This research focuses on the use of marketing data as a tool with which to evaluate
potential in emerging markets. The literature reviewed gave valuable insight into existing
approaches to evaluation of market potential, and some of the limitations these approaches
face in emerging markets. Specifically, these focus on the data deficit in emerging markets,
and lack of granularity in the data that exist. The literature also highlights the expertise and
information which is available within the marketing fraternity, which has failed to be
translated into strategic business insight in the context of new market entry. The integration
of the two disciplines of marketing and market entry provides market-seeking firms with
valuable new data on which to base decisions, as well as offering marketers with an
opportunity to demonstrate their value as a source of strategic insight.
The literature reviewed resulted in the formulation of hypotheses predicting a relationship
between the independent variable, marketing data, and the dependent variable, market
potential. These were further evaluated in terms of relative strength when compared to
existing tools: macro economic data, and the Market Potential Index. Finally the data was
analysed at a regional level to determine whether marketing data could be used to analyse
market potential at a finer level of granularity than was previously possible.
The study relied on secondary data, collected from a number of freely available online
databases covering ten African countries over a period of six-years. This was in line with the
objectives of the study, which aim to provide market-seeking firms with an alternative tool
for evaluating potential without making significant investments in upfront data gathering.
Regression analysis was conducted to determine the nature of each of the relationships
specified in the hypotheses, and the results were assessed to determine statistical
significance and the strength of correlation.
It was found that marketing data shows a strong, and statistically significant relationship
with market potential. This exhibited greater correlation than either of the existing tools – as
well as be applied at a regional level. This finding indicates the value of adding marketing
data to the set of tools used for market evaluation, and demonstrates the value that exists
within the marketing fraternity as a source of relevant and reliable data and strategic insight.