One of the very first concerns of firms that plan to start new or expand existing international activities is the choice of one or more countries as target markets. Governments advising, or designing incentives for, their domestic firms also share in this concern. Identifying the “right” market(s) for expansion is important because (a) it can be a major determinant of success or failure, especially in the early stages of internationalisation; (b) target market decisions precede the development and thus influence the nature of foreign marketing programmes; (c) the nature and geographic location of selected markets affects the firm's ability to eventually coordinate its foreign operations; and, (d) establishing bases at appropriate foreign markets can be a key ingredient in the firm's global competitive positioning strategy (Ayal and Zif 1979). In light of its importance, the international market selection process (IMS) has attracted considerable attention in the literature. A number of normative approaches and methods for IMS have been proposed, some studies have reported on the relevant practices of business firms, and some authors (Samli 1972; Cavusgil and Nevin 1981; Douglas and Craig 1983) have reviewed and compared certain key methods for systematic IMS. However, there has been no attempt to date to provide a detailed synthesis of this literature with a view to assessing the usefulness and relevance of the available models, both methodologically and in terms of their applicability in practice. This paper has three objectives: to provide a taxonomy and brief review of proposed approaches and models for IMS, based on a comprehensive inventory of the various proposed methods; to examine the extent to which these methods are being used in practice; and, to assess the proposed methods from both a methodological and applied standpoint, aiming to provide suggestions for future research.
International Marketing Review
Sprott School of Business

Papadopoulos, N, & Denis, J.-E. (Jean-Emile). (1988). Inventory, taxonomy and assessment of methods for international market selection. International Marketing Review (Vol. 5, pp. 38–51). doi:10.1108/eb008357