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Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Using Marketing Databases to Foster International Growth in Multiple Businesses



The global world is complex and contains floating pieces of information that are difficult for marketing researchers and businesses to collect and understand. For most businesses it can be difficult to collect data in a way that is useful for strategic decision-making. According to a paper by Michael Anastasiou businesses should consider using shared databases that allow for higher levels of understanding and analysis of international market information (2012). 

Because the market continues to change it is important for businesses to have relevant information for making adjustments that meet new demands.  By collecting information about the international market, companies can adjust their strategies to predict and respond to market changes. 

Lack of information can be deadly for businesses and even more so for small businesses that lack capital to recover from mistakes. A deficiency in market research and technological capabilities to collect and analyze data can lead to risks of failure (Craig and Douglas, 2001). This failure occurs as a direct result of not understanding the market or how to reach potential customers. 

Research becomes more difficult when dealing with ambiguous information such as beliefs, values, ideologies, preferences and perceptions (Wheeler, 1998). To understand these nuances it is necessary to have lots of useful information and engage in content analysis. The results can be used in designing new products or adjust processes to market realities.

The author argues that by allowing for shared databases businesses can contribute to the data collection process of international markets and then exploit that information for stronger performance. Before information can become useful it must be analyzed in a proper theoretical framework.

Small businesses generally don’t have the ability to complete high levels of analysis. They may hire researchers to understand the data or use software that searches on defined characteristics. Analytical software helps ensure that businesses are using proper methodology and obtaining useful information for their purposes (Maclaran & Catterall, 2002).

The author’s point of collective gathering of information by businesses can foster greater market analysis appears correct. The use of such information by small businesses and business clusters is beneficial for those trying to reach a wider market. As each business collects information they can upload that data for other database users based upon their agreement terms.

What the author does not discuss is how a database like this can be fostered for economic growth. One can foresee business organizations (i.e. small business association or local association) including this service as part of membership, building for-profit databases, or collective sponsorship by clustered businesses within a geographical area. Each business can analyze the data on their own, use available software or hire researchers to analyze the data based upon their needs and preferences. 

Anastasiou, M. (2012). International marketing research: exploring E-marketing research and its implications. The Cyprus Journal of Sciences, 10

Craig, C. and Douglas, S. (2000). International Marketing Research, (2nd ed). Wiley, New York.

Maclaran, P. & Catterall, M. (2002). Analyzing Qualitative Data: Computer Software Program and the Marketing Research Practitioner. Qualitative Marketive Research: An International Journal, 5, pp. 28-39.

Wheeler, D. (1998). Content Analysis: An Analytical Technique for International Marketing Research. International Marketing Review, 52, pp. 39-47.

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