Factors of Market Research
The number of inhabitants of a country, region or city, their age, income, occupation, marital status all these demographic elements can influence your marketing, sales, pricing and distribution policy. If you sell comfort products for the third age, you have to check in a market how many people belong to your target group and how wealthy they are. The aging population in many countries will, for example, increase the demand for certain medicines and orthopedic products.
Important economic factors to investigate are government debt and the country’s main sources of income. It is also a good idea to find out how and with which trade organizations and partners the country is connected. Flemish organizations can help you on the spot with specific market mechanisms and specificities. Are they present? And if you will be professionally active there, which tax system applies and what salary scales can you expect? The country’s growth figures is the country showing and what are the forecasts.
Social and cultural factors
Check the number of working hours, breaks, customs and habits, the importance of corporate social responsibility, sustainability, child labor, leisure activities and interest groups. In many countries, English is the business language, but you should not assume that it is the case everywhere. There is a time difference with almost all emerging countries. Be sure to check which standards and values are relevant to your export plans. The local culture can have a very big impact on your sales and activities locally. It’s important to know the culture and religion of the country you are moving to.
New technologies lead to new products and processes. Smartphones, navigation devices and HD televisions are the result of technological advancements. E-commerce and QR codes are evolutions in the way we do business, thanks to improved technology. Technology reduce costs, improve quality and lead to innovation. These developments have advantages for the business world and for the consumer. For example, the use of ICT for orders and payments leads to less work and fewer errors.
Environmental analysis mainly involves analyzing weather patterns and climate cycles. During the rainy season, certain transport systems are not active in some regions. During periods of extreme drought, boats and ships cannot navigate the waterways. These cyclical weather patterns have a greater impact in developing countries, where transport infrastructure still needs to be modernized. The growing desire to protect nature and the environment is influencing the development of new products such as fuel-efficient cars.
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Political and Legal Factors
The political system helps shape the economy. The degree to which the government of your target market interferes with business has profound implications for your export plans. Be sure to check the attitude towards foreign investors. In some countries there are non-tariff barriers such as embargoes, which can seriously hinder your activities. Cumbersome bureaucracy and corruption make obtaining certificates or permits a hell of a job. A favorable tax policy might win you over.
New laws and regulations are changing the behavior of companies. What regulations will the exporting country subject you to as a foreign organization? The legal factors apply in different areas:
- Consumer Protection
- Competition Law
- Labor Law
- Health and Safety Legislation
- Trade Policy Measures
- Importing Tax