Bridging the divide: The key to successful international market research

Marketing research has long since evolved from the simple one-to-many surveys, the face-to-face interviews and the traditional cold-calling antics of the past. Marketing research is now all about getting the right insights from the right people, in the right moment. Businesses or organisations no longer just want to hear a voice; they want to hear a voice that they can rely on for solid information about their products or services. The challenge comes in when these voices may not necessarily be from the country where this business is based. How do you navigate this cultural divide and ensure the insights you get are the insights you need? How do you successfully manage international market research?

Step One: Know your audience

What do you know about the audience and market that you're tapping into to get the required insights from? Do you know much about their country or their culture? In order to access your audience, you need to familiarise yourself with what they're all about. What are they likes or dislikes? What do they do for fun? How do they live, work or travel? Having access to this information means that you're already one step away from understanding the insights they may give. It also helps a little later. We’ll explain. 

Step Two: Create a brief

Next up, are you planning on guiding the conversation or are you just going to let the multitudes of marketing and advertising professionalshave free reign over the insights they give? We highly recommend creating a brief that guides the conversation so that you target the insights you need and that will have an impact on your products or services. International market research can be tricky at the best of times, but when you leave too much room for ambiguity and aren’t clear on what you expect from the many different cultures and professionalsyou’re attempting to get insights from, you leave yourself open to time and resource wasting of epic proportions!

Step Three: Empower your creatives

Sure, you may think that paying these professionals and giving them a brief with a clear outline of what’s required is enough empowerment, and you aren’t wrong. But there’s a whole lot of truth to the saying, “You get out, what you put in!” We believe that it’s important to empower themeven further with examples and guidance into the type of information you need. This goes beyond the usual brief, and even extends to making yourself available through the entire process. Remember that these insights will ultimately help you improve your products or services, so you wouldn’t want to leave it up to chance that you’ll get those golden nuggets of information.

Step Four: Make sense of the information

Once you’ve received all the information you need from your professional team you’ve employed around the world, it’s then time to collect it, collate it and make sense of it. Because you’re dealing with people from different countries and cultures, it’s essential that you make sense of the insights they give you and ensure that you’ve received it in the way they intended to give it. How do you do that? By asking questions if you’re unclear or by measuring it up to what you know about your professional team from step one. 

International market research is something that should be approached with the care and respect that the value it provides deserves. Yes, it can be an effort and it does have the potential to take up resources, but it’s also worth it if it’s done properly. If you’re not sure which angle to take or where to get started, give a shout and we’ll guide you through it. It’s what we do.