The reasons for complexities in international marketing research:
Economic and Political Factors:
Difference in economic factors of a country leads to complexities in terms of the assessment of demand for products. Economic environment varies from country to country. For example, currency unit varies from country to country. This causes problems of currency convertibility besides the problems of exchange rate fluctuations. The monetary system and regulations also differ from country to country. Similarly availability and nature of the marketing facilities available in different countries may vary widely. For example, television is very effective advertising medium in USA but not available in underdeveloped country. Trade practices and customs may also differ. Trade restrictions particularly import controls is an important problem.
The political environment of foreign markets is different from that of the domestic. The complexity generally increases as the number of countries in which a company does business increases. Political environment is not the same in the countries. The difference in the political systems gets reflected in the approaches towards different industries in different countries. Further the political philosophy followed by the government in power in a particular country influences all the marketing variables. A company while deciding to enter into a particular country must be fully familiar with the political philosophy of the government of that country.
Social and Cultural Factors:
Social and cultural factors influence consumer behaviour in a major way. Because cultures differ, the societies differ and the consumer behaviour across the countries also differ. These differences have to be taken into account in any meaningful international marketing research programme.
To a particular product, the responses of different societies may be different. For example, the level of social acceptability of beer and wine differs across societies., This level is high in some countries and moderate in some other countries. Some societies in a few countries may be hostile to the idea of social acceptability to beer and wine. Cigarettes exclusively targeted at women may find normal acceptability in some developed countries, but in certain Islamic countries the idea of women smoking cigarettes may invite a hostile reaction. Similarly beef burger will have ready acceptability in Islamic countries and USA while in India beef burger will invite a hostile reaction.
In the circumstances, an effective programme of international marketing research relating to these products would have to take into account the differences existing across the societies. Social response to any product has roots in the cultural background of that particular region. Different social responses to products can be found in different societies existing in the same country. For example, the response to lipstick differs across the northern, southern, eastern and western regions of India. Demand for lipstick in north India is comparatively higher than that in south India. The reason for the difference is to be traced to social an
Any meaningful international marketing research programme needs to take into account not only the differences which are found across the countries, but also the differences that are found intra-country. In the case of countries like India, intra-country differences make international marketing research very complex.