FEATURE23 December 2016

Anatomy of a global study

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Europe Features Finance Impact

EUROPE – Designing and managing a multi-country study is fraught with potential pitfalls, and the deeper you look, the more complicated it gets, says Claudia Strauss of Future Thinking

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Few things are more disorientating than stepping into a country for the first time. Everything is unfamiliar: the sounds; the buildings; the trees; even the air. The tiniest, most trivial things can be completely different (like a Royale with cheese at a French McDonald’s). It’s no wonder that conducting a global study can be one of the biggest challenges market researchers face.

Beyond the difficulties that come with organising a study of this scope and scale, you also need to ensure that your study is sensitive to the cultural differences of each country that you survey. 

It’s easy to forget, for example, how much of a wonderfully diverse and fascinating place Europe is. And, if you overlook this when conducting research, that diversity will become a major obstacle.

We all have some sense of what we need to do. We know that languages don’t translate precisely and that we have to be conscious of cultural attitudes to different concepts ...