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Four Steps of International Marketing Research

Framework for international marketing research:

Marketing research are the formal studies of specific situations. As discussed in the earlier lectures
major issue in decision making is that managers often fail to appropriately understand the issues or
problems and hence end up making right decisions for wrong problems. Since international markets are
often foreign to a marketer there are even more chances that the marker mat miss-understand the
problems / issues. To avoid such scenarios it is beneficial first to conduct exploratory research for
understanding the issues / situation better.
A business research process consists of four steps;

Step 1:
Defining the problem (the decision for which info. is needed) and research objectives along with:

market structure

size of market, stage of development etc.

product concept

meaning of product in a particular environment
Marketing research project may have one of the three types of objectives;
• Exploratory research - is to gather preliminary information that will help define the problem
and suggest hypothesis
• Descriptive research - is to describe things such as market potential for a product,
demographics, or attitudes of customers
• Causal research - is to test hypothesis about cause-and-effect relationships

Step 2:

Once research objectives are properly defined the marketer / researcher should then develop the detailed
plan for conducting the research. A detailed research plan should include the following five aspects;

Developing the research plan

Determining specific information needs
research objectives must be translated into specific information needs
Plan for gathering secondary information
information that already exists somewhere, having been collected for another purpose -
relevant, current, impartial (objectively collected & reported)
Primary data collection plan
information collected for the specific purpose at hand - research approaches : observation,
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survey, experiment
Deciding contact method
mail, telephone, personal
Detailing the sampling plan
sampling unit, sample size, sampling procedure

Step 3:
Implementing the research plan

data collection phase is generally the most expensive & most subject to error - wrong
implementation, problems in contacting respondents, biased or dishonest answers,
problems with interviewers (mistakes or short-cuts)

Step 4:
Interpreting and reporting the findings

both researchers & managers must work together at this stage - researchers know
methodology better while managers understand problems and possible management solutions

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