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International marketing research


One of the most striking advancements of recent years has been the globalization of business. The growth of world trade requires more information about foreign markets and companies which extend into new and unidentified markets must have got the information about the demand and conditions of these marketplaces. Companies invade not only into such developed markets as Europe, US and Japan, but also in to the unpredictable but growing market segments of Latin America, the politically uncertain marketplaces of the center East and Russia, and the rapidly changing marketplaces of South East Asia and the rising African markets[1].

The development of new communication and information systems change the approach to life, consumption patterns and purchasing patterns of different countries. All this reveals that the marketing research in global environment has become essential.

The purpose of this newspaper is to provide meaning of the international marketing research and illustrate the factors which effect the marketing research in different countries. The paper also deals with the steps of international marketing research process and its main categories. The advantages and negatives of collecting supplementary and key data and review methods of international marketing research are presented in the newspaper. Finally, the issues which may appear in the international marketing research are summed up.

1. Marketing Research in a Global Environment

Marketing research routines and techniques have grown to be truly global. For example, the world's largest research company, Nielsen, is headquartered in the U. S. but derives almost two-thirds of its revenue from beyond your U. S. It is standardizing much of the data it routinely gathers in 27 different countries.

International marketing managers make the same basic types of decisions as do those who operate in mere one country. Obviously, they make these decisions in a more complicated environment. Much like marketing decisions, the basic function of marketing research and the study process will not differ between domestic and multinational research. However, the process is complicated almost exponentially as more and more countries get excited about the same decision.

The main factors which influence the marketing research in several countries are

1. Cultural variances. Culture refers to widely shared norms or habits of tendencies of a sizable group of people[2]. It is the values, attitudes, values, artifacts and other significant symbols represented in the design of life implemented by people that help them interpret, examine and talk as associates of society[3]. A business which works on the international market is looking for cross cultural understanding. Cross cultural distinctions (terminology, non-verbal communication, different norms and principles) may cause cross ethnical blunders. You will find examples of ethnic blunders in the marketing combination.

Product. Whenever a soft drink was launched in Arab countries, it has a label with six-pointed superstars. The sales were suprisingly low as the actors were associated with Israel.

Price. An American organization was willing to create a reasonable price for the merchandise they designed to sell to the Japanese. A detailed display was made to japan businessmen, but it was followed by a profound silence. The People in america thought that the Japanese were going to reject the purchase price and offered a lesser price. The Japanese stored silence again. After that the Americans lowered the price again expressing that it was the lowest they could sell at. After a brief silence the offer was accepted. Later japan confessed that the first offered price was quite acceptable, but they acquired a tradition to believe within the offer silently. An American company experienced great losses in this case.

Place. A firm wanted to enter the Spanish market with two-liter beverages bottles and failed. Soon they discovered that Spaniards prefer small door fridges plus they cannot put large containers into them.

Promotion. Pepsico came to Taiwan with the ad 'Come Alive with Pepsi'. They could not imagine that could it be translated 'Pepsi will bring your relatives back again from the useless' into Chinese language.

2. Racial Differences. This refers to the distinctions in physical features of men and women in different countries[4]. For instance, types of hair cut and aesthetic products differ greatly in a variety of countries.

3. Climatic Variances. They are the meteorological conditions such as temp range or amount of rain. For instance, Bosch-Siemens adapted their washers to the market segments they sell. In Scandinavia, where there are extremely few sunny days, they sell washing machines with the very least spin cycle of just one 1, 000 rpm and no more than 1, 600 rpm, whereas in Italy and Spain a spin circuit of 500 rpm is enough.

4. Economic Differences. Economic development of various countries differs and when a company introduces a fresh product it adapts it to that new market. There are factors which show the level of economic development

Buying power and revenue of the market. In developed countries with higher income of earnings people prefer complicated product with advanced features, while in poor countries simple product are more suitable.

The infrastructure of the market. Such components of the infrastructure of the country as move, communication system and more influence the product. When Suzuki joining the Indian market the suspension system was strengthened as the status of roads in India is inadequate.

5. Religious Differences. Religion impacts the merchandise greatly and makes companies adjust their product to religious norms. If the company exports food products to Islamic countries it will need to have a special qualification indicating that the pet was slaughtered according to 'Halal' methods.

6. Historical Dissimilarities. Historical differences have an impact on the consumer behavior. For instance, Scotch whiskey is known as fashionable in Italy and not very trendy in Scotland.

7. Terminology Differences. The correct translation and terminology adaptation is very important. For example, when Proctor & Gamble moved into the Polish market segments it translated properly its product labels but failed. Later they discovered that imperfect terminology must have been used in order showing that the business ties in.

Aside from the differences mentioned above, there may be differences in the manner that products are used, dissimilarities in the criteria for assessing products or services across various markets and variations in market research facilities and capabilities[5].

2. International Marketing Research Process

a. International Marketing Research Categories

International marketing research is the systematic design, collection, documenting, examination, interpretation, and confirming of information relevant to a particular marketing decision facing a company working internationally. International marketing managers need to constantly monitor the different pushes affecting their international operations[6].

There are three general types of research predicated on the type of information required.

Exploratory research deals with discovering the general nature of the challenge and the factors that relate with it. Exploratory research is seen as a a high degree of versatility, and it will rely on secondary data, convenience or wisdom samples, small-scale surveys or simple experiments, case analyses, and subjective analysis of the results.

Descriptive research is focused on the correct description of the variables in the condition model. Consumer profile studies, market-potential studies, product-usage studies, frame of mind studies, sales analyses, press research, and price research are types of descriptive research. Any source of information can be utilized in a descriptive study, although most studies of the nature rely heavily on extra data sources and survey research.

Causal research makes an attempt to specify the nature of the efficient relationship between several variables in the problem model. For example, studies on the effectiveness of advertising generally attempt to discover the magnitude to which advertising causes sales or attitude change.

There are three types of information to make inferences about causation: (1) concomitant variation, (2) collection of event, and (3) absence of other potential everyday factors.

Concomitant variant, or invariant connection, is a common basis for ascribing cause. For example, the advertising expenses vary across lots of geographic areas and measure sales in each area. For the magnitude that high sales take place in areas with large advertising expenses and low sales arise in areas with limited advertising expenditures, it is inferred that advertising is a cause of sales. It must be pressured that have been only inferred, it is not proved that increased advertising causes more sales.

Sequence of occurrence can provide proof causation. For one event to cause another, it should always precede it. A meeting occurring after another event cannot be thought to cause the first event. The need for collection can be showed in the last exemplory case of advertising causing sales. It really is expected that further inspection demonstrated that the advertising allocation to the geographic regions had been predicated on the previous period's sales such that the amount of advertising was straight related to previous sales. Suddenly, the type of our own causal romance is reversed. Now, due to sequence of events, it could be inferred that changes in sales levels cause changes in advertising levels.

A final type of evidence that is used to infer causality is the lack of other potential causal factors. That's, if one could logically or through our research design eliminate all possible causative factors except the main one he/she is interested in, he/she would have set up that the variable he/she can be involved with was the causative factor. Alas, it is never possible to control completely or even to eliminate all possible triggers for just about any particular event. Always there is a likelihood that some factor which one is not aware has influenced the results. However, if all acceptable alternatives are eradicated except one, you can have a higher degree of self confidence in the rest of the variable.

b. Steps of International Marketing Research Process

The international marketing research process as well as local one is a serious of individual steps. However, the international marketing research process has some peculiarities such as the national differences between countries arising out of politics, legal, economic, sociable and cultural variations and, the comparability of research results due to these differences[7].

Step 1. Research Problem Classification.

Problem meaning is the most critical part of the research process. Research problem definition involves specifying the information needed by management. Unless the problem is properly described, the information manufactured by the research process is improbable to obtain any value.

Step 2. Information Value Estimation.

Information has value only to the extent which it improves decisions. The value of information rises as

(1) the price tag on a wrong decision boosts,

(2) our level of knowledge as to the right decision decreases, and

(3) the correctness of the info the research provides increases.

The principle involved with deciding whether to do more research is that research should be conducted only when the value of the information to be obtained is likely to be higher than the cost of obtaining it.

Step 3. Selection of the info Collection Procedure.

There are three basic data collection strategies in international marketing research: (1) extra data, (2) survey data, and (3) experimental data. Supplementary data were accumulated for other purpose than helping to solve the existing problem. Most important data are gathered expressly to help solve the situation at hand. Review and experimental data are therefore supplementary data if they were collected earlier for another review; they are main data if they were accumulated for today's one. Extra data are nearly always collected first because of their time and cost advantages.

Step 4. Dimension Approach Selection.

Four basic measurement techniques are used in marketing research: (1) questionnaires, (2) attitude scales, (3) observation, and (4) depth interviews and projects techniques. Much like selecting the data collection method, collection of a measurement approach is influenced mostly by the type of the info required and secondarily by the value of the information.

Step 5. Sample Selection.

Most marketing studies require a sample or subgroup of the total population highly relevant to the problem, rather than census of the whole group. The population is generally specified as a part of the problem explanation process.

Step 6. Selection of Methods of Analyses.

Data are of help only after research. Data analysis consists of converting a series of saved observations into descriptive claims and/or inferences about interactions. The types of analyses, that can be conducted, depend on the nature of the sampling process, dimension instrument, and the data collection method.

Step 7. Analysis of the Ethics of the study.

It is vital that marketing researchers limit their research activities to routines that are ethically reasonable. Ethically audio research considers the hobbies of the general public, the respondents, your client, and the study profession as well as those of the researcher.

Step 8. Estimation of your energy and Financial Requirements.

Time identifies the time had a need to complete the job. The financial need is the monetary representation of staff time, computer time, and materials requirements. The time and money requirements aren't independent.

Step 9. Preparation of Research Proposal.

The research design process provides the researcher with a blueprint, or guide, for performing and controlling the research project. This blueprint is written in the form of a study proposal. A written research proposal should precede any research project. The research proposal helps ensure that the decision manufacturer and the researcher are still in arrangement on the essential management problem, the information required, and the study approach.

3. International Extra Data Sources

1. The Nature of International Secondary Data

Secondary data for international marketing decisions are subject to some disadvantages. Alas, many of the drawbacks are multiplied when the data entail more countries. An additional problem is that a lot of secondary data are available only in the host country's language. Thus, multi-country queries require utilizing specializing firms or maintaining a multilingual personnel.

Data availableness, recency, availability, and accuracy fluctuate greatly from country to country. Until just lately, there were few commercial databases in Japan as a result of difficulty of using Japanese characters on personal computers. Now the condition is resolved. The Japanese federal government prepares many possibly useful records, but even Japanese firms seldom use them because they are poorly prepared and indexed. Supplementary data in many non-democracies often reveal political passions more directly than reality. In general, the amount of secondary data available in a country varies directly using its level of financial development.

Even when the appropriate data are accessible, it might not exactly be possible to make multinational comparisons. Data from several countries may well not be similar because the data were accumulated at different times, use different items of measurement, cover just a bit different subject areas, or identify the classes (such as age ranges) differently. This has become a significant problem in the Western european Community as companies begin to investigate the market all together somewhat than as a assortment of individual countries. To resolve area of the problem, ESOMAR has suggested a standardized group of questions to gather demographic data in both administration and private research. Similar work is underway in Brazil, India, and the center East.

2. Internal Sources of International Extra Data

The internal resources of data for international decisions can be categorised into four extensive categories - accounting information, sales force reviews, miscellaneous records and internal experts. However, utilizing international inside data can be difficult. Different accounting systems, decentralized (often over a country basis) management and information systems, sales forces structured by country or region, etc, all this increases the difficulty of acquiring and using inside data in a timely manner. To cope with these problems global firms implement international information systems and require some standardization across countries in terms of internal recordkeeping and reporting.

3. External Resources of International Secondary Data

For a example, whenever a company starts an external search for international secondary data it consults general guides to the kind of data, such as International Marketing Handbook of the US Team of Commerce's International Trade Supervision, The World of Information (Africa Guide), or it associates Euromonitor, the best provider of world business information and market examination. An alternative solution to executing such a search "internal" is by using a specialist organization such as PricewaterhouseCoopers and McKinsey.

a) Databases

Both ABI (Abstract Business Information)/Inform, which contains 150-term abstracts of articles posted in about 1, 300 business magazines worldwide, and Predicasts, which gives 11 on-line databases, have significant international content in their bibliographic databases. Predicasts coverage is specially good which is growing rapidly. In fact, half its information is on companies and companies from outside the U. S. Its major bibliographic databases, PROMPT, contains materials from all over the world. Both Infomat International Business and Worldcasts are centered on companies, products, establishments, economies, etc beyond your U. S. Predicasts also offers distinct F&S Indexes for Europe and for all of those other world excluding Europe and the U. S. A major advantage of these abstracts is they are all in British. Copies of the whole articles are generally available in the initial language.

( Stand 1, Appendix)

b) Foreign Federal government Sources

All developed countries provide census-type data on their populations. However, the frequency of data collection and the type and amount of data accumulated vary widely from country to country. Germany travelled 17 years between its previous two censuses, and Holland hasn't conducted a census in 20 years. The U. S. collects income data in its census and marketers make considerable use of computer. Most other nations, including Japan, Britain, France, Spain, and Italy, do not. (Australia, Mexico, Sweden, and Finland do. ) As the Scandinavian countries, Japan, South Korea, Taiwan, and Thailand publish English-language editions with their main census information, most countries article them only in their house language.

c) International Political Organizations

Three major international political organizations provide quite a lot of data highly relevant to international marketing activities. The United Nations and its related organization, the United Nation's Educational, Scientific and Cultural Firm, provide hundreds of publications coping with the populace, economic, and interpersonal conditions of over 200 countries.

The World Bank lends cash, provides advice, and functions as a catalyst to stimulate investments in expanding nations. To handle its missions, it collects substantial levels of useful data which can be purchased inexpensively.

The Firm of Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD) consists of 24 economically developed countries with the mission of promoting the participants' economic and communal welfare by coordinating national policies. As part of this objective, it publishes accounts on a broad selection of socioeconomic topics concerning its people and the growing nations.

4. Issues in International Primary Data Collection

Primary data are the data accumulated to help solve problems or take benefit of an opportunity on which a choice is pending[8].

The main good thing about primary data lies in the fact that it is collected for resolving the exact problem and that is why it is seen as a high usefulness and novelty. The disadvantage is that the expenses of collecting principal data are higher in foreign producing markets as there is certainly the lack of a proper marketing research infrastructure[9].

The international main data is collected by using qualitative and quantitative research strategies. Qualitative research is specially used as an initial step in learning international marketing phenomena (concentration categories, observation). However, the main constraint is the fact replies can be influenced by culture as individuals may action differently if they know they are really being observed[10].

Quantitative researches are more structured. They entail both descriptive research approaches, such as survey research, and causal research solutions, such as experiments. More respondents take part in quantitative research, though it features fewer problems than qualitative research.

International marketing research in cross-cultural environment requires the dimension of behaviours and attitudes. A significant issue in primary data collection is the lifestyle of the so-called EMIC vs. ETIC issue. The EMIC institution claims that attitudinal and behavioral phenomena are unique to a culture. The ETIC college is primarily concerned with identifying and evaluating widespread attitudinal and behavioral principles, and growing pan-cultural or culture-free measures.

5. Survey Methods of International Marketing Research

The techniques of data collection used in international marketing research have both benefits and drawbacks.

1. Personal interviews are believed to be typically the most popular approach to data collection in international marketing research. However, there are several constraints for the utilization of this approach. In the centre East countries personal interviews are treated with great suspicion. Moreover, the personnel for the study should be male and they may perform interviews with housewives only when their husbands are in home. In Latin American countries, where taxes protest movement is being developed, the interviews are usually taxes inspectors.

2. Mall intercept research may be used in the United States, Canada and the European countries. As far as the expanding countries are concerned they are not common.

3. Cell phone interviews have several advantages over other study ways of international marketing research. Enough time and costs of international calls are minimizing, the surveys may be conducted from one place, the results of cell phone interviews are considered reliable which is much easier to perform your client and interviewer control. But cell phone surveys likewise have some restrictions because of poor telecommunication systems in a number of countries. For example, in India mobile phone penetration is merely 1 % and telephone surveys reduce the survey coverage greatly. But even in such developed countries as THE UK telephone penetration includes only 80 %. That's the reason a lot of marketers are very skeptical about phone surveys and nowadays there is a great reduction in their program.

4. Mailing studies are widely used in industrialized countries, where there's a high level of literacy, good mailing services and option of e-mail lists. However, the utilization of this method in developing countries has some constraints. In some countries people consider the mailing surveys to be the invasion to their private life and the effectiveness of these studies is reduced. In such countries as Brazil, where only 30 per cent of email is sent, mailing surveys can't be used as well.

5. Electronic research become more popular in america and Europe plus they are being used for the products which require technical literacy such as personal computers and computer software. E-mail surveys commence to replace mail and telephone research. The limiting factors for electronic digital surveys are as follow: you may still find many countries with low internet access, the internet types available in a variety of countries might not exactly be appropriate and there could be a big number of non-responses because of technical issues. At the same time the speed of getting reactions and low costs of surveys makes this technique suitable for international marketing research.


International marketing research is the systematic design, collection, saving, examination, interpretation, and reporting of information associated with a particular marketing decision facing a company functioning internationally. The international marketing research process has some peculiarities such as the national dissimilarities between countries arising out of politics, legal, economic, social and cultural differences and, the comparability of research results anticipated to these distinctions.

A company accomplishing the international marketing research may experience several problems. First of all, there is a intricacy of research design scheduled to procedure in a multi country, multicultural, and multi linguistic environment. Second of all, the availability of extra data varies widely from country to country. On some market segments, especially rising and unstable, the data is neither available nor reliable. Thirdly, the costs of collecting primary data are higher in foreign expanding markets as there exists having less a proper marketing research infrastructure. Fourthly,

problems associating with coordinating research and data collection in several countries may occur. And lastly, there will be the difficulties of establishing the comparability and equivalence of data and research conducted in various context.


1. Aaker D. , Kumar V. , Day G. , (2007), "Marketing Research", 9th edition, John Wiley & Sons.

2. Altstiel T. & Grow J. M. (2005), "Advertising Strategy: Creative Tactics From your Outside/In", Sage Magazines, Inc.

3. Arnold D. (2004), 'The Mirage of Global Marketplaces: How Globalizing Companies Can Succeed as Marketplaces Localize", Pearson Education, Inc.

4. Barnard, P. (2007), "Global trends and future guidelines in marketing research, " Globalization and the Millennium: Opportunities and Imperatives, Marketing Research Institute, June 16-17, Brussels, Belgium.

5. Cateora, P. and Graham, J. L. (2009), "International Marketing", 14 th model, McGraw-Hill Company.

6. Craig, C. S. and Douglas, S. P. (2009), "International Marketing Research", 2nd Model. Chichester, UK: John Wiley & Sons.

7. Douglas, S. P. and Craig, C. S. (2005), "Evolution of global marketing strategy: scale, opportunity and synergy, " Columbia Journal of World Business, Vol. 24, No. 3.

8. Kumar, V. (2000), "International Marketing Research", Prentice-Hall, Inc.

9. Mahajan V. and Banga K. (2006), "The 86 Percent Solution: How exactly to Succeed in the Biggest Market Opportunity of the 21st Century", Pearson Education, Inc.

10. Kumar V. & David A. Aaker & George S. Day (2009), "Essentials of Marketing Research, 2nd Edition with SPSS 17. 0", John Wiley & Sons.

11. Payne, N. (2009), "PR Across Civilizations - Building international communication bridges", URL: http://www. aboutpublicrelations. net/ucpayne. htm


Examples of Specialized Bibliographic Databases.

The Information Loan provider Advertising & Marketing Intelligence Service

Advertising and marketing articles from over 60 trade and professional publications are summarized on subject areas such as new products, consumer tendencies, and sales marketing promotions.

Bank Marketing Relationship: Financial Industry Information Service

Contains about 50, 000 citations on the marketing of financial services by finance institutions, credit companies, insurance firms, investment and real real estate firms, thrift businesses, and government businesses. Subject areas include on advertising, costs, sales, marketing, and new technology.

FINDEX Reports and Studies

Indexes and represents industry and market research studies, studies, and research (more than 11, 000 citations) from more than 500 research firms worldwide.

Frost & Sullivan Research Information Abstracts

Contains citations and abstracts from about 1, 500 general market trends reviews providing analyses and forecasts of market size and talk about by product and company. Sectors symbolized include chemicals, marketing communications, consumer products, data handling, gadgets, food, health, instrumentation, machinery, and travelling.

Source: Kumar, V. (2000), "International Marketing Research", Prentice-Hall, Inc.

[1] Kumar V. & David A. Aaker & George S. Day (2009), p. 345.

[2] Craig, C. S. and Douglas, S. P. (2009), p. 276.

[3] Kumar V. & David A. Aaker & George S. Day (2009), p. 374.

[4] Mahajan V. and Banga K. (2006), p. 213.

[5] Craig, C. S. and Douglas, S. P. (2009), p. 215.

[6] Kumar, V. (2000), p. 24.

[7] Craig, C. S. and Douglas, S. P. (2009), p. 107.

[8] Kumar, V. (2000), p. 67.

[9] Ibid, p. 69.

[10] Ibid, p. 73.

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