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Secondary Data Collection


Secondary Data Collection

Issues in international research problem formulation:

• A major problem is the unfamiliarity with the foreign environment - lack of familiarity may lead to
false assumptions, poorly-defined research problems, and, ultimately misleading conclusions about
the foreign market
• To reduce part of the uncertainty, some exploratory research at the early stage of the research process
is often fruitful
• A useful vehicle for such preliminary research is an omnibus survey - conducted by research
agencies at regular intervals

Framework for international marketing research:

Determine research design:

(informal, unstructured) - to gain background information, to define terms, to
clarify problems & hypothesis and to establish research priorities.
secondary data
experience survey
case analysis
focus groups
projecting techniques (asking participants to act in controlled/simulated conditions)

Descriptive research
- to describe and measure marketing phenomena at a point in time.
provides answers to questions such as;
– who customer, competitor
– what product, brand, design, size
– where places of purchase, wholesale
– when time & frequency of purchase
one point in time - cross-sectional surveys, sample surveys.
longitudinal - repeat measurements on the same sample over a period of time.

Causal research
- to determine causality, to make “if then” statement.

Identify alternative information sources:

international publications
country research reports
trade / production statistics
trade / diplomatic offices
local chamber of commerce

Secondary data information sources:

Page 57
Secondary data may be readily available and may also be cheaper than primary research. International
marketers, however, need to very carefully evaluate the relevance, objectiveness and timeliness of the
secondary data. Following aspects about the secondary data need to be evaluated for use in any
international marketing research;

Secondary data:

what was the purpose of study?
who collected the information?
what information was collected?
how was the information obtained?
how consistent is the information with other information?

Data quality:

timeliness, accuracy, relevance

Issues with secondary research:

• Accuracy of data may vary due to variation in definitions of various variables
• Quality and reliability of information may also be compromised by the mechanisms that were used to
collect them
• International trade statistics do not cover cross-border & undocumented activities
• Comparability of data across countries is constrained as different resources on a given item produce
contradictory information
• One way to reconcile these differences is to triangulate - obtain information on the same item from at
least three different sources and speculate on possible reasons behind these differences
• Comparability of data may also be hindered by the lack of functional or conceptual equivalence -
functional equivalence refers to the degree to which similar activities or products in different
countries fulfill similar functions - conceptual equivalence reflects the degree to which a given
concept has the same meaning in different environments
• Finally, in many developing nations, secondary data are very scarce. Information on retail and
wholesale trade is especially difficult to obtain

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