Do-It-Yourself Marketing Research
MacFarlane, Ian, Management Review
Most company executives know that they need to conduct careful marketing research before they prepare to market abroad. Knowing what to do is not the same as knowing how to get it done, however. Because many small- and medium-sized firms are looking at international markets for the first time these days, they frequently go charging off in the wrong direction-or spend tremendous sums on market research. In reality, a great deal of market research can be accomplished for very little money-if you know where to look.
When we are asked to help answer international marketing research questions, we try very hard not to reinvent the wheel or redo research that is readily available. One of the first things we do is check established sources of information on countries, products, markets, competitors, and whatever else our client needs. This typically involves at least seven steps before we are ready to start the primary international marketing research project. These steps can be broken down as follows:
1. Check reference information on countries, products, markets and competitors. We check to see if any multi-client studies have already been done on the area of interest. It may be possible to purchase the needed information at a much more reasonable price than it would cost to conduct a proprietary marketing research project. We start by looking for studies in the publications:
* MarketSearch, the International Directory of Published Market Research. This annual directory provides more than 18,000 multi-client study references throughout the world; it is subdivided by subject based on British SIC classifications.
* FINDEX, the Directory of Market Research Reports, Studies and Surveys. This directory includes company and industry research from Wall Street as well as a variety of multi-client studies published by research firms throughout the world. Coverage is stronger domestically than it is internationally, however.
* Marketing Surveys Index (MSI) includes virtually all international multi-client studies; this directory tends to be most current because it is updated 10 times per year by supplements sent via airmail from London. The subject index is alphabetical, complete, and the coverage is clearly international.
It is also useful to check some general reference guides:
* The European and Far East Regional Directories, published by The Market Research Society in London.
* Croner's A-Z of …
Questia, a part of Gale, Cengage Learning. www.questia.com
Publication information: Article title: Do-It-Yourself Marketing Research. Contributors: MacFarlane, Ian - Author. Magazine title: Management Review. Volume: 80. Issue: 5 Publication date: May 1991. Page number: 34+. © 1988 American Management Association. COPYRIGHT 1991 Gale Group.
This material is protected by copyright and, with the exception of fair use, may not be further copied, distributed or transmitted in any form or by any means.