International Marketing Research / Edition 3

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The third edition of International Marketing Research is completely updated to reflect changes in both the structure and practice of international marketing research. Industry consolidation of research firms has accelerated as they strive to better serve global clients. The Internet has burst on to the scene as an alternative way to gather information and conduct surveys rapidly. Increasingly research is being conducted in developing countries as firms expand operations into markets such as India and China. The coverage of research in developing markets has been expanded in the third edition. In addition, to all the updates and changes, a chapter has been added that deals with conceptual and methodological issues in designing and executing research.

  • A complete guide to modern international marketing research techniques by two pioneers in the field.
  • Authoritative coverage of all the latest electronic research techniques.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780470010952
  • Publisher: Wiley
  • Publication date: 5/6/2005
  • Edition description: REV
  • Edition number: 3
  • Pages: 524
  • Product dimensions: 7.54 (w) x 9.43 (h) x 1.29 (d)

Meet the Author

C. Samuel Craig is the Catherine and Peter Kellner Professor and Professor of Marketing and International Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business. He received his Ph.D. from the Ohio State University. Prior to joining New York University, Professor Craig taught at Cornell University.

Susan P. Douglas is the Paganelli-Bull Professor of Marketing and International Business at New York University’s Stern School of Business. She received her Ph.D from the University of Pennsylvania. Prior to joining New York University, Professor Douglas taught at centre HEC, Jouy-en-Josas, France and was a faculty member of the European Institute for Advanced Studies in Management in Brussels.

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Read an Excerpt

International Marketing Research

By C. Samuel Craig

John Wiley & Sons

ISBN: 0-470-01095-9

Chapter One



The explosive growth of world trade has unleashed a torrent of demand for information about markets throughout the world. Companies expanding into new and unfamiliar markets need information about market demand and market conditions. Managers seeking to expand and diversify operations need information to develop effective strategies in these markets. Information needs now extend from the mature industrialized markets of Europe, the US and Japan, the unstable but growing markets of Latin America, the politically uncertain markets of the Middle East and Russia, and the rapidly changing markets of South East Asia to the emerging African markets.

At the same time, increasing cultural diversity makes it important to collect information with regard to changing lifestyle and consumption patterns in different parts of the world. Increased travel, waves of migration and global communications are resulting in the blurring of cultural boundaries. Traditional notions of culture as defined by geographical territory are changing as cultural interpretation occurs, resulting in a deterritorialization of culture. Links are being established between geographically dispersed cultures, resulting in the introduction of new ideas, products and lifestyles from one culture to another. In some instances, this generates a process of cultural fusion, resulting in the emergence of new hybrid cultures and global patterning of culture. Research is needed to investigate the impact of these changing cultural dynamics on consumption and purchasing patterns worldwide.

Advances in communications and information systems technology are further accelerating the pace of change, linking markets through flows of information, images and ideas across national boundaries. This makes it increasingly critical for management to keep abreast of changes and to collect timely and pertinent information to adapt strategy and market tactics in expanding local markets. As markets become more integrated worldwide, there is a growing need to conduct research spanning country boundaries, to identify regional or global segments, examine opportunities for integrating and better coordinating strategies in world markets, launching new global brands and developing effective global branding strategies.

Effective and timely research is an essential tool for crafting strategy in a rapidly changing global marketplace. Research can aid in uncovering potential opportunities in international markets, in correctly positioning new products and formulating products for international markets, as well as in identifying appropriate advertising appeals and diagnosing potential issues in relation to other aspects of the marketing mix.

Correctly Positioning New Products

Research can help in correctly positioning new products. In China, PepsiCo was initially unsuccessful in introducing its Frito-Lay brand of potato chips into the market. Sales were particularly low in summer months. Research revealed that Chinese shoppers associated fried foods with yang, believed to generate body heat in summer months (Fowler and Setoodeh, 2004). As a result, Lay's introduced a 'cool lemon' variety in pastel-colored packaging to reflect yin, a cool feeling. The product subsequently became Lay's most successful in China.

Avoiding Product Formulation Errors

Research can also help in uncovering how to reformulate products for local palates. HJ Heinz, for instance, wanted to market its oat-based baby food in China. Research showed that the Chinese were not familiar with oats and hence it was unlikely to be a popular food for babies (Fowler and Setoodeh, 2004). On the other hand, whitebait, a tiny fish, was discovered to be a staple food for infants in China. Heinz reformulated its baby food and produced a whitebait-oats combination. This proved to be an instant success among Chinese consumers.

Sensitivity to Geographical Differences

Costly mistakes can be avoided by consulting secondary data. Often it can be as simple as making sure that geography is politically correct. Microsoft launched Windows 95 in India with a color-coded map that did not show the disputed Jammu-Kashmir region as being part of India. As a result, Windows 95 was banned throughout India, leading to a substantial loss of sales. When Office 97 was launched, the color coding was eliminated and the company sold 100 000 copies. A similar problem was encountered when Microsoft employees were arrested in Turkey because Kurdistan had been shown as a separate entity on maps. Microsoft ended up removing Kurdistan from all maps as a result (Brown, 2004).

Understanding Cultural Change

Rapid changes around the world make it imperative that firms understand what consumers are thinking and how values are changing. To help its clients, McCann Erickson, the large global advertising agency, conducts marketing research in more than 40 countries simultaneously. The research allows it to understand each country's values from the consumers' perspective. The survey results help the agency determine the structure of consumption in each country, brand choice, lifestyles and media influence. Comparisons are made between sets of countries. This information helps spot trends and facilitates the creation of advertising.

Identifying Appropriate Advertising Appeals

The appropriateness of advertising appeals also needs to be assessed through research. An $800 000 research project in Brazil helped Coke identify a motherly female kangaroo as the advertising device mostly likely to appeal to women shopping for their families. In Brazil women account for 80% of Coke's $3.5 billion sales (Advertising Age International, 1997). The ads are themed 'Mom knows everything' and feature the kangaroo sporting sunglasses and toting Coke cans instead of a baby. Although there are no kangaroos in Brazil, the animal tested well among Brazilian women, who said they thought it represented freedom, but at the same time responsibility and care for children.

Assessing Translation Errors

Research can also aid in assessing the need for translation. In entering Eastern Europe, Procter & Gamble (P&G) translated its detergent labels into Polish and Czech to adapt its products to the local market. However, consumers reacted negatively, perceiving this as an effort to dupe customers by passing the company off as a local Polish firm. Research revealed that labels should be written in imperfect Polish to show the company was trying to fit in, but was not quite adept enough to be fluent (Business Week, 1993).

Collecting information about international markets is, however, by no means a simple matter. While numerous sources of secondary data for international markets are readily available, issues of comparability from one country to another and reliability arise especially with regard to emerging country markets. Primary data collection is also more complex, since the research design has to be adapted to different cultural, linguistic, economic and social environments. Often, exploratory research has to be conducted in order to define the problem more clearly, to determine precisely what should be investigated, as well as by whom. Questionnaires have to be translated and the research instrument adapted to the new environment. Sampling frames comparable to those available in industrialized countries are often nonexistent, particularly in developing countries.

Administration of marketing research has to be scheduled and coordinated across national boundaries, often incurring delays, miscommunication and other frustrations. Analysis also poses the problem of interpretation of data from a different cultural context, which may introduce the possibility of bias on the part of the researcher (Lee, 1966). The complexity of international marketing decisions, which have to be made in relation to and across diverse and rapidly changing environments, adds further to the difficulties of designing and implementing marketing research in international markets.

Complexity of International Marketing

Marketing on a global scale poses problems that are inherently more complex than those encountered in a firm's domestic market (Douglas and Craig, 1995). Operations take place on a much broader scale and scope, often involving a range of different types of activities and management systems, including licensing, strategic alliances and joint ventures. At the same time, international marketing entails operating in a variety of diverse environmental contexts. International markets are also characterized by rapid rates of change in the technological, economic, social and political forces that shape their development. Often these changes affect markets at differing rates and in different ways. Sometimes, events such as an economic meltdown in one country can have a ripple effect, cascading through markets worldwide. Change is not only rapid and all-pervasive, but also often unexpected and unpredictable, radically altering the character and nature of opportunities and threats in international markets.

In the complex, diverse and continually changing international environment, marketing research assumes a vital role in helping management keep abreast and in touch with developments in far-flung markets throughout the world. Research aids in assessing where the best opportunities lie, where and how to enter new markets and expand operations, how to develop the most effective marketing strategies to operate in these diverse environments, and how to tailor strategy to the continually changing global landscape.

Diversity of the International Environment

In addition to the broad geographical scope of international operations, international marketing decisions are made more complex by the diversity of environments in which these operations are conducted. Diversity occurs in relation to consumer tastes, preferences and behavior, and to a lesser extent in business-to-business markets. Differences in the nature of the marketing infrastructure, for example the availability and reach of media, the banking system or the structure of distribution, add a further level of complexity to strategy development and implementation. This, in turn, is further compounded by government regulation of business operations, product formulation and packaging, advertising, promotion and pricing as well as trade barriers such as tariffs, import quotas etc.

In the first place, countries differ with regard to economic wealth and its distribution among the national population. Table 1.1 shows GNP per capita for the top ten and bottom ten countries in the world in 2002. This ranges from a low of $100 in Burundi and the Congo to $38 730 in Norway. Yet, such aggregate figures can be misleading when one considers purchasing power equivalents. Based on these equivalents, the range narrows from $630 in Burundi and the Congo to $36 690 in Norway. In addition, in some countries wealth is concentrated in the hands of a few, while agricultural economies have a higher living standard than might appear from income per capita as they grow their own food.

Levels of literacy also vary from country to country. While the level of literacy in industrialized countries is typically 99%, it is important to remember that is far from the case in other countries. Table 1.2 shows levels of literacy in selected countries (UNDP, 2003). Literacy rises with income, with the lowest levels of literacy occurring in the lowest-income countries. While it is not unexpected to discover that levels of literacy are low in many parts of the world, it is striking to note the difference in female and male literacy. In Niger only 9% of females are literate compared with 25% of males, while in Nepal the corresponding figures are 25% and 61%. Similarly, in Morocco only 37% females are literate compared with 63% males, and in Saudi Arabia the figures are 68% and 84% respectively. This seriously limits the effectiveness of written communication; that is, product labeling or print advertising. Illiteracy also affects the type of research or research tools that can be used, for example the feasibility of using mail or self-administered questionnaires.

Linguistic heterogeneity is another factor adding to the complexity of international operations. International marketers have to deal with operations spanning countries where various languages are spoken. For example, 133 languages are spoken by at least two million people, while 9 are the primary language for more than 100 million, and another 12 are spoken by at least 50 million people. This includes Mandarin, which is spoken by 874 million people, Hindi by 366 million, English by 341 million and Spanish by 322 million (World Almanac, 2004). There is also often a diversity of languages within one country. In many countries and cultures there are regional differences and dialects, not comprehensible in other areas. In India, where Hindi is the official language, there are 15 regional languages recognized by the constitution and an estimated 180 local languages, not to mention 544 dialects. Similarly in China, Mandarin is the official language, and while six major language groups are typically identified, each of the 22 provinces speaks a different version, and in addition there are numerous local dialects.

Cultural values and orientation also vary markedly from one country to another. Hofstede (1980, 2001) has, for example, identified four different value orientations (power distance, uncertainty avoidance, individualism-collectivism and masculinity-femininity), which he argues characterize differences in national culture. Subsequently a fifth dimension was added, which represented the long- versus short-term orientation found in Asian societies. According to Hofstede (1980), these dimensions define the collective mental programming that members of a nation, region or group share with each other, but not with members of other nations, regions or groups. Characterizing societies on these dimensions showed China to score high on power distance and long-term orientation, low on individualism, and moderately on uncertainty avoidance and masculinity. The US profile is below average on power distance and uncertainty avoidance, but scores high on individualism, and moderately on masculinity and short-term orientation. The Netherlands is similar to the US on the first three dimensions, but strongly feminine and moderately long-term oriented.

Individual value profiles also vary from one country to another. Schwartz (1992) has, for example, identified motivational domains of values such as enjoyment, security, social power, achievement, self-direction, prosocial restrictive conformity and maturity, based on the terminal and instrumental values of the Rokeach Value Survey. These domains have been mapped in different countries, revealing differences in the relative importance attached to these value domains.

Such differences in economic wealth and levels of literacy, coupled with the linguistic heterogeneity and cultural diversity in marketing environments throughout the world, imply that management cannot assume that a strategy that works in its domestic market will be equally effective in international markets. Customer needs and interests will vary and people may respond in different, often unexpected ways to marketing stimuli. Differences in the marketing infrastructure, in the availability and reach of communication media, the level of technology, ownership of computers, as well as linkages across markets through satellite television or linkages to the Internet, as well as travel or movement of goods and services, further complicate the development of strategy for international markets.

Continually Changing Environment of International Markets

In addition to cultural and economic diversity, international markets are characterized by rapid rates of change (Craig and Douglas, 1996a). Change pervades all aspects of human life and business activity. Not only are rates of technological change and knowledge obsolescence accelerating and transforming the competitive landscape, but also unforeseen events are changing the political and economic context of international markets. At the same time, rapid social and economic change is taking place, fueled in part by advances in communication technology, which shrink distances and stimulate greater awareness and cross-fertilization of ideas, attitudes and lifestyles across the mosaic of the international market place.


Excerpted from International Marketing Research by C. Samuel Craig Excerpted by permission.
All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.
Excerpts are provided by Dial-A-Book Inc. solely for the personal use of visitors to this web site.

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Table of Contents

About the Authors.


1. Marketing Research in a Global Environment.


Complexity of International Marketing.

Importance of Research for International Marketing Decisions.

Issues in International Marketing Research.

Scope of the Book.

2. Designing International Marketing Research.


The International Marketing Research Plan.

The International Marketing Research Process.

Structuring the Unit of Analysis.

Selecting Information Sources.

Research Plan.

Issues in Administering International Marketing Research.


3. Secondary Data Sources.


Locating the Appropriate Information.

Information Sources.

Information Requirements.


4. Uses of Secondary Data.


Market Entry.

Demand Estimation.

Assessing Market Interconnectedness.


5. Structuring Primary Data Collection.


Defining the Unit of Analysis.

Selecting Units of Analysis.

Structuring the Research Design.

Cultural Bias in Research Design, Communication and Interpretation.


6. Establishing the Comparability of Multicountry Data.


Establishing Comparability: The Emic/Etic Dilemma.

Establishing Data Equivalence.

Determining Construct Validity.

Establishing Construct Reliability.


7. Nonsurvey Data Collection Techniques.


Different Qualitative Techniques.

Observational and Quasi-observational Data.

Projective Techniques.

In-depth Interviews.


8. Survey Instrument Design.


Questionnaire Design and Question Formulation.

Type of Question.

Use of Nonverbal Stimuli.

Instrument Translation.

Potential Sources of Bias Associated with the Research Instrument.


9. Sampling and Data Collection.



Achieving Comparability in Sampling.

Data Collection Procedures.

Field Staff Organization and Training.


10. Multicountry Scales.


General Issues in Scale Development.

Using Multi-item Scales in Cross-cultural Research.

Developing Cross-cultural Scales.


11. Analysis of Multicountry Data.


Multicountry Data Analysis.

Assessing the Differences in the Level of Variables between Countries.


12. Assessing Differences in the Structure of Variables.


Correlation Analysis.

Means–End Hierarchies.

Cluster Analysis.

Multidimensional Scaling.

Factor Analysis.

Confirmatory Factor Analysis.

Covariance Structure Models.

Advances in Data Analysis.


13. The International Marketing Information System.


Information Components of the International Marketing System.

Data Collection and Processing for the International Marketing Information System.

Applying the Information System.


14. Challenges Facing International Marketing Research.


Coping with Change: Marketing Infrastructure and Technology.

Contending with Complexity: Conducting Research in Emerging Markets.

Confronting Competition: Marketing Research Services in a Global Environment.

Conforming to Conscience: Ethics in International Marketing Research.


15. Future Directions in International Marketing Research.


Comparability and Equivalence Revisited.

Developing the Research Design.

Improving Analysis of Cross-cultural Data.

The Growth of Internet Research.


Subject Index.

Author Index.


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