Market feasibility of high technology products in a business-to-business marketing environment : an SADC perspective
Thesis (MBA)--Stellenbosch University, 2013.
South African companies, as well as international companies using South Africa as a base, that have reached an appropriate size, track record and capacity to consider expanding abroad often look at business opportunities in their neighbouring countries, specifically those that are members of the Southern African Development Corporation (SADC). The markets and business environment of the 15 members in the Community differ substantially amongst themselves, but each has some characteristics and business potential to recommend it to the expansion seeking SA corporation. This paper provides an exhaustive analysis of the SADC's economic environment and characteristics. As such, it makes sense for a South African company that produces high-technology products or services and sells in the business-to-business market space to explore markets in geographical proximity to itself. The existence of the SADC region as a trade block, its associated objectives to improve regional inter-trade and regional socio-economic stability and established infrastructure motivates the focus of this study. It is envisaged that further study could be suggested to identify and develop methods to ascertain market feasibility that could be applied to other countries in Africa and in the world market. According to Thompson (2006b: 1), a business feasibility study can be defined as “a controlled process for identifying problems and opportunities, determining objectives, describing situations, defining successful outcomes and asssesing the range of costs and benefits associated with several alternatives for solving a problem.” The identification, extraction, presentation and consolidation of lessons learnt could benefit new market entrants by identifying possible pitfalls before they embark on a market entry campaign. The study delves into the intricacies of doing business in emerging economies, doing business in Africa and doing business in SADC countries. The external and internal forces that could prove instrumental and decisive in the success of an organisation that seeks to measure market feasibility is examined, thus identifying key warning signs or hazards that would hamper feasibility before embarking on costly business plans and marketing campaigns. The study develops a proposed decision support matrix to determine market feasibility. This matrix could prove useful as a preliminary investigation tool for companies active in the sector and exploring the different geographical markets in question to base an initial business decision on, prior to investing in a business plan or more focused business intelligence.