A reader recently asked me for my thoughts on international market research. He is an MBA student writing a paper:
To be comparable an international marketing research should be conducted applying the same methodology in all participating countries.
I do not agree with this statement as it is written here.
You can only apply the same methodology across different countries for specific tasks in international market research.
…And these are mainly for preliminary international market research – more on this tomorrow.
What You Want From Your Research
So, where can you use the same methodology across any given choice of countries?
And, when do you need to use different methods?
Well, my first question would be:
- What are the goals of your international market research?
And then, the next question is:
- Will different cultures interfere with the methods you get from this information?
What You Get From Your Research
When answering these questions, there is one thing that is obvious to me here.
The closer the information you need from your international markets…
…the more problems you will have at getting valuable information using a single methodology.
This is the thing international business blunders are made of.
Now,that does not mean you should not systematize your international market research.
And there definitely is a place for one single methodology across different cultures in international market research.
…Again, more tomorrow.
The Limits Of Methodology In International Market Research
Today I just want to say something important first..
International market research for effective international business development has different layers.
- One methodology across the board can work with some of these layers.
- One methodology across the board could give you useful information in some instances.
- And using one methodology across the board could give the advantage to your competitors in other layers of this international market research.
Yes, some people can come up with sophisticated calculations to make methodologies work well.
And, some people will think there is flare involved in certain international successes.
I think there is a time a place when to follow the results from:
- Your international market research
- Specific knowledge acquired through international skills
And, the best international teams I have worked with know when to apply both of these.
What do you think? Please share your thoughts and comments below.
Photos from Shutterstock.
Filed under: international market research
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