Global research

Merry Baskin

Merry Baskin explains how to conduct effective research across multiple markets, considering culture as well as language

HSBC Business: addressed problems of conducting research in nine markets

The commercial benefits of having a ‘superbrand’ that crosses borders, generating cost efficiencies from economies of scale, remains the Holy Grail of most major corporations. More so in a recession, when budgets are much more restricted and clients are much more interested in finding global solutions to their business or brand issues.

Consumer and B2B market research plays a vital role in helping to strike the right balance between anodyne global uniformity and celebrated local success. The goal for international research has always been to generate data that is locally sensitive, while being globally comparable. Sadly, despite some progress in techniques (online surveys have transformed field-work efficiencies), the results can still end up falling between these two stools as practitioners strive to strike a balance between heavy-handed central policing and sensitively handled logistical, political and cultural challenges.