Approaches to Market Research In China

Approaches to Market Research in China

Efficient China Market Research Infrastructure

In order to maximize future growth potential in global business initiatives, conduct of Market Research efforts should be directed at markets with viable potential for future growth. This places China on top of the list in global trade and investment destinations replacing the US in 2014 according to the UN Conference of Trade and Development. With China’s promising market, investors pay greater attention in this region and develop their own research capabilities or have independent Market Research firms in China to conduct research on their behalf. In the course of the conduct of Market Research activities in China, flexibility of research approaches positively drive the challenging innate differences in urban and rural markets. Additionally, consideration is to be given on the lack of credible market research infrastructure to successfully deal with the objectives of research. Communication and language barriers are two of the major causes of failing to meet the degree of independence in answering questions in research. Respondents in the rural areas have issues regarding familiarity and comprehension with standardized formats resulting to the application of additional intervention measures on the part of Market Researchers in China. To bridge the gap on the issue of literacy, design of research instruments favor the use of creative formats to stimulate same level of understanding that effectively deal with the issue of ambiguity. In short, approaches to Market Research in China should aim to avoid cultural bias through realistic and locally applicable and creative scenarios.

A firm look on the uses of realistic and creative approaches to Market Research in China provides insights on the eagerness of local people to participate in research than using standardized Western research formats. On the other hand, investing on efficient application of Market Research infrastructure in China is developed from long years of trusted partnership and collaboration with field researchers and local partners. A strategy of integrating a team of local professionals with experience in the culture and that have the educational advantage of the West with foreign Market Research professionals would give a greater advantage for the conduct of Market Research in China.

Understanding the Research Objectives

Market Research objectives define the path of research which explicitly directs at:

  1. How the research objectives are understood.
  2. How the survey instruments are translated.
  3. How clearly the requirements of survey are perceived.
  4. How the requirements are to be executed without flaws and with consistency.
  5. How fielding issues are handled and reported.

Research activities are patterned according to what is required of the conduct of research and how actions are to be effectively executed. A general guide will simplify procedures and commit resources according to time specifications. Staying to work within a timeframe allows the maximization and usability of research information considering that market is constantly changing due to breakthroughs in technology and scientific discoveries. These dramatic changes paddle the gear towards unprecedented rise in consumer demand patterns. The constantly changing nature of markets especially China demands for updated and credible research information and the efficient commitment of corporate resources.

Appropriateness of Research Methodologies

Choosing the right methodology for research and the suitable approaches in their implementation generally are conceptualized and determined by the research questions. Other practical factors that also influence the appropriate use of methodologies include, among others, the type of data to be collected and the capabilities of field researchers. Research includes either the use of empirical data or conceptual data. Empirical research makes use of experiments and observations while conceptual research describes a phenomenon through the use of theories and concepts. Often, nature of research activities are complex and such scenario deems appropriate the use of mixed methods. Overall, researchers decide on the appropriateness of research methodologies on the basis of:

  • Suitability to questions under investigation,
  • Accurate understanding of  the situation under investigation including social, economic, cultural, and political perspectives, and
  • the feasibility and appropriateness of research methodology as applied in certain markets.

China Market Research Participants and Description of Services

a. Existing Indigenous Research Agencies

Small Size Indigenous China Research Market Participants

Small size indigenous Market Research agencies in China are local providers with Chinese roots catering to the needs of medium size research market participants and of the small scale indigenous businesses. Most of these types of research agencies are positioned in small cities and interior provinces of China to serve as direct links to the delivery of local Market Research information. Most notable advantages of indigenous Market Research providers are their familiarity in local culture and tradition, geography, language, and government regulations. Additionally, due to distance and unavailability of efficient Market Research infrastructure, concerns over for this type of provider points over to their expertise in carrying current research strategies and how they discharge such strategies.

Medium Size Indigenous China Market Research Participants

Medium size research market participants in China are local providers with Chinese roots catering to the needs of large size research market participants, small to medium size indigenous businesses, and average size foreign research agencies. Most of these types of research agencies are positioned in focal trading areas such as Shenzhen, Tianjin, Wuhan, Dongguan, Chengdu, Nanjing, and Suzhou. Although some medium size market participants operate in China’s key cities like Shanghai and Beijing, they operate to strategically provide key research information for Market Research users.

Large Size Indigenous China Market Research Participants

Large size indigenous research market participants in China are local providers with Chinese roots catering to the needs of medium to large size indigenous businesses and average size foreign research agencies. This type of Market Research provider in China differs as to scope with other forms of indigenous research providers. Their success can be attributed to their efficacious network running transversely along coastline cities and regions to interior boundaries and provinces across China. Investment in their network runs along years of fruitful partnerships with field researchers and in collaboration with local communities.

b. Existing Foreign Research Agencies

Existing Foreign Market Research agencies in China are foreign Market Research providers doing business in China. They offer their services to potential foreign entrants to the Chinese market, other foreign market research agencies, and prospective indigenous exporters who want to explore the global business market. This type of provider performs Market Research in China through friendly collaboration with other existing indigenous Market Research providers. They use this as a strategy to transform their weaknesses as a foreign participant into marks of notable strength. With the consideration that this type of provider is not native to China, it is an underlying assumption that they are weak on the aspects of language delivery, culture, historic inclinations, local economy and business practices, and political links.

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