Question: What percent of market
research projects conducted for multinational companies, are conducted with a multinational
It’s kind of a trick question. After all, how many countries is required to be ‘multinational’ in scope? Is three countries sufficient? Four? Or does it really need to be ten or more for truly global company?
The brutal reality is that most companies selling in numerous countries can only afford to do research in a subset of them. How does a market researcher deliver appropriate insights with this obstacle? Here are three steps that help mitigate the risk:
- State the obvious. What’s obvious to you is often less
so to the client. Even if you think the geographic scope is clear, state
it clearly and multiple times. What is the geographic scope of the
research? A specific country? Region? How many languages were involved? I have seen it happen many times;
the audience assumes that since their company is ‘global’ the
research is as well’when in fact the research may have been based on just 2
or 3 countries.
- Break with convention. Too often, researchers select
countries based on past projects (‘We always do our research in the U.S., Canada
and France.’). Challenge old assumptions! What mix of countries will give
you the insights you need to inform current business initiatives?
- Illustrate the importance. Educate the audience on how
geographic variations impact customer behavior and attitudes. Here are a
couple of examples that help increase sensitivity to the importance of
- Different colors have different associations by
geography. Red is ‘positive’ in some cultures but negative in others.
This can impact reactions to ads and product packaging.
- The role of male versus female heads of households as
relates to purchase decisions for certain categories varies by country.
Thus, research about purchase intent or product attribute preferences
based on one country cannot be assumed for all.
Multinational brands don’t always have the time or budget
for truly multinational
. So the onus is on the
researcher to make sure that market research is understood and interpreted
correctly. And perhaps by raising client awareness of how important geographic differences
can be, budget for broader geographic scopes will be allocated next time
The Wall Street Journal reports that the 2009 “Black Friday” e-commerce climbed 11%. According to the market-research firm, comScore, U.S. consumers have spent $10.57 billion online from the beginning of the month to Nov. 27, then $318 million on Thanksgiving and $595 million the following day. Pre-Thanksgiving e-commerce sales were up 3%, while Thanksgiving-day sales rose 10%.
Black Friday marked the second-highest day in terms of online spending this year, after Nov. 19, when consumers spent $641 million.
‘This is a very encouraging start,’ comScore’s chairman, Gian Fulgoni, said in a statement. He noted, however, that aggressive marketing may be responsible for some of the uptick and that the coming weeks would be ‘the real test’ for holiday-season e-commerce.
Black Friday E-Commerce Climbs 11%
AdAge reports that Edward G. Martin of Hershey Co. and The CMO Council are introducing Pause to Support a Cause, a new campaign that will donate to causes for people who participate in research programs.
AdAge writes, Pause to Support a Cause is a milestone campaign from the Chief Marketing Officer Council that will unite global corporations and public sector partners in a new initiative to survey the socially beneficial way by donating on behalf of those participating in funded market research programs around the world. This corporate social responsibility campaign will use a portion of the $18.9 billion spent on market research worldwide to create a global community of nonprofit champions, boosters, supporters and members willing to take part in online surveys as a way to channel funds to their designated causes, charities, foundations and nonprofit organizations of choice.
Martin says that the goal of Pause to Support a Cause is to bring a larger and broader group of people into the research process while also including those groups that have been historically under-represented in market research, such as the African-American, Asian and Hispanic communities.
Will this promotion has a positive and large following after its introduction? We’d like to hear if you could utilize this in your research.
The Era of Rewarding Research
In a study done by MarketResearchCareers, they report that buyers of market research have cut their budget for market research services by an average of 9.5%. This is in an effort to cut back on non-revenue generating expenses. Those industries cutting back the most are education; transportation and travel; and banking and financial services. Find out more about the report here.