How does the research buyer gauge the value of alternative qualitative proposals - that is, value in the broadest possible sense of input to the marketing process within the client company? The researcher/research company who has enjoyed previous experience of the individual client company has a far better chance of identifying the project's context (and the clients corporate context) correctly. Overall, a continuous agency/client relationship produces higher quality and more effective qualitative research because it is better placed in the company's organisational and consumer context. Some qualitative researchers work best on first-time client projects while others are more relationship-orientated, in the sense of needing repeat projects to provide most insight. It is clear that the research agency/client relationship needs to be balanced - a dictatorial client can restrict the frame and use of a study. Conversely, the research supplier may become highly specialist and dominant, even reaching the stage of not paying attention to what respondents really think during groups or interviews. This leads to opinionated reportage rather than TRUE qualitative research. Due to the process of globalisation, research companies need to look carefully at the operating structures and philosophies of their main clients. Genuinely "global" qualitative research will continue to be very rare. International (i.e.multi-country) qualitative research should be interactively organised - a multi-cultural, multi- disciplinary team involved from briefing to debriefing. However, the conduct of qualitative research will remain essentially a local skill, undertaken by professional locally-based researchers, socialised to the local cultural framework. Visiting international qualitative "gurus" need to be treated with a considerable pinch of salt since language, culture and background are essentially impenetrable to foreigners.