Marketing 91, 75% of business owners and entrepreneurs make use of secondary data from governmental statistics, census data, industry figures, and previously published case studies to lay the groundwork for their primary research projects. Furthermore, 82% of business owners are said to use secondary data to keep a finger on the pulse of their competitors.

With a veritable smorgasbord of information readily available at the click of a mouse, there is no denying that secondary research is prime ammunition for any market research project.

Advantages of Writing White Papers for B2B companies

For those who missed out yesterday Goodman Lantern launched a research paper on Advantages of Writing White Papers for B2B companies. White papers have repeatedly proven to move prospects through the sales funnel and benefit businesses especially for sales within a business to business environment. According to Ric Mccarthy at GM Digital "For us White Papers have proven to be a very effective form of business communication".