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What Is International Marketing Research?

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  • Written By: G. Melanson
  • Edited By: Bronwyn Harris
  • Last Modified Date: 14 October 2014
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International marketing research is research that evaluates consumer, export, and import statistics in other parts of the world. It often reflects the way in which spending patterns differ across the globe and are related to a region’s culture, customs, and other socioeconomic influences. This field of research can be especially challenging when attempting to gather data from remote parts of the world, where language differences and limited accessibility to outsiders pose communication barriers.

International marketing research is especially critical to companies that are planning to export their goods to other countries. Prior to embarking on international sales, a company will want to determine whether or not there is a demand for their product in other regions. The company will also want to research any potential cultural conflicts that could impede the profitability of the product or service they intend to export. For example, the popularity of self-tanning products in many parts of North America and Europe would not likely be a profitable export to China – where a suntanned appearance is generally not considered attractive and where products are in fact sold to reverse or “clean off” a sun tan.

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The age of the Internet has facilitated a huge amount of product export, enabling companies that previously relied on middlemen the ability to reach their customers directly via e-commerce. The Internet has also made possible the export of web-based services to any part of the world that has Internet access, such as software that was once only available as a shipped product and is today available to download. International marketing research that examines the use of these web-based services across the globe is perhaps the easiest research to conduct, as the product or service exporters track the purchases made through their website and collect customer demographics which are then stored in their databases.

The statistical and demographic findings from international marketing research is valuable information which is available online by various subscription-based research companies. These companies will often make a small portion of their research results available online for free. This free portion is then found by potential customers seeking the statistics, and directs the reader to sign up and pay a fee in order to read the complete research results.

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Chmander
Post 2

I've always been interested in doing marketing research, and just research in general. Not only does it give you a lot of insight, but it helps to realize things about your field you've never discovered before.

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