Emerging markets are these developing countries and areas, such as China, India, and Brazil and so on. They occupied 86 percent of the worlds population and 75 percent of the world’s land mass and resources, 68 percent of the world’s foreign reserves, and 50 percent of the world GDP at purchasing power parity (the growing importance of emerging markets, 2010). Under the circumstance of globalization, China had become the forth active trading country. In addition, because of the growing complicated environment of the politics and societies, the risks of moving into this emerging market are higher, so the marketing research will help multinationals move into the emerging market easily and successfully. However, in the process of the marketing research in China, there will be lots of challenges which cannot be found out easily. This report will present three major challenges in the marketing research on China and give some recommendations for overcoming these challenges.
2. International Marketing Research Challenges
2.1 Challenges in Poor Secondary Resources
International Marketing research is different from national marketing research in a large degree, because of the great difference of culture, law, politics and economics among the different countries. So the difficulties in marketing research are much greater.
In such a kind of difficult conditions, the secondary data resource may give a hand to the international marketing researchers. If the international marketing researchers conduct a research in China, the Secondary resources are always possible. But the unreliability and unavailability of some poor secondary data may bring disaster to multinational’s investment using the secondary data. Firstly, the ever-changing environment and the fragmented markets in this area of the world, partially which is compounded by the size of China. All of these reasons create challenges for conducting research. What’s more, secondary data lacks trust of researchers in China. Because some secondary data is collected and analyzed by some inexperienced users, it may be analyzed according to the first user’s needs and expectations. In the hands of the first user, there must be some unavoidable errors in the process of the collections and analysis, because of the limited skills or inexperience. Those data owners who only look for the information they want from first hand data neglect a lot of important data and information. Then, when these data and information passed on to the international marketing researchers, the errors will be broadened and will bring huge damages to the investment in Chinese market. So, the secondary data cannot be trusted in China.
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In order to avoid such kind of disasters, there are some suggestions here for the international researchers. The international marketing researchers must get the correct first hand data, the accurate primary data. They can do the primary research by their own professional skilled staffs. They can also establish a team of professional skilled staffs train them and send them to China. Then, these staffs will employ staffs, especially those natives, and retrain them to be experienced and qualified. This kind of staffs are more suitable for international researchers doing marketing research in China, because they are not only experienced and qualified, but also know Chinese preference and culture, they can collect correct and needed data and information. For the international research, although the secondary data is not always accurate, it can provide valuable information to the marketing research. It can help the international marketing researchers set scope and aim of the research in China. Moreover, in recent years there are overlaps in the secondary data, and the Chinese government is vertically organized, each industryââ‚¬â„¢s ministry collecting it own data (Adams et al, 2008).If one is to use secondary data collected in China, it must choose governmental firm. It will be relatively reliable and available.
2.2 Primary Research Challenges in China
Chinese markets are difficult for international marketing research because of the following reasons. Firstly, China is a country owning large scope of land, ranks the forth in the world (www.nationalgeographic.com). Then, the speed of the market changing is considerably fast. Chinese market is changing every day in every minute. Once lagging behind, the companies must leave or loss, because the opportunities are grasped by other hundreds and thousands of companies. Most importantly, The Chinese businesses are conservative at telling the truth about their companies and lots of individuals and other businesses are unreachable to direct research inquiries (Oliver and Coulter, 2004).Sometimes, the first hand information the international researcher reach are not true, because of the Chinese “virtue of conservativeness”, they will tell but keep a part of truth that researchers want to know, especially when they are foreigners. Sometimes, some individuals and companies will refuse to take the questions that researchers want to ask, because they may think that has none of their business or that will bring threat to their businesses in a certain degree.
The accurate and the accessible of the data will decide the result of the research, success or not. So researchers must find out the difficulties and resolve them.
There must have ways to resolve these questions. In China, the anecdotal research is adoptable and common in China. It can happen when consumers and suppliers come to the store or companies, if a researcher ask question about their businesses, or when a researcher questions their friends. Both the secondary information and anecdotal research information can offer valuable information for the international researchers to do further research. The most important problem is to pick the right information from the wrong. The other important information can be used is experts from China’s government, academic institutions, industry associations. These experts are important channel, intermediary, for international research in China. These people can do insight research on market trends, regulations. They can also collect accurate data and information from individuals and businesses, because they have built good reputation in government, academic institutions and industry associations and relation network in these fields. These experts’ friends who locate in all kinds of fields also can do a favor to the international marketing research. There is no doubt that where there is relation, there is a way. On the other hand, these kinds of experts seem to have access to reach the latest trends than those researchers live and work in a developed country.
So the primary research can rely on these experts in China.
2.3 Marketing Research Costs
Market research financial aspects generally related to higher costs, often higher than the anticipated. This is an aspect that can be easily ignored when researchers do their research planning. But Lack of cash, financial constraints may limit the amount of research activity, leading to erroneous conclusion. Sometimes research activities are put on hold before they are completed due to lack of funds. All of these errors pose a lot of challenges on the international marketing research. What’s more, the research cost also influence companies’ profits. The number of money that are plunged into international marketing research accounts more than half of the whole cost of the company. The processes of both the secondary data and primary resource need large amount of money, maybe several times of the national marketing research. Fluctuating price of research in Chinese market, high inflation, high travel costs and currency fluctuation, and the corruption in China also can lead a large amount of costs. For example, according to the Chinese center of foreign exchange, last year Chinese currency evaluated to the highest level in history. This led to the increase of the price of researching, the staff costs and the traveling costs for the international marketing research.
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Researching the trend of Chinese currency fluctuation and avoid the influence of the fluctuation. They must be sensitive to the value of foreign currency. When they anticipate the RMB will evaluate in the future, the researchers should buy lots of RMB before it evaluate, then, use that amount of money to purchase the expense that happen in the process of researching, such as labor cost, traveling costs and exchange rate and so on. Or, the researchers can change their budgets into some strong currency, like dollar, to avoid the fluctuation of the currency. Cutting cost in the process of researching is becoming more and more necessary in china.
In conclusion, in the circumstance of globalization, the emerging market is taking a more and more important role in the international trade and the international marketing research is becoming more and more necessary. A number of challenges also are emerging in the process of international marketing research. The three major challenges here in China are the poor secondary data, the primary research challenges, and the high research costs. All of these challenges in the process of international marketing research decide whether success or fail in the marketing researching. Every international marketing researchers must try their best to realize, find out and overcome these challenge to achieve the accurate data and information about Chinese such important emerging market in the world. All of these actions will do a favor to researchers to do the research to help their nations’ multinational enter into Chinese market and enjoy the great opportunities.
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