Today’s most successful companies appear effortlessly global. They seem to have been created in a post-language world, with universally pronounceable names – Google and Uber and Gawker. Their websites seem to know exactly what you need and how to get it to you; if you are in Costa Rica, you don’t have to worry about being offered snow boots. This seamless globalization is essential for growing businesses today; the ability to connect with foreign markets on a local level first depends on truly understanding worldwide cultures.
Here are a few tips to help plan for conducting global market research:
1. Conduct research in the native language.
A recent study completed by the Common Sense Advisory showed that consumers that speak English as a second language prefer to buy and use products that are marketed in their native language, so it makes sense that market research studies do the same. Whether you are using online, telephonic or in-person methods, it is important that the interview is conducted in the target country’s native language. This is especially important when working in a country, like India for example, where different socioeconomic groups are represented through several different languages.
2. Plan for translation.
Design your source survey with translation in mind. If you know the survey you are creating will be used in several different countries, avoid using colloquial language that is hard to convey in different languages. Also, learn what is appropriate to ask in each country. For instance, in several key markets, it is a definite no-no to ask about race or orientation in a questionnaire. If you are conducting an interview, allow time in the beginning of the project to check all the translations of research materials by experienced moderators fluent in that language.
3. Take advantage of new technology.
Use multi-media solutions (such as film or an online journal) to deliver pan-global insights with impact. Studying respondents in their true environments, instead of a focus group facility, helps to put the findings into context and provide a true cultural understanding.
Expanding into a new market is exciting and can be a great business move. Using these tips can help develop a better process for your global market research tactics and eventually your branding and distribution strategies.
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