Successful companies penetrating Asia markets perform market research to keep pace with the market trends, make strategic decisions on business activities, and gain a competitive edge. Whether you are doing a business start-up or business expansion, research is vital to understanding your target markets and subsequently creating a marketing strategy that plays well in the market penetration or business expansion process.
What is Market Research?
Market research is a process of evaluating a business environment by collecting and analysing the facts about a market, which is crucial for the decision-making process. Insights from research help established businesses identify gaps in the market that will enable them to harness available opportunities while avoiding risks.
Why Asia market research is essential to your SEA business expansion?
1. It helps you make informed decisions about the gaps in the Asia market.
Having a great product is not the end-all of any business in Southeast Asian market, as competitors will always seek ways to gain market share. To secure your market share pie in the region, you have to truly understand your consumers – what they want, when they want it, and how they want it. That’s where market research comes in.
Knowing what the current market demand is can help you to make informed decisions about your business activities, including the feasibility of a new product or demand for service before launching your target Asia market — potentially saving you thousands of dollars.
2. It helps you strategise a thorough and successful marketing plan that works in Asia.
Business success requires detailed planning around the opportunities available in the Asia market. This way, your business gets to survive in highly competitive markets like Singapore, Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand, Vietnam, Philippines, and more. That’s why you have to ensure that your plans are rooted in the information and facts gathered through market research.
Furthermore, obtaining information about your consumer’s demographics, buying behaviour, and intended use of the product or service, can be useful in developing a product or service that suits their needs. Through this, you’ll know precisely what will work, and what won’t. And you can plan ahead of your competitors in capturing any Asian market.
Now you know the importance of market research in any overseas business venture, let’s move forward to the 3-step Market Research Method by IH Digital.
How to successfully conduct market research in Asia?
Step 1. Understand the APAC Landscape through Social Listening
To conduct market research in Asia, you need to perform social listening, which is basically keeping track of social media mentions and conversations in the market. At IH Digital, we do this by using Digimind – a global social media monitoring and marketing intelligence platform that provides comprehensive enterprise tools and resources for social listening, social analytics, and competitive intelligence.
In this stage, you will obtain key information on your industry, target market, including key consumer insights, and product trends, as well as top rises and decliners. By properly listening to your audience on social, you can identify what they need, what they are concerned about, and what they expect out of your business or brand.
Step 2. Gain Market Intelligence with Competitive Research
After understanding your audience’s needs, your next step is to identify your industry competitors in the target market. You can do this by researching on their market and product positioning, online presence, and marketing spend. With competitive research, you’ll get more insights into the market and inspiration to further improve your plans.
Competitive research starts with determining who your competitors are, what they are offering, and how they are attracting customers. This can help you better understand your customer expectations.
Once you’re clear with the basics, you should look at the strategy they are using. By doing this, you can figure out two things: the factors that lead to failures, and the opportunities that your service can fill in. Having a stranglehold in both areas is key to your success in the new market.
Step 3. Recognising your Target Audience with Focus Group Study
By focusing your efforts on the right market, you can see faster results and greater overall performance from your marketing campaigns. However, to know if you are aiming at the right market, one vital thing to verify is your target audience. This third step will help you recognise who you should be targeting in the new market.
And when you’ve identified them, make sure to verify it by organising focus groups. A focus group is in-depth profiling of your target audience, including:
- Keywords they use on search engines
- Media consumption
- Social habits
This research method allows a small group of people to discuss a specific subject, enabling you to gather extensive feedback and develop a deeper understanding of your target audience. Furthermore, the results will help you obtain well-defined brand positioning and improve your marketing assets.
▶ Are you a Singapore-registered business? Get funded for your market research initiatives with the Market Readiness Assistance (MRA) Grant. Learn more here.
Need help in conducting market research in Asia?
If you’ve been planning to expand your business in Asia but you have no information about the new market, we can help you make the right decisions.
IH Digital is a B2B marketing agency in Asia that offers APAC market research for businesses in the region. We combine all essential marketing research steps in one package known as the Market Readiness Research (MRR), aimed to help you to be market-ready with the significant 3-Steps Market Research Method. This package is specially designed for both businesses seeking to introduce its offerings to a new target market or increase penetration in existing markets.
Interested to work with us and conduct market research? Contact us today to schedule a consultation with our Market Research team soon.