How to: Conduct International Research

Global audiences need global representation. Meaning that country-specific research sometimes doesn’t translate to all your audiences. 9 times out of 10 the only way to find out about your international consumer is to go out and talk to them! We at Vox Pops International are specialists in video interviews and have an established international network. We have helped countless businesses find their global consumer voice for over 30 years. From vox pops to video diaries to more traditional video production, we have you covered.

Understand your consumer voice

The translation of Vox Pop is ‘voice of the people’, here at VPI we are out to find the voice of your  people through Intercept, on-location, or set up interviews. It’s all about setting the scene for your  research, bringing context to thought, and providing background to the people you interview. This  also means taking the camera to those people.

The difference in culture and views between English-speaking nations can be vast. As an international brand found when they approached us to discover different views on Petrol stations across the UK, USA, and Australia. We conducted intercept interviews outside petrol stations  across the world and it was the perfect way to highlight both similarities and differences within different demographics.

However, the reach of face-to-face interviews is not just limited to English-speaking countries. A  great example of this is our previous work with Dove when they wanted to find out how to speak to  their global audience about hair conditioning. To do this they explored the international markets of  the USA, Brazil, and China. When dealing with non-English speaking nations it is important to consider a few extra steps. Such as a native-speaking interviewer, pre-recruitment, and translated  subtitles. All of this is handled by VPI, in-house.

“The team answered my request quickly and directly understood my needs and requirements, thus requiring little involvement from myself.”

– CMI Dove Global

Discover your audience's world

Sometimes understanding your audience takes more than a voice. Video Diaries are the best way to truly immerse yourself in your consumer’s world, wherever that might be. The popularity of Video Diaries sky-rocketed through the pandemic as we searched for safe ways to conduct research and
marketing projects. Today we are presented with an efficient and cost-effective method to explore  multiple markets and demographics at the same time.  

For example, a leading FMCG global manufacturer approached VPI not so long ago needing real  consumer insight from 6 international markets. To explore the demographics of Germany,  Indonesia, The Philippines, Mexico, the USA, and South Africa, video diaries were the perfect  solution. Finding the appropriate target group and getting the recruitment right with video diaries  projects is crucial.  

Video Diary projects not only allow you to stretch your research as far as the eye can see, but it also  allows you to be as specific as you want in who you speak to. Whoever your target audience is, we  can find them. Once we do, they will be expertly guided and through the entire process by our  expert producers, to make sure you get the response you need. Our producers will help create a story, truly bringing your research to life!

“So happy that we managed to get these great realists so incredibly fast, many thanks for your amazing support!”

– Global Portfolio Transformation Manager

Showcase your global reach

More traditional video production services are an amazing way to highlight the reach your brand.  The World Gold Council previously approached VPI to create strong legacy videos for their  outbound communications and marketing. Filming in 4 countries with 6 individuals, and  recruitment was again a crucial factor. Such criteria included the gold products people had, their  level of wealth, age, life stage, and so on. Combined with our proposed time spent with everyone to  be about 3-4 hours which would be split by a 1-hour interview and 2-3 hours spent recording
colourful b-roll, this proceeded to be a challenging feat. However, working with our recruitment  agency partners in each country made this a not so strenuous task.  

Despite the challenges of this demanding project, the result was well received, spearheading the  research findings across their social media channels. The power of real experiences and stories  created a different dimension when it came to showcasing the research findings of invaluable  statistics and data. The high-quality aspect of the videos will also allow their videos to be visually relevant for years and years to come, as they display them alongside their report in glorious 4k.

Key Steps to Consider when running International Projects

It is important to consider every step when conducting international research. From pre-planning recruitment criteria, discussion guides, and length of video to understanding what the end goal of the video is and where it will feature. The added layers of location, type of filming (professional or self-generated), and briefing logistics alongside budgets, timelines, and timezones, means that without effective production and project management, any brief can quickly get away from anyone. At VPI we are experts in every step, and will make sure your project runs smoothly, whilst giving you as much control as you want. Leave it to us not liaise with our international audiences and teams, analyse and review content, create graphics to match your brand guidelines and make sure your video is meeting your objectives every step of the way. 

“What a great job! Great to work with, and a great result that our a Marketing VP described as ‘outstanding’. It has really hit the mark, thank you so much to the team for great support and a great output.”

– Unilever, CMI Director UKI and Beauty and Personal Care Europe

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