Thinking global and acting local
The challenge for European researchers in the 1990s is to meet the requirement for information which is truly global in scope, but which retains a clear focus on local markets and issues. The imminence of the Single Market is merely accentuating the need of international companies for integrated research services which span European and global markets. This is particularly TRUE of continuous marketing information, with manufacturers and retailers demanding databases which enable them to evaluate international brands and markets across conventional national borders. To be truly effective, these databases must be supported by common analysis tools which facilitate the assessment of international marketing strategies in many countries. However, for the present - and the immediate future - local market conditions will continue to have a profound influence. This paper will argue that the development of international services must take place in an environment which also addresses the differing requirements of local market places and the complex behaviour of an increasingly fragmented consumer base. The paper is divided into three main sections. In the first, we will examine the paradoxical trends towards both global and micro marketing, together with the new information demands which each is creating. The second part will use case history material to explore the role which global marketing information can already play in supporting local and international marketing strategy. Finally, we will discuss the ways in which the marketing information industry can and must harness new technology to serve the changing global market place.
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