What to Know Before Conducting International Research

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With the global growth of smart devices and the internet, many countries are now becoming more accessible to market researchers. As a global, agile market research partner, we’ve conducted our fair share of international research already. When it comes to conducting research in India, Brazil, Germany and many other countries, there can be a variety of challenges. As a result, we want to share just some of the knowledge we’ve gained through our experience in conducting research internationally.


Regardless of the country in which you’re looking to conduct research, the challenges remain the same. Timing, additional costs, and feasibility are three of the most important challenges to address before embarking on an international research study:

  1. Timing: First and foremost, the timeline for an international study is often longer. Though we approach global research in an agile way, utilize in-country researchers, and partner with a quality, quick-turnaround translation provider, it still requires extra time for translation and analysis.
  2. Cost: Not only do international respondents cost more, but depending on the methodology and the more niche the target audience becomes, the more pricey it can get. And if you’re conducting research with a partner that doesn’t have the framework set in place or resources in the location you’re looking to conduct research, exorbitant costs can result.
  3. Feasibility: Not all methodologies translate internationally, and not all technology like mobile and video capabilities are possible. Additionally, international panels tend to be smaller as compared to U.S. panels, so respondent coverage may be less established and lead to longer field times and limited audiences.

Tips & Best Practices

In order to conduct international research successfully, there are several best practices that can be incorporated into the research process. First off, ensure the right personnel is in place from translators to moderators, to the researchers conducting the analysis. Each of these roles plays a critical part in making sure the study is communicated and interpreted properly. Having a disconnect in any of them could lead to biased or inaccurate translations and misinterpretation of results.

Second, before conducting the research, check to make sure that there are no major holidays or events taking place during the field time. This could be a costly mistake if unchecked and could lead to longer fielding times or low-quality responses. Further, ensure if you’re testing any brand lists or retailers that you have the appropriate line-up relevant to the country in which you are conducting research. Also, remember that not every country entails the same research strategy. For example, below you’ll see a few countries with specific nuances that require certain do’s and don’ts that market researchers need to be aware of:

Brazil, India, Germany, international research best practices

Last but not least, if you’re also considering conducting multi-country research, or research in several countries at once, you’ll need to approach that carefully as well. When comparing results between countries, it’s important to have the context needed to make sure cultural nuance, depth, and responsiveness of answers, and any bias specific to each country is accounted for.

Ultimately, choosing a research partner that has an in-depth understanding of the international research landscape is the first step in implementing successful international research. To learn more about the cultural nuances and our capabilities within specific countries, check out the eGuide below. You’ll also learn more tips and best practices for other countries like Japan, China, and Russia.

Download eGuide