Culture and language differences. Infrastructure and technology differences. Vast geographic distances. Global research is challenging, and Felton Willis has completed many global projects in nearly two dozen countries, including the high-growth BRIC countries.
Here is how we crack the global research code:
- Globally connected. No one can know everything about global research. So it’s good to know who to call. We have met and evaluated the work of scores of marketing researchers around the globe. We know who is where and what they’re good at. If there is a need where we don’t yet know a partner, we know someone who knows someone.
- In Control and Involved. Felton Willis stays in control throughout the entire project. We train the local qualitative moderators. We observe the discussion and listen in using simultaneous translation, we consolidate the findings, and report back to you. We may not speak fluent Urdu, but that’s no excuse not to be deeply involved in your project.
- Technology. In developed countries, we often rely on technology such as web-based interviewing and live video-streaming. Unfortunately, that is not always possible in other countries. For example, did you know the technology infrastructure in Brazil is very unreliable? But in other countries, the infrastructure can support all kinds of technology. You just need to know which countries, or know the right people to ask.
- “When in Rome….” It should go without saying that you must plan for cultural differences when you work globally. Often, things that are done without a second thought in the U.S., can tank your project in other countries. And then it gets even more complicated as social norms are changing rapidly all over the world.
- Technical aspects of project/industry. It is important that the interviewer is well-versed and comfortable with the technical aspects of the project – and how they differ globally. For example, in the U.S., when you are researching lung disease, you talk first to thoracic surgeons, and then, possibly, to pulmonologists. In other countries, it’s just the opposite. A nuanced point, but one that could seriously impact the project.
- Geography. It is important to understand the impact of geography on the project. “Major cities” in Canada are much smaller than what we consider major in the U.S. Visiting three markets in Russia will take you a lot longer than visiting three cities in Israel or France. Geography can seriously impact your project timeline.