This short article is meant to be a short overview and reminder of some precious however usually bypassed procedures to gather information on international markets and buyers.

When pondering of marketplace study, surveys are most most likely the initially strategy that comes to ones thoughts. Nonetheless, surveys are a quantitative study and, in order to have an understanding of client behavior and the social and cultural context in which our company will operate, we will want to carry out some qualitative study as properly.

Qualitative solutions are most surely a much more acceptable choice when in want of researching patterns and attitudes in client behavior, have an understanding of the depth of the atmosphere about the client, and have an understanding of the cultural qualities then influence a client – specially when the marketer is not familiar with the nation of culture.

There are particular scenarios exactly where qualitative study alone can supply the marketer with all insights necessary to make choices and take actions although in some other circumstances quantitative study could be necessary as properly.

We will cease by the major qualitative procedures and see how and exactly where they can be employed in international advertising and marketing. Craig and Douglas (2000), mention 3 significant forms of qualitative information collection procedures:

– observational and quasi-observational procedures

– projective procedures and depth interviews

– inventive group sessions (synectics).

1. Observational and quasi-observational procedures

Observational procedures involve direct observation of phenomena (in our case, consumers’ behavior) in their organic settings. Observational study could be somehow significantly less dependable than quantitative study however it is much more valid and versatile given that the marketer is capable to alter his strategy anytime necessary.

Disadvantages are offered by the restricted behavioral variables and the truth that such information could not be generalizable – we can observe a customer’s behavior at a offered moment and predicament but we can’t assume all additional buyers will act the exact same.

Quasi-observational procedures are reported to have enhanced in usage more than the previous decades, due to the significant scale employ of surveillance cameras inside shops. Such procedures expense significantly less than pure observational ones given that charges linked with video surveillance and taping are far reduce than a researcher’s wage the tape can be viewed and analyzed at a later time, at the marketer’s comfort. When performing videotaping of consumers’ behaviors, they can be asked to give comments and insights upon their thoughts and actions although the conversation itself can be recorded and be additional analyzed.

Pure observation: the marketer watches behavior of buyers in genuine-life predicament, either in situ or by videotaping the buyers (significantly less intrusive). Videotaping can be particularly encouraged when studying patterns of diverse cultures, given that we can very easily examine behaviors taped and highlight similarities and / or variations.

Trace measures: consist in collecting and recording traces of consumers’ behavior. Such traces can be fingerprints or tear of packages, empty packages, garbage cans evaluation and any other techniques a marketer can envision (it really is all about creativity right here!). In eMarketing, trace measures come beneath the kind of recorded visits and hits – there are many expert applications that can aid an emarketer analyze the behavior of guests on his company’s site.

Archival measures: can be any form of historical records, public records, archives, libraries, collections of private documents and so forth. Such information can prove to be of good use in analyzing behavioral trends and adjustments in time. Marketers can also recognize cultural values and attitudes of a population at a offered moment by studying mass media content material and advertisement of the timeframe questioned.

Entrapment measures: these are indirect procedures (by comparison to the previously talked about ones) and consist in asking the respondent to react to a particular stimulus or predicament, when the actual topic of investigation is entirely diverse. The marketer plants the genuine stimulus amongst lots of fake ones and research reactions. The approach is really unobtrusive and the marketer can collect precious, non-reactive information. When the respondent becomes conscious of the accurate topic beneath investigation (s)he could alter the behavior and compromise the study.

Protocols: are however one more observational advertising and marketing study strategy which asks respondents to assume out loud and verbally express all their thoughts in the course of the selection-producing approach. Protocols are of good worth for figuring out the things of significance for a sale and they can be collected in either genuine purchasing trips or simulated ones.

2. Projective procedures

Such procedures are primarily based on the respondent’s efficiency of particular tasks offered by the marketer. The goal is to have the buyers (respondents) express their unconscious beliefs via the projective stimuli to express associations towards several symbols, pictures, indicators.

Cooper (1996) recommended that projective procedures can be effectively employed to: – indicate emotional and rational reactions

– supply verbal and non-verbal communication

– give permission to express novel suggestions

– encourage fantasy, idiosyncrasy and originality

– decrease social constraints and censorship

– encourage group members to share and “open up”.

Projective marketplace study procedures can take the following types, presented beneath.

Collages – made use of to have an understanding of lifestyles and brand perceptions, respondents are asked to assemble a collage applying pictures and symbols from chosen sets of stimuli or from magazines and newspapers of their decision.

Image completion – particular images can be made to express and visualize the situation beneath study and respondents have to make associations and / or attribute words to the offered images.

Analogies and metaphors are made use of when a bigger variety of projection is necessary, with much more complexity and depth of suggestions and thoughts on a offered brand, item, service, organization. The respondents are asked to freely express their association and analogies towards the object becoming studied or they can be asked to pick from a set of stimuli (e.g. images) these that match the examined topic.

Psycho-drawing is a strategy that permits study participants to express a wide variety of perceptions by producing drawings of what they perceive the brand is (or item, service).

Personalization consists in asking the respondents to treat the brand or item as if it is a individual and start out producing associations or locating pictures of this individual. This strategy is specially encouraged in order to have an understanding of what type of character buyers assign to a brand / item / service.

three. In-depth interviews

These procedures of advertising and marketing study place an accent on verbal communication and they are effective specially when attempting to find out underlying attitudes and motivations towards a item or a particular marketplace / consumption predicament.

Person in-depth interviews are performed on a individual-to-individual atmosphere and the interviewer can get incredibly particular and precise answers. Such interviews are popular in B2B practices of marketplace study, for instance when a business conducts a study about a item amongst their current corporate buyers.

Interviews can be carried out by telephone or by way of online-primarily based media, from a centralized place: this can significantly decrease charges linked with marketplace study and the final results are fairly a great deal as precise as the face-to-face ones. The only disadvantage would be the lack of non-verbal, visual communication.

Concentrate groups are fundamentally discussions carried out by a researcher with a group of respondents who are thought of to be representative for the target marketplace.

Such meetings are generally held in an informal setting and are moderated by the researcher. Videotaping the sessions is popular these days, and it can add much more sources of evaluation at a later time.

Concentrate groups are probably the excellent strategy, if obtainable in terms of charges and time, to test new suggestions and ideas towards brands and goods to study customers’ response to inventive media such as advertisements and packaging style or to detect trends in consumers’ attribute and perception. A single of the critical positive aspects of concentrate groups is the presence of a number of respondents in the exact same time, offering a particular synergy. Disadvantages refer primarily to the charges involved and the scarcity of excellent specialists to conduct the interviews and discussions.

To conclude, we have to hold in thoughts just how critical non-survey information collection procedures are in today’s marketplace study. Not only they supply much more depth of evaluation but they can be performed in substantially significantly less time than surveys and they are much more appropriate to be employed in the course of the exploratory phases of international advertising and marketing study.