Where in the World (1,824 words)
By Richard Miller
How to determine the best market for your product or service
Where in the world is Carmen Sandiego? As you may know, that was the name of a delightful children's television program on PBS.
Using a huge map of the world (without country names) painted on the floor, the young contestants vied with one another to plant themselves on the correct spot when a country name was called. The kids had fun, and it was fun to watch.
But as an international direct marketer, you may not be having as much fun trying to guess where in the world your company should be expanding.
Huge Advances in Research Tools
Identifying new overseas markets used to involve much guess work. But with the immense amount of information available today, researching a new market is more apt to produce information overload. There are literally thousands of informational sources and Web sites. The question then concerns selectivity. To narrow our focus, we need to reduce the quest to the essential factors that indicate whether a market truly shows potential.
Working with data developed by the U.S. Postal Service (USPS) International Business Unit, UPU Direct Mail Advisory Board and Donnelley Marketing, my company recently finished an 18-month study of 189 countries and territories to assess their viability for the direct marketing industry. The project was underwritten by the Universal Postal Union, a United Nations agency responsible for regulating postal services. Following are a few of the things we learned.
Boiling it Down
Market research for each country under consideration can be boiled down to the 10 primary international market indicators listed below. Some subjective judgment is required, of course. Depending on your company culture and product profile, you'll probably give more weight to some factors than others. With your own goals in mind, we recommend using a score of zero to five for each indicator, five being the highest. This means any given country can receive a maximum score of 50 points. Let's examine the indicators: