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What Are Global Test Markets?

Osmand Vitez
Osmand Vitez

Marketing and advertising is all about inducing consumers to purchase a company’s goods or services whether the consumer needs them or not. In order to test the viability of a product or service, a company may desire the use of small test markets prior to conducting a huge product rollout. Global test markets include international locations where a company wants to test a product away from its domestic location. The use of global test markets ensures that international consumers are aware of the product and comfortable with any language translation for advertising campaigns. Not all companies use international test markets for their goods and services if they do not plan on selling in other countries.

Manufacturing a product or selling services to consumers can be a daunting process. The time spent on development, planning, research, and distribution alone can be very tedious and difficult. Once the concept is in place and the product ready for sale, the company must decide how to begin selling it to consumers. A test market typically makes use of several large cities or regions in which a company will sell products prior to a full rollout. Companies can sell in these smaller markets first and discover consumer preferences and what items may need changes prior to the full sale of the products in a large market.

Man holding a globe
Man holding a globe

Global test markets work in very similar manners to domestic test markets. A company that may have a product for international consumers needs information on how these individuals will react to it in terms of quality and use. A big purpose for these test markets is to ensure the proper use of foreign languages to describe the product. Many historical cases are found in marketing where a manufacturer — say a U.S. business — attempted to sell a product in a foreign country with disastrous results. The improper use of language or other terms can distract potential international consumers from the actual product and its value in the current environment.

Another benefit of global test markets is the ability for a company to discover how or what reaction a governing body may have to the product. For example, domestic governments may not be too intrusive about a company’s products or the way they are marketed to consumers. Global test markets, however, can produce entirely different results. Here, the company may discover that some of the methods in which they sell products will not be allowed. This can require an entirely different way in which a company must market and sell goods in the international market.

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