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Advantages of using "hard" data on consumers' buying habits

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To make sound and effective decisions, international businesses spend a lot of time researching the local economic, cultural, legal, and political conditions. Only after careful consideration do corporations enter new markets and expose themselves to financial loss or political problems.

Tasks:
Answer the following questions:

What are the benefits of "soft" market research data gathered by using techniques such as focus groups and observation?
What are the advantages of using "hard" data such as statistics on consumers' buying habits and figures on the market size?
As a manager, what kind of data would you prefer and why?
Provide examples and reasons to support your answer.

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Running Head: International Market Research

International Market Research
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Introduction
To make sound and effective decisions, international businesses spend a lot of time researching the local economic, cultural, legal, and political conditions. Only after careful consideration do corporations enter new markets and expose themselves to financial loss or political problems. This article analyses "soft" and "hard" market research data.
Analysis
"Soft" market research data refers to subjective measures such as a nation's culture or history. In order to get this data it is often necessary to be able to observe, interview or conduct product tests and analyze the subject information with a focused objective group, for instance the culture of China. Soft market data gathered using focused groups and observation are very important in assessing the attitudes, emotions and cultural beliefs of intended customers in a given market segment (Perner, 2011). It therefore guides how a company would communicate with the current and potential customers in promoting their products. This market research also reveals what people in a given community ...

Solution Summary

The advantages of using "hard" data on consumers' buying habits are determined.

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What are some of the benefits of "soft" market research data gathered using techniques such as focus groups and observation. What are the benefits of using "hard" data such as statistics on consumers' buying habits and figures on market size? When might each kind of data be preferred and why?

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