The Center for Global Business presented the fourth installment in an ongoing series of webinars by the MAPIT Alliance, “Where Are All Your International Customers? Finding Them with the Right Online Market Research.” Continuing with the format of focusing on one part of the exporting process, this episode was created to introduce companies to different tools and strategies for conducting market research, and to connect them with existing export resources from the partners of the MAPIT Alliance.
The webinar featured insights from Rebecca Bellinger, executive director of the Center for Global Business at Maryland Smith, Colleen Fisher, director of the Baltimore Export Assistance Center at the U.S. Department of Commerce, Jessica Reynolds, senior director at the Maryland Department of Commerce, and Philip Grove on behalf of the Maryland-D.C. District Export Council (DEC).
Bellinger presented different strategies and frameworks, such as CAGE and PESTEL, that companies can use to proactively research and analyze global markets. These frameworks are tools that identify cultural, political, economic, and other factors that companies must consider before conducting business abroad. Bellinger also introduced resources offered by the Center for Global Business, including programs such as the Maryland Global Export Consulting Program, which provides companies with access to talented undergraduate or graduate Maryland Smith students to deliver solutions to their international business challenges.
“Conducting market research is a critical first step for any company interested in exporting goods or services abroad,” said Bellinger. “Understanding how a foreign market operates, the political, cultural, legal, geographic factors at play within a country’s borders — all of this should inform and guide companies on their strategic approach to selecting new markets to enter. While completing your own research might seem daunting at first, there are a plethora of resources at the state and federal level to help you start and then keep up-to-date as you continue operations abroad...”
Fisher and Reynolds continued the presentation by sharing resources available to Maryland companies designed to support their global operations. Resources included international partner virtual introductions, market diversification tools, and opportunities from the ExportMD Grant and FlexEx consulting program offered by the Maryland Department of Commerce. Grove concluded the conversation by introducing the Maryland-DC District Export Council (DEC), a group of state-appointed international trade experts, and the resources offered by the council.
The MAPIT Alliance is a partnership of Maryland Smith’s Center for Global Business, Maryland-D.C. District Export Council, the Maryland Department of Commerce, Office of International Investment and Trade, and the U.S. Export Assistance Center (USEAC) in Baltimore.
This event was sponsored in part by CIBE, a Title VI grant provided by the U.S. Department of Education.
— By Santiago Luna, coordinator, Center for Global Business