In response to my dad’s “Get Busy Living Email,” I decided to create an international social media marketing tour called #Kepnerlostinwanderlust to conduct international marketing research in Europe.

International Marketing Research is the systematic gathering, recording, and analyzing data to provide information useful to marketing decision-making.  Information must be communicated across cultural boundaries.  The environments within which the research tools are applied are often different in foreign markets.  Research Types of information are based on needs.  General information about the country, area, and/or market are necessary.  Information necessary to forecast future marketing requirements is done by anticipating social, economic, consumer, and industry trends within specific markets or countries.  Specific market information is then used to make the product, promotion, distribution, and price decisions and to develop marketing plans.  In domestic operations, most emphasis is placed on gathering specific market information because the other data are often available from secondary sources.

Types of Information:

  1. Economic and demographic: data on growth in the economy, inflation, business cycle trends; profitability analysis for the division’s products, specific industry economic studies, analyses of overseas economies, key economic indicators for the US and overseas, and population trends (migration, aging, and immigration).
  2. Cultural, sociological, and political climate: a Non-economic review of conditions affecting the division’s business.¬† Covers ecology, safety, leisure time, and their impact on the business.
  3. Overview of market conditions: Analysis of market conditions the division faces by market segment including international conditions.
  4. Summary of the technological environment: Summary of the state of the art technology as it relates to the division’s business.¬† Needs to be broken down by product segment.
  5. Competitive situation:¬†Review of competitor’s sales revenues, methods of market segmentation, products, and apparent strategies on an international scope.


  1. Define the research problem and establish research objectives.
  2. Determine the sources of information to fulfill the research objectives.
  3. Consider the costs and benefits of the research.
  4. Gather the relevant data from secondary or primary sources or both.
  5. Analyze interpret, and summarize the results.
  6. Effectively communicate the results to decision makers.

*Variations and problems in implementation occur because of differences in cultural and economic development.  See Marketing Research!

Economic Dualism: A way of conceptualizing the existence of two (sometimes more) separate but symbiotic sets of economic processes or markets within the same political or national social framework. In 3rd world societies, for example, a dual economy is formed by the coexistence of peasant subsistence agriculture and cash production of basic commodities or industrial goods for the international market. An analogous division exists in highly industrialized economies between the corporate core and peripheral firms and labor markets.

Multicultural Research: involves countries that have diff languages, economies, social structures, behavior and attitude patterns & when designing research you must take these into account.  Keep in mind when designing research to be applied across cultures is to ensure comparability and equivalency of results.  Different methods have varying reliabilities in different countries (thus different research methods should be applied in different countries).  Example: In Latin American countries its difficult to attract consumers to participate in focus groups because of different views about commercial research & value of their time.  The Japanese don’t respond to mail surveys compared to Americans.  Evidence suggests that inefficient attention is paid to non-sampling errors in improperly conducted multicultural studies and the appropriateness of research measure that has not been tested in multi-cultural context

Uses for internet research¬†‚Äď internet privacy issues (matter of personal and legal consideration):¬†The ability to conduct primary research is one of the most exciting aspects about the internet, but bias of a sample universe composed solely of internet respondents presents severe limitations, and firms vary in their abilities to turn data collected into competitive advantages. ¬†Today the real power of the internet for international market research is the ability to easily access volumes of secondary data. ¬†Different uses for the Internet in International research. ¬†Online surveys and buyer panels-have better “branching abilities” (asking different questions based on previous answers). ¬†Online focus groups-use of bulletin boards. ¬†Web visitor tracking-auto track time visitors travel through websites. ¬†Advertising measurement-servers track links to other sites to assess their usefulness. ¬†Customer identification systems-track visits and purchases over time creating a “virtual panel”. ¬†E-mail marketing lists-sign up for direct marketing efforts via the internet. ¬†Embedded research-the internet process people go through of searching for info about products, comparison shopping, interacting w/service providers etc is the research process itself (firms that give the option of custom designing products online are the ultimate in applying research for product development purposes). ¬†Observational research¬†-chat rooms, blogs, and personal websites monitored to assess customer’s opinions about products. ¬†Vexing-irritate; annoy; provoke

Non-response bias

2 methods for forecasting Market demand:

1) Expert opinion: experts polled for their opinions about market size and growth rates-For market estimation problems, particularly in foreign countries new to the marketer, expert opinion is advisable.  Experts polled for their opinions about market size and growth rates.  Key in using expert opinion to forecast demand is triangulation- comparing estimates produced by different sources.

2) Analogy: assumes that demand for a product develops in much the same way in all countries as comparable economic development occurs in each country; Relationship between known situation and country in question.  Advanced techniques include multiple regression analysis or input-output analysis.

Qualities that the foreign market research must possess:  High degree of cultural understanding of the market in which research is being conducted.  Creative talent for adapting research methods.  The skeptical attitude in handling primary and secondary data.  Proficiency in using quantitative methods-Modeling.

Income Distribution affect increase in GDP, without standard of living

We look at Per Capita GDP

In Review:

The key component in developing successful marketing strategies and avoiding major market blunders is information.  If researcher interested in a general non-economic review of conditions affecting the company’s business, the best area avenue would be cultural, sociological, and a political estimate.  If a company wants to gather information on its own market environment you should define the research problem and establish research objectives.  If you gather internet annual report figures from different companies to construct cost and profit for her company she has just collected secondary data.  Consulting with customers regarding research design is not a standard step in the research process.  The availability and accuracy of recorded secondary data increases as the level of economic development increases.  Survey questionnaires are primary data.  Yes/No questions research format is quantitative research.  Open-ended questions research format is qualitative research.  Lack of randomness in the population is not a problem of drawing a random sample in the international environment.  The language barrier is the most universal survey research problem in foreign countries.  Back translation is when a researcher translates a questionnaire into another language and then another translator translates it back into the original language.  Parallel translation.  Analogy assumes that demand for a product develops in much the same way in all countries as comparable economic development occurs in each country.



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