I often see clients requesting to conduct research across multiple countries. After all, understanding how products or ideas perform in different markets is crucial for corporations to compete in the fast paced and ever-changing global market. When conducting this type of research, companies need to understand that there’s more to global research than simply translating concepts/ideas and surveys.
Often, we are gathering information from unfamiliar markets where cultural backgrounds, perceptions/interpretations, as well as product usage can vary greatly. Therefore, it’s important to understand these aspects when conducting research across international markets.
As with all research, it’s very important for companies to have well defined objectives. For example, is the intention to have a single message/campaign across different countries with just minor adjustments to adapt to different cultural backgrounds? Or is it desirable to select individual messages for each country?
If companies work towards a better understanding of foreign cultural environments and the impact they can have on consumer perceptions, global research can become more insightful and actionable, leading to more successful global adoptions of messaging, products, and new ideas. Some companies are already working to better understand the impact of cultural differences, but I think there’s definitely a lot of room for improvement.