Test marketing is a widely-used technique typically used by businesses to assess whether they can introduce a new product to an existing market. Used that way, it can be quite expensive and so it tends to be used as the last link in a chain to demonstrate that a market exists for a product, usually by trialling it in one or two cities or in a small region, before it is rolled out nationally in your target country. However, test marketing can also be used to assess whether an existing product can be sold in a new market – which is exactly what a business considering internationalisation wants to do – and can be a much more costeffective way of undertaking market research than any amount of surveys or secondary research.
Test marketing can be used for both consumer audiences and business audiences. It is unlikely that it will tell you how much of a product might sell; it should, however, give you an indication of whether it will at all sell. It may also give valuable feedback in terms of likely customer segments and ways in which you may need to communicate your marketing message. You can then decide whether you want to risk more capital setting up supply chains or arranging local production. Even at a small scale, and testing out new markets, there is a cost involved in test marketing, so you will want to be clear about the questions that you are trying to answer and you will need to have gathered some preliminary information for example about customer needs, standards and technical measures, etc and be sure that your product meets the need.