International versus Domestic Research

What is marketing research?

•      “The function that links the consumer, customer, and public to the marketer through information.”

•      “systematic and objective identification of information, collection, analysis and dissemination of information for the purpose of improving decision making related to the identification and solution of problems and opportunities in marketing.”

International versus Domestic Research

•      The primary differences

w  New parameters

w  New environments

w  Number of factors involved

w  Broader definition of competition

Recognizing the need for Research

•      What customers want?

•      Why they want it?

•      When they need it?

•      How they go about filling their needs?

Reasons for failure in international arena:

w  Lack of sensitivity to differences in consumer tastes and preferences.

w  Limited appreciation for the different marketing environments abroad.

w  Lack of familiarity with national and international data sources and the inability to use them.

w  Actual but limited business experience in a country or with a specific firm may be used as a substitute for organized research.

Ø The Benefits of Research:

V(dr) – V(d) > C(r)

Going International

Secondary Data Sources

•      Governments

•      International organizations

•      Service organizations

•      Directories and Newsletters

•      Electronic Information Services

•      Other firms

Basic Procedure of Primary Research

•      Developing the Sampling plan

•      Data Collection

•      Analyzing and interpreting primary Data

•      Presenting Research Results

•      Follow-Up and Review

Determining Research Administration

•      Centralized

w   The research specifications are designed by the home office and forwarded to country operations for implementation.

•      Coordinated

w   An intermediary such as an outside research agency brings headquarters and country operations together.

•      Decentralized

w   Corporate headquarters establishes the broad thrust of research and delegates design and implementation to the local countries.

Research Techniques

•      Interviews

w   Knowledgeable persons are a valuable information resource (personal bias must be discounted).

w   Goal, obtain in-depth information instead of a wide variety of information.

•      Focus groups

w   Interaction within a group about a specific topic.

w   Ideal size, 7-12.

•      Observation

w   Observation results can be influenced by presence of the observer.

•      Surveys

w   Gather quantitative rather than qualitative information through personal or remote contact with the subject population.

Designing the Survey Questionnaire

w  Question format

•   Structured or unstructured.

•   Direct or indirect.

w  Question content

•   Consider interviewee’s  ability and willingness to answer.

•   Adapt questions to societal constraints.

w  Question wording

•   Use simple unambiguous words, terms and questions.

•   Check for errors using translation-re-translation approach and alternative wording for questions.

•   Pretest the survey.

Ø   Content Analysis:

Investigates the content of communication in a given society and number of times it appears in a given medium (E.g. preselected words, themes, symbols, or pictures etc.).

Ø   Delphi Studies:

About thirty well-chosen participants who posses particular in depth expertise in an area of concern.

Ø   Scenario Analysis:

Different configurations of key variables in the international market.  For example, economic growth rate, important penetration, population growth, and political stability can be varied.