How to Run More Effective Multi-market Studies

Market Research

Multimarket research studies are a valuable tool for businesses that have a presence in multiple countries or have plans to expand into new markets. While multimarket research delivers valuable insights, these types of studies also introduce a higher level of complexity.

If you’re new to running multimarket studies, you may be wondering — will you have to translate your study? Will questions need to be adapted to account for local nuances? And will your survey fielding partner be able to achieve national representative quotas in each market?

Luckily, with the convenience and effectiveness of programmatic survey sampling, managing translations, quotas and audience targeting has become much simpler. You can use these steps to help you get started with your next multimarket study.

What Is a Multimarket Survey?

Multimarket surveys are used in global market research to gather information specifically for strategic business planning. Researchers use multimarket research surveys to identify areas like corporate strengths, business opportunities, brand reputation, risks and trends on a global scale. These surveys provide researchers with valuable insights they can use to create a comprehensive depiction of their businesses as a whole.

The Benefits of Multimarket Surveys

Using multimarket surveys to collect pertinent global data for your business comes with numerous advantages over other research methods.

Cost Efficiency

Because multimarket surveys can be administered and completed remotely, they eliminate the expenses associated with in-person research, such as travel, space rentals and accommodations. As a result, they’re more affordable than most traditional multimarket research methods.

Time Savings

Performing remote multimarket research projects saves considerable time. Research teams can easily connect with their respondents and each other online, uploading objectives and analysing data in near real time. This efficient data collection method can generate results in as little as one day.

Ease of Analysis

Most survey data is quantitative, making it easy to interpret. Researchers can enjoy fast, straightforward data analysis and visualisation without the need for a data scientist, helping them draw immediate insights. They can further simplify the data analysis process by using third-party tools to convert information into user-friendly reports, tables and charts that can be shared with relevant stakeholders.

How to Effectively Run a Multimarket Survey

Given the global nature of multimarket surveys, these research methods can be challenging for those who haven’t conducted them before. If you’re unsure how to run an effective multimarket study, you should keep these considerations in mind to ensure the best possible results.

1. Adjust Your Questions for the Region You’re Surveying

After defining the target audience for your survey, it’s important to ensure you truly understand societal distinctions from region to region. You may need to rework or adapt your survey due to cultural nuances between markets. Groups of respondents within different countries will have varying cultures, behaviours and norms you’ll need to consider when drafting your survey questions.

Keep in mind that certain subject matter may be acceptable in one country and considered inappropriate in another. For example, asking 18- to 24-year-olds about their alcohol consumption may be acceptable in the UK, but the law in the United States and some Middle Eastern countries make this far less feasible.

Think about whether there are any local nuances like this that may affect your study. If you need to, do research about each market or ask someone who is familiar with each country.

2. Translate and Localise Your Survey When Necessary 

If you are fielding your survey in a country where people speak a different language, you will have to decide if you are going to translate your survey. Fielding your survey in the local language may help you get more robust data and positively impact your fieldwork progress.

While it is possible to run multimarket studies in English alone to save time and money, be aware that in some markets like India and the United Arab Emirates (UAE), it is always best to add the option of a local language. Running your survey solely in English may deter non-English-speaking people in international markets from participating in your study. This could bias your results. Transcribing your survey into local languages promotes higher completion rates and more accurate results.

If you translate your study, make sure that you collaborate with translation vendors who have local knowledge of the markets and are able to evaluate  your questionnaire as native speakers. Inaccurate or confusing translations will do more harm than good.

3. Stagger Market Launches 

Different markets have different degrees of difficulty for sourcing respondents and achieving national representation. In the United States, a survey can easily get 750 nationally representative  (nat rep) completes in a day. But in Ireland, accomplishing the same thing may take five days.

To address this problem, you should stagger your field launches according to how challenging each market is. If you have a two-week window of fieldwork, kick off the more difficult markets at the start of the window. Follow up with the easier markets afterward to allow for the maximum amount of fieldwork in each market. This project management technique will enable you to maximise your progress within your time frame across all markets in your study.

4. Pace Surveys Appropriately to Fill Your Quotas 

Similarly, in some markets, certain quota groups will take longer to achieve. If it is important that you include these subgroups, you will need to allow for more time in markets like China and the UAE.

It’s also important to be conscious of time zones when you set your study’s start and end dates. Response rates generally differ based on the days and times in which survey invitations are sent. While coordinating the best start and end times for single-market research is simple, global markets pose more of a challenge.

For example, if fieldwork is set to end Monday morning in the UK, what does that mean for markets in North America and Asia? This time difference may significantly impact your response rates. It’s important to have these conversations with your client upfront, set expectations and stagger the market close dates as needed to get the highest survey response rates.

5. Consider Using a Translator for Data Cleaning 

If your study has been translated, you will need to consider working with a translation vendor to check open-ended responses. If you’re unable to run your survey in multiple languages, it’s important to set the right expectations when building your study. You should strive to make your questions easy to interpret for respondents who aren’t multilingual or don’t speak English as a first language.

Too many open-ended questions can result in low response rates or poor quality responses  in languages that need to be translated. It may be easier to use multiple-choice or yes or no questions that require less effort for respondents to answer.

If you decide not to translate your study, you should also have a discussion with your end client. Let them know exactly how you plan to handle open-ended responses — even if that means only looking for button bashing in non-English markets.

For questions about the best way to approach multimarket studies for your research projects, please contact our team. If you’re interested in running multimarket studies and would like some help from our services team, we also offer services that include fielding and sampling, programming and hosting, and data processing.

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