You have probably found that taking decisions is much easier when you have all the facts you need. Take the simple example of buying a birthday present for a relative or close friend and having to choose between the red one or the blue one. If you know the recipient’s colour preference, the choice is easy. If not, then there is the risk of making the wrong choice. On a much larger scale, that is what market research is about — obtaining sufficient, relevant information to increase the chance of making the ‘right’ decision.
In assessing your international trade and investment opportunities, you may have already undertaken preliminary research. However, it is unlikely to have provided sufficient information to decide exactly how you are going to get into the market and what approach you should take in terms of tailoring the product or service to meet prospective customer needs, setting appropriate price levels, selling successfully against the competition, and delivering the product or service to the customer. Reviewing the information you have and determining what additional information you need to find out provides you with your research objectives. You will then be in a position to set out a plan of action for obtaining the information you need.