Over the past year, B2B International has observed a sea change in clients’ global research and market intelligence requirements, reports Director of International Operations Matthew Harrison.
“Throughout our history B2B International has obviously placed a great deal of importance on international research. Our clients demand not only that we are capable of researching the markets of interest to them, but also that we have a rounded experience of a variety of geographies. Over the past 10 years, half of our work has been international in scope, so we feel that we have delivered in terms of international experience.”
Over the past 12 months, however, we have noticed a significant shift in emphasis towards developing economies. Clients who previously were asking us to research the UK, USA and France are now increasingly asking us to look at Eastern Europe, Central Asia and East Asia. The number of different countries we have researched over the past year alone has grown by around 40%, with Russia, China and Ukraine being areas of particular growth. Four new geographies were researched for the first time by our team, in the shape of Libya, Mozambique, Tanzania and Azerbaijan.
This growth has been led by our US clients. In the past year we have researched over 60 different countries for US organizations, particularly manufacturers whose domestic markets have often matured and who are therefore seeking to grow their client bases amongst the rapidly industrializing Eastern countries.
We have implemented a huge variety of research techniques in developing geographies; however, by far the most common are market assessment and competitive intelligence studies. This reflects the rapidly changing nature of so many Eastern markets and our clients’ recognition that their market intelligence must constantly be refreshed.
Whilst these may be challenging markets to research, they certainly add interest to the job and also differentiate our company. How many businesses are genuinely capable of obtaining information from Libyan Government officials or Mine owners in Azerbaijan? Our ability to ask and answer the most difficult questions in the most difficult locations is one of the things that mark us out from the competition.