International marketing managers operate in a highly risky and complex environment. If a company is to survive in the international marketplace, it is important that it searches for methods to reduce, as far as possible, the risk of making a wrong decision.
This is why marketing research is so fundamentally important to the international marketing process, for whilst it cannot help a manager reduce risk to the point of zero, it can assist him in making a proper decision based on knowledge and not on assumptions.
Since 1995 the volume of international marketing research has grown a lot. Multi-country marketing research is an area that is developing rapidly and taking an increasing strategic role.
Steps involved in International Marketing Research
The marketing research process involves various steps. These steps are the logical process for any International marketing research study to go through in its implementation and will be relevant for all research studies:
1. The objectives of the research should make sure that it is commercially worth and that the objective is practically possible.
2. The planning phase in research process should take into account of the timescale, resources to carry out the work and the expertise required to meet the objectives. It is necessary to decide whether to go for a qualitative approach or to take a quantitative approach according to the prevailing market conditions.
3. While formulating a marketing research strategy, one should take into account of all action steps involved in the research process. It is vital that the secondary data sources be utilized to its full potential as well as the data collected through the research project to make sure that the questionnaire is more meaningful and effective.
4. Decisions as to how the questionnaires will be administered (telephone, mail, personal interviews or focus groups) will be made as well as decisions as to who will do the work and what resources are required.
5. The data analysis stage will need to take full account of the objectives of the research and the clients needs. Many researchers will argue that the methodology to be used should be decided in the first stages of the research planning as it will impact on the questionnaire design and how the interviews are administered.
6. Preparing the report and presentation. The report and presentation are the researchers outputs and vital in establishing the reliability of the marketing research methods, and the extent to which the findings of the research are valid.