The steps in the process of international marketing research:
- Definition of objectives.
- Determining information requirements.
- Selection of methodologies.
- Collection of data and information.
- Tabulation, analysis and interpretation of data and information.
- Preparation of Report.
Definition of Objectives.
The first step in the research process is definition of the objectives for which research is being undertaken, such as understanding the basis of preferences of consumers, the nature, extent and source of competition etc. Unless the objectives are clearly defined, it will be rather difficult to identify the nature and sources of information and data or select the right technique of information collection.
The second step is to decide about the type of information and data to be collected in the light of the objectives laid down earlier. Since the company would like to avoid wastage of scarce resources in collecting information that may not be considered relevant subsequently, it is highly important that there is a clear idea in the beginning stages itself about the type of information to be collected.
The next step is to determine the methodology to collect the required information. Some information may be collected through desk research from published sources, microfilms, internet, computer disks and files which are secondary sources of information. Some other may be collected only through survey research which is a primary source of information. Again in survey research, whether to cover the entire population or a sample has to be decided.
Collection of information in accordance with the chosen methodologies is the next step. This involves planning the field work to contact the respondents personally or via mail or telephone, drafting of questionnaire and actual collection of information. Great care should be taken to collect reliable, updated and relevant information during this stage, since the quality of research will ultimately depend on the quality of information collected.
Processing of Data and Interpretation.
Editing, tabulating, analyzing and interpreting the information and data constitute the next step. It is highly important that analysis and interpretation of information are done in a totally objective manner and no element of subjectivity is allowed to creep in.
Preparation of Report.
The final stage is presentation of the findings of the research in the form of a report. The findings should be backed by facts including statistical tables and other qualitative information.