How can I sell my product in the international
market ? How to find potential markets ? Will my product sell there
? Are there specific standards my product must meet in order to
be sold ? What distribution channels should I consider ?
Answers to these and other questions are key success factors in
your international marketing plan. Your marketing drive must be
based on a carefully prepared marketing strategy or plan that answers
these questions as also show a clear roadmap.
In this series - we shall discuss how to develop a successful marketing
strategy for your product based on mostly free resources available
in the Internet or any good library.
The First Step
Successful companies concentrate on one foreign market
at a time, moving on to the next only after succeeding in the last.
You can not sell everything under the sun to all parts of the globe.
Your first step in developing marketing plan is to identify key
products and potential markets. You may have several product lines
- decide which one has most potential. Next step will be to identify
suitable markets for selected product line.
Foreign Trade Statistics for Market Identification
Leaving product selection to you - we move on to
market research based on trade statistics.
Analysis of foreign trade statistics is extremely important for
identification of suitable markets for your products. For best result,
one should analyze data for last few years as historical analysis
help you identify local or seasonal bias as also display marketing
trend, if there is any.
For example - analysis of spice export data for last few years may
show increasing sale of curry-type mixed powder spices and modest
or decreasing sale of whole seeds.
Another example - increased rice export to Bangladesh may be traced
to floods in that country rather than any long term change in demand
profile. Such spurt in demand is unlikely to sustain for long and
should be considered a temporary phenomenon.
In both cases - historical analysis of foreign trade statistics
can help you identify seasonal bias or shift in demand.
How to Find Foreign Trade Statistics
Almost every country publishes statistics relating to its foreign
trade. United Nations publishes comparative trade statistics for most
countries in the world. We shall discuss these universal sources after
checking Indian resources.
In India - there are mainly two sources for reliable trade statistics
- DGCIS and Customs.
Directorate General of Commercial Intelligence and Statistics (DGCIS)
publishes 'Monthly Statistics of Foreign Trade of India' Its March
issue contains cumulative data for whole financial year (April to
March). After publishing extremely voluminous books for years - DGCIS
has started publishing this data in CD-ROM from 2004.
DGCIS statistics is extremely important for macro level data analysis.
One can find out product and country wise (as also country and product
wise) statistics for whole year from DGCIS publications.
DGCIS statistics is extremely useful for identifying potential markets
for your product. However, it provides a macro level picture without
revealing who is exporting what, to which port, when, at what price
etc. For such micro level data - one should check shipment records
from seaports and airports.
We shall discuss these sources in detail with example in next issue.
Happy and Productive Surfing
Dr. Amit K Chatterjee
- Newsletter on Business Opportunties from India and Abroad
Vol: 5, Issue 14
; December 10' 2004
Dr. Amit K. Chatterjee
(Amit worked in blue-chip Indian and MNCs for 15 years in various
capacities like Research and Information Analysis, Market Development,
MIS, R&D Information Systems etc. before starting his e-commerce
venture in 1997. The views expressed in this columns are of
his own. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org