Standardizing research in a heterogeneous Europe?

Date of publication: June 15, 1990

Company: SKIM

Author: Dirk Huisman

Abstract:

Structural changes in Europe and in the environment of the firm are affecting European marketing strategies and the need for information. Information will have to be future-oriented, will have to predict consequences, will have to cover the European market and will be needed within a tight time-frame. Apart from the changes on the demand side, the European market research industry will also be affected by technological changes. Given a changing cost structure, a changing demand and new entrants on the market, the European research firms, like their clients, will have to find an answer to the question of "How to Compete?". The clients (defining an integrated European marketing strategy), new technologies, and industrialization of the European research industry will force European researchers to standardize. Actually, implementation of new technologies has already started all over Europe, as has standardization of research design and questionnaires. The really significant changes in the research industry are still to take place. The clients are moving towards an integrated European approach, there are no really integrated European research firms and the European research industry is still domestic and, as such, heterogeneous. However, the opportunities for fulfilling the need for information of the new European client are there, as are the opportunities for changing the cost structure. I have drawn the contours of the future European research industry. On our way to the future, European research will be characterized by: complex relational networks; tight schedules (which also applies to the clients); testing of questionnaires in all countries involved in a study, and, above all, by standardized questionnaires programmed to demonstrate the effects of possible strategies in all countries involved separately as well as the effects in Europe as a whole.

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