International marketing research presents a myriad of challenges for the international marketing manager. These include aspects such as: • Availability and reliability of research resources and suppliers • Appropriateness of data collection methodologies • Research costs variations.
Emerging Market Research Challenges
Emerging market research industry has significant challenges in the form of issues related with availability of reliable research resources and suppliers, appropriate data collection methods and huge variation in research costs. These are although interrelated but still unique in nature as they specifically relate with nuances of performing market research in Emerging economies.
1.Availability and reliability of research resources and suppliers
Multiple staffing managers of marketing research companies tell that they have very high shortage of market researchers which have prior research experience. The turnover rate is pretty high with quality staff is being taken over by manufacturing domain as well as competition. Senior research staff is being heavily paid due to scenario of low supply and huge demand in marketing research department. This also is reflected in expenses done of marketing research. Another face of supply issues are problems with the availabilityof resources for marketing research and secondary data sources which are reliable. There have been inaccuracies found in census data while sampling for a particular marketing research problems. Other resources like focus group facilities, panels of consumers, and facilities which can process data which are easily available in all of developed economies is very much limited in scope or rather unavailable in multiple emerging economies(Craig, Douglas 2005).
Multiple emerging economies don’t have any competitive market research sector. In some of these emerging economies, they have monopolies which operate charging hefty sums to clients, this is due to huge research costs which they need to pay for authentic data and correct output. Marketing researchers have also said that they had issues with local suppliers. These field data collection service for larger agentsare quoting price in proposal stage but once the project is midway, they will raise their fee. Since, there is a lack of availability of authentic suppliers, marketing research agencies have no choice but to meet to their demands of additional fee. Also, many a times, clients also come up to research agencies with the need of only data collection, but the real need is of high end consulting. They don’t appreciate the difficulty level as well as research costs which are with the work of obtaining true representative sample. Also, project design also needs to be compromised many times in terms of size of sample and spread so that they can meet client’s budget limitations (Bick, Abratt and Möller 2010,pp. 13-27).
- Appropriateness of data collection methodologies
Emerging economies have hugely different political, economic, social, technological and legal setup where aspect of accessibility is need to be alluded in. The Government legislation makes it very much problematic to choose proper data collection methods. In multiple emerging markets, especially which are outside of capital cities they have poor governance. There, we can’t use old and traditional data collection methods as the social setup doesn’t permit multiple things. The data samples have been plagued with huge variation due to language and mental setup issues as they don’t permit direct contact. Language is a big barrier and poverty issue has effect on education leading to non-awareness among people regarding basic things (Malhotra 2010).
Infrastructure also limits the ability of research agencies to use multiple data capturing techniques as well as communicating in field as telecommunication systems are very poor and costly. The geographic extent is huge and road networks are poor. The distances are huge and direct flights between key cities are unavailable. Internet penetration is close to zero and media usage levels are also poor. This has helped to make sure that face to face interviews are the most usual data capturing strategy in emerging economies (Craig, Douglas 2005).
Political and economic stability is another topic of huge concern for market research agencies. All of senior staff has been coordinating multiple country projects which have been facing issues related with regional instability and conflicts happening quite regularly. This will inevitably result in postponement of market research offices or altogether changing the geographic areas where sampling is needed to be done (Lyons 2008).