Need for overseas Market Research

In the areas of international marketing, market search is the crucial first step for firm which wants to engage itself in international business. Specially, market research is required to take decisions on the following:

Market research is required to identify which markets should be selected as the target based on the market size, growth accessibility and competitive factors.

Identification of suitable products is also dependent upon research. Detailed field investigations are required to determine the extent of product adaptation required to make the product acceptable in a given market.

Research and help prevent the use of inappropriate market entry method. Thorough analysis should be done as to whether the firms should export using agents / distributors, go for joint ventures or open subsidiary units.

Research also helps in taking appropriate packaging decisions. One color may not be acceptable in certain countries, while it would be the most appropriate in another. For example, green is the favored color in the Middle East but it is not acceptable in Malaysia

Considerable amount of data collection and analysis are required to arrive at pricing decisions. Pricing is crucial for success in international marketing and a blunder can mar all prospects.

Research can help determine the positioning of the product taking into account the socio-cultural factors. An English Firm manufacturing chocolate after dinner mints was considering the French market. Research showed that such product was not acceptable under normal circumstances the mints were, therefore positioned as a sophisticated British after dinner candy and was promoted through an advertisement campaign depicting serving of the mints in an aristocratic setting in a castle. The product was a success.

Promotional Campaigns should be decided only when proper research has been carried out regarding their acceptability in a given environment. Binaca made a blunder while launching its talcum powder in India. It’s advertisements showed a nude lady dousing herself with talcum powder. The caption which covered the strategic parts of her body read: Don’t go wild. Just enough is all you need of Binaca Talc. The advertisement was considered indecent ad developed negative associations with the brand name.

Information Requirements for an international marketer can be identified by analyzing the needs. These needs would be different for firm which is contemplating to go international and firm which is already in international business.

Pre-export information requirements for firm having no export experience or exporting firms considering new product or a new market would include data for market identification, product selection, market entry methods, market logistics techniques, pricing and documentary requirements.

A firm which is already operating in the export field would need data of a different type which would help in (1) consolidating its market position and (2) evaluating its performance in terms of financial returns as well as other physical targets. Data requirements would, therefore include the market dynamics analyzing introduction of a new product entry of new competitors, governmental regulations affecting product designs and performance parameters changes in the availability of promotional media, forecasted economic conditions own sales Vs sales of competing products, changes in relative competitive profile involving product quality, delivery and terms of sale.

Domestic Vs International Market Research:

Market research is to be carried out to help taking proper marketing decisions on the above aspects even while doing purely domestic business But international marketing research has certain additional complexities which arise out of the diverse national characteristics and requirements Basically, the differences between domestic and international marketing research are due to:

1. the complexity of research design, due to operations in a multi-country, multi-cultural and multi-linguistic environment;
2. the lack of secondary data for many countries and product markets;
3. The high costs of collecting primary data, particularly in the developing countries
4. the problems associated with coordinating research and data collection in different countries
5. the difficulties of establishing the comparability and equivalent of data and research conducted in different contexts;
6. the intra functional character of many international marketing decisions;
7. the economies of many international investment and marketing decisions.

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