Field research in export markets

Last updated 19 March 2019

Having selected a country based on desk research, you’ll need specific information about the country and your product or service. Focus on:

  • competitor activity in your chosen country
  • customer behaviour, motivations and preferences
  • the best ways to bring your product or service to market

Be prepared to spend more time and money on this stage of research. It can include desk and field research. Field research involves visiting the country so can be costly.

Attend in-country exhibitions or events

Attending an overseas trade show, fair or exhibition is a good way to:

  • research a new market
  • find out about local competitors
  • meet potential customers
  • network and make contacts
  • find agents or distributors
  • market your product or service to an interested audience
  • assess demand for your product or service

Find trade shows for your sector:

You may be able to get a grant to attend overseas trade shows through the Tradeshow Access Programme.

Appoint a market research agency

Appointing a market research agency can be expensive but their results should be thorough and objective. Select one you trust and brief them well. Make sure their proposal includes:

  • what they’re researching and how
  • a breakdown of costs and expenses
  • timescales and the report format
  • a confidentiality agreement

Use the government’s overseas network

The Overseas Market Introduction Services (OMIS) is a paid service offered by the Department for International Trade through its network of staff in overseas embassies and consulates. OMIS offers:

  • bespoke market research, sector advice and market entry strategies
  • support during overseas visits
  • identification of possible business partners
  • help preparing for exhibitions, events and trade fairs

Contact your local International Trade Advisor (ITA) to find out about OMIS. Your ITA can help with advice on all aspects of exporting.