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International Marketing Research


Today the environment in the modern business arena is highly uncertain and rapidly changing. Advances in communications and information systems technology are further accelerating the pace of change. Expansion of business operations from home country toward other countries is making the uncertainty more prominent and stronger. This may be due to cultural, political, and legal differences. This makes it increasingly critical for management to keep abreast of changes and to collect timely and pertinent information to adapt strategy and market tactics in expanding local markets. As a consequence, international marketing research becomes essential for effective decision-making when organizations start to internationalize toward foreign markets.
In this post, we're going to explain - what exactly international marketing research is. Process of international marketing research.

Definition of Marketing Research

According to American Marketing Association - "Marketing Research is the systematic gathering, recording and analyzing of data about problems relating to the marketing of goods and services".

According to Philip Kotler - “Marketing research is a systematic problem analysis, model building and fact finding for the purpose of improved decision-making and control in the marketing of goods and services".

According to Paul Green and Donald Tull - "Marketing research is the systematic and objective search for, and analysis of, information relevant to the identification and solution of any problem in the field of marketing".

According to David LuckDonald Taylor, and Hugh Wales - "Marketing Research is the application of scientific methods in the solution of marketing problems".

Definition of International Marketing Research

International marketing research is the systematic design, collection, recording, analysis, interpretation, and reporting of information pertinent to a particular marketing decision facing a company operating internationally.

International Market Research is a particular discipline of Market Research, focusing on certain geographical areas.

International Market Research is concerned with consumer goods, but also with any resource or service within a value chain which will be commercially utilized or further processed – which is the area of industrial goods and B2B-Marketing.

International Marketing Research Process

Conduct preliminary research - Do some preliminary research on your topic of interest. For this, you can go online and search existing survey reports related to your topic of interest. The searched reports may not be too specific to your requirement, but they might give you some ideas on how to go about your primary research.

Develop a Research Brief

Research Brief is a statement setting out the objectives and background to the case in sufficient detail to enable the researcher to plan an appropriate study. A good research brief must include - a background to the problem, a description of the product or service to be researched, a description of the market to be researched, a statement of the objectives, timing, and budget constraints.

Identify the Right Marketing Research Agency

Using a professional market research agency can ensure that you get the information you need so that you can make strategic decisions based on reliable evidence. 

First, find some marketing research agencies with the help of trade associations, business contacts, market research society, business intelligence groups, independent consultant groups, local or online directories, etc. 

Draw up a market research agency shortlist - As long as you understand your own research needs, a quick check of what each agency offers will allow you to eliminate unsuitable ones. Smaller businesses tend to find that smaller agencies know how to get useful insights from a tight budget. 

Unless you know what type of research you need, you may prefer to work with a company that offers a wide range of market research services, rather than a specialist who only offers one particular type of research.

Choosing a market research agency - Ask each market research agency to provide a brief proposal, setting out what kind of research they would suggest, their timelines and costs, and enclosing examples of past projects. Choose an agency that understands what you need to know, and has shown that they know how to get the right information within your budget.

Determine Data Collection Mode

The data collection mode you use will impact both the type of data you collect and how it is collected. Data is generally grouped into two categories, qualitative and quantitative. 

Qualitative data is unstructured and is often exploratory by nature. When analyzed, responses may be grouped into similar categories but they cannot be ranked in the same way quantitative data can.

Quantitative research is the mathematical approach to collecting data, which can more clearly be measured and structured. Quantitative data includes survey data where respondents have a clear choice of answers, and quantitative questions often appear with radio buttons, checkboxes, and Likert scales which are easy to measure and compare.

Focus groups, unstructured interviews, and open-ended questions are typically collecting qualitative data, while surveys with answer choices collect quantitative data. Understanding the different modes and what type of data they can collect is important: Text message surveys can collect some qualitative data, but perform better with quantitative questions that are easily answered from a list of choices.

You also need to consider how robust and agile the different modes of data collection are. Can your selected mode work across multiple countries and languages? How much data are you looking to collect and in what time frame? The level of scalability of the mode is important, especially if your project will entail a multi-country survey. In addition, some modes will collect data more slowly than others.

Some examples of different modes of data collection include:
• Face-to-face
• Text message (SMS) survey
• Online survey
• Mobile web survey
• Mobile application survey or passive data collection
• CATI (Computer Assisted Telephone Interviews)
• CAPI (Computer Assisted Personal Interview)
• Focus groups

Conduct Data Analysis

The most important aspect of market research is being able to analyze the data once it has been collected. A thorough analysis should guide you on how to act on the insights you have gathered. It is therefore crucial that the research agency, through its insights report, address the questions you had set out at the start of your survey.

Complete a Post Project Review

Having a session with the research team after completion of your project to share feedback and discuss the project execution is sometimes overlooked. Such an undertaking involves various departments but is important to understand why a project did or did not go as smoothly as planned. A post-project review session helps both parties knowing what areas worked and which ones the agency or the client will need to improve for their next project.

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