International marketing research

International marketing research
See also

International marketing research are the most important task of every CEO or marketing management head of department due to fast internationalization and globalization of economy. Crucial tasks performed during those research and important challenges include:

  • prepare different language version of advertising and promotional material
  • dealing with foreign trade laws, taxes and tariffs
  • researching cultural factors, attitudes and behaviours which influence customer decision making process
  • adapt to local and global competition
  • gather data from various sources, various languages and in different formats using qualitative and quantitative methods
  • analyse market trends and demand
  • study technological changes, innovation and R&D activities of foreign businesses and scientific institutions
  • predict effects of trade barriers and protectionism
  • etc.

International Marketing Research (IMR) can be defined as market research conducted either simultaneously or sequentially to facilitate marketing decisions in more than one country (Kumar V. 2000). This process requires an examination of the different characteristics of the market in order to make marketing decisions easier. These decisions can be taken in all countries.

Process of research[edit]

The process of international marketing research involves the same process as national research with minor differences: 

  • National differences between countries due to different policies, laws, economies or social.

Factors can influence the behaviour of people from different cultures: 

  • Cultural differences: Well known norms or patterns of behaviour. Culture is understood and defined as value, attitude, beliefs and other symbols in people's lives, through which they can interpret, evaluate and communicate as a member of the community. Intercultural awareness is increasing in our global economies. We have differences such as language or labels that can lead to mistakes between cultures.
  • Racial differences: Differences in physical characteristics in people from different countries. Demand for a particular item may vary from country to country and from culture to culture. For example, cosmetic products.
  • Climate differences. Mainly includes changing weather conditions such as different temperatures or rainfall in different climates.
  • Differences in the economy. The desired characteristics of a product may be affected by different levels of economic development on the market.
  • Religious differences. Religion mainly affects the ingredients that make up the products. Religion introduces restrictions to customize the product.
  • Differences in history. History has an impact on customer behaviour and willingness to buy the product.
  • Language differences. One of the most important aspects of international marketing research is language. With language skills we can keep the market at a good level.
  • Differences in Actual and Potential Target Groups.

An international marketing researcher may encounter differences in the way the product is used and differences in the assessment of the product in different markets.

  • The comparability of research results due to these differences. (Kumar V. 2000, pp 2-6)

Rapid changes in technology, economy, society and politics shape the development of the international market. These changes are not only rapid, but often unexpected and unpredictable, strongly changing the nature, opportunities and threats in international markets. Marketing research have an important role in helping managers to maintain their status quo. (Craig, C. S., & Douglas, S. P. 2005)

Centralised and decentralised research[edit]

When a researcher conducts research in two or more countries with headquarters, we are dealing with centralised research. Disputes, delays and inefficiencies may occur. Decentralised research occurs when the researcher has an office in each country and conducts the research according to guidelines from headquarters. In the case of such tests, the investigator is obliged to conduct the tests in the language specified by the head office or translate all information in the language of the head office. (Kumar V. 2000, pp. 10-11, )


Author: Karina Obiegła