The objective of this paper is to study the nature of the marketing research task in Eastern European countries. The need for this type of analysis steins from the fact that most research procedures, whether for domestic or for international marketing, have been developed in western industrialised markets and do not reflect the distinct needs and unique characteristics of marketing in, and for Eastern Socialist states. The paper consists of an introduction and four main sections. The first section establishes the importance of East-West trade. The second presents a systematic procedure for international marketing research, and highlights some of the main difficulties that are often encountered by researchers in foreign markets. The third section examines the similarities and differences between Eastern and Western marketing systems, points out that the two systems tend to converge in recent years, and discusses in detail the importance of the "shortage economy" concept for marketing in socialist countries. Finally, the fourth section suggests a specific research procedure for Eastern European markets, based on the findings of the preceding discussion.