The practical issues of co-ordinating international research

Date of publication: June 15, 1986

Company: Unilever

Author: John Downham

Abstract:

Unilever is a major user of market research worldwide. Much of this it carries out for itself but it also buys in research from outside agencies. Nearly all the work is locally-commissioned and locally-funded, and there are relatively few multi-country surveys as such. Nevertheless the growing importance of international strategies and brands means that market research approaches and techniques, and the ways in which these are used, need increasingly to be standardised - although there is continuing debate about how far and in what ways this is achievable or even fully desirable. The paper starts by outlining the Unilever structure within which market research operates. It then turns to a number of the issues of policy and practice which arise in attempting to achieve a coordinated approach to carrying out and using research internationally.

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