"International marketing research can be defined as market research conducted either simultaneously or sequentially to facilitate marketing decisions in more than one country" (Kumar, 2000). .
"Culture is a learned, shared, compelling, interrelated set of symbols whose meanings provide a set of orientations for members of a society. These orientations, taken together, provide solutions to problems that all societies must solve if they are to remain viable" (Joynt & Warner 1996, adapted from Terpstra & David). There are a variety of issues that affect all marketing research. This essay will give a brief insight into cross-cultural marketing and attempt to examine four cross-cultural issues that concern international marketing research: Measurement Unreliability; Equivalence; EMIC versus ETIC; and Ethnocentricity.
Theories of globalisation and standardisation of marketing practises are widespread. On the one hand, the world is becoming more homogeneous, and distinctions between national markets are not only fading but, for some products, will disappear altogether.
"The world is becoming a common market place in which people - no matter where they live - desire the same products and lifestyles. Global companies must forget the idiosyncratic differences between countries and cultures and instead concentrate on satisfying universal drives." (Levitt, 1983).
However, on the other hand, the differences among nations, regions, and ethnic groups in terms of cultural factors are far from distinguishing but become more obvious. There have always been arguments favouring adapted marketing strategies. In 1967 George Weissman, Ex-president of Phillip Morris once said, "until we achieve one world there is no such thing as international marketing, only localised marketing around the world." (Buzzel, 1968). For at least the immediate future, differences in nations will exist and this will call for cross-cultural marketing.