Why localisation is vital when conducting multi-market qualitative research

March 16, 2023

When carrying out multi-market qualitative research, localisation is a critical component that cannot be ignored. This process involves adapting research materials, methods, and approaches to the cultural and linguistic context of each market under study. Failure to localise research can lead to inaccurate data, missed opportunities, and a lack of cultural understanding that can hinder strategy and decision-making.

In this blog post, we’ll take a closer look at how including localisation in your multi-market qualitative research will help you gain more valid insights that support better market strategy, product success and global business growth.

global audience

Localising your research materials for more meaningful responses

In multi-market qualitative research, materials such as interview guides, questionnaires, and discussion prompts need to be adapted to each market’s cultural and linguistic nuances. For example, certain topics may be taboo or sensitive in some cultures, requiring researchers to use different words or framing to ensure participants feel comfortable sharing their opinions.

It is also critical that questions are relevant and comprehensible to participants from each market, helping to minimise response bias and improve the accuracy of the data collected.

Adapting your research methods for different styles of communication

When preparing your study for multiple markets, you must also ensure that your research methods are appropriate for each audience. The methods used to conduct qualitative research should be adapted to accommodate cultural differences in communication styles, social norms, and power dynamics.

For example, some cultures may value consensus-building and avoid direct conflict, making group discussions or focus groups more appropriate research methods. In contrast, other local markets may prioritise individualism and direct communication, making one-to-one, in-depth interviews a more effective approach.

Failure to adapt research methods to local cultural norms can lead to invalid data or participants feeling uncomfortable in offering their opinions, which can negatively impact the quality of the research.

communication, interview, research

Gaining a better appreciation of the cultural context

Localising your multi-market qualitative research will help you develop a deeper understanding of each market’s cultural and linguistic context. This understanding will enable you to identify themes and patterns that may not be immediately apparent, resulting in more effective analysis.

Having a more in-depth appreciation of these cultural differences also helps ensure that your analysis is relevant and applicable to the local market, which will be crucial for end-client brands when developing effective marketing strategies and successful product launches.

Avoiding missed opportunities

Every market is unique, and cultural and linguistic differences can play a significant role in shaping consumer behaviour and preferences. Failure to localise research can lead to missed opportunities or incorrect assumptions about a market’s needs and wants.

For example, a product that performs well in one market may not be successful in another due to differences in cultural preferences or usage contexts. By localising research, you can identify market-specific insights that guide brands in developing tailored marketing strategies that are more likely to resonate with local consumers.

product marketing brand strategy

Localisation is critical for obtaining valid and valuable insights from your multi-market qualitative research, enabling your end client’s strategies, products and services to find success in different local markets.

At Mission Translate, we’re specialists in supporting the market research industry with their language and research requirements and can help with any of your localisation needs. We only work with in-market, native linguists when localising your research materials to ensure our work reflects an up-to-date and comprehensive understanding of the local markets.

If you’d like to learn more about how our language and research services can support your market research, please get in contact with our team.

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