Brands with any type of global marketing or product should be utilizing international research. In fact, with the increase of online business, it’s unlikely that many brands aren’t conducting business on a global scale in some form or another. Particularly when it comes to the messaging and creative, international research can play a key role in not only the successful launch of new products in international markets, but in generating a successful brand image both globally and locally.
International research and multi-country research are similar in that they both look outside the domestic country for answers, however international research doesn’t always have to be conducted within multiple countries— sometimes it’s just conducted in one country in order to localize a marketing or product strategy. Multi-country research actually seeks to conduct the same or similar research across a variety of countries to help globalize the strategy, and localize the product, or vice versa. There are 3 important benefits to conducting multi-country research that can have a significant impact for any company conducting global business.
1. Identifies Cultural Nuance
The obvious benefit of multi-country research is being able to identify cultural nuance. Most often before conducting international research, researchers have hypothesis or are aware of differences: but without conducting multi-country specifically, it’s harder to identify the more specific nuances. Having results from two or more countries allows researchers to more quickly identify cultural nuances, specific to the message, creative, or objective at hand. For example, a creative advertisement that depicts only women using a product may be acceptable in one country, but another may call that out. Identifying unanticipated nuances like this is critical to a brand being able to optimize creative on a global scale.
2. Drives Down Cost
Just for the simple fact that multi-country research is typically done by one vendor (or should be) means there is no cost of trying to find a research vendor in-country to recreate the study— the objectives and questionnaire can be translated for each location. What’s more, insights from multi-country research can be huge in identifying any far-reaching effects that could be detrimental to a brand’s bottom line. If a brand is already planning to spend thousands, maybe even millions, on advertising in an international location, the cost of testing that creative in-country first is minimal to the impact a poorly executed creative or misinterpreted advertisement could have.
3. Creates Consistency
Conducting research in multiple countries at the same time is also critical to making sure the results are comparable from country to country. Often multi-country research vendors provide in-country research experts, and ensuring they are trained similarly and reports are designed alike makes it easier to pull insights and keep findings consistent. Additionally, when testing messaging or creative, consistency in study design and execution is important to making sure the creative is interpreted as intended in each location. Conducting research in multiple countries at the same time can also make creating global strategies much quicker—otherwise comparisons would take longer to conduct and insights would have to wait until each phase of research is done.
Whether one of these benefits seems more important than another doesn’t really matter. For any brand, any one of these benefits should be enough to look towards conducting more frequent multi-country research, especially when dealing with any global creative or messaging. To see an example of a multi-country study in action, check out the executive summary below.