Chapter 17
Asia Pacific
Regional Characteristics
Third of the world’s population
Increasing education and industrialization
Advancement in technology
• Each country has unique culture and history
• There are differences in visual perceptions
• Although each country is unique, the followings general
issues can be applied:
• In most Asian cultures, trying to solicit an immediate response
from a potential consumer is contrary to traditional buying
• Many Asians put their family name before their given names
• Name/Brand recognition is paramount
• Asians are more conservative than Westerners
Culture (contd)
• Seasonality and Holidays
• Language and Translation Issues
• The Mailing List Environment
• Secondary Sources of Information
- National Technical Information Service
- Computerized Information
Country characteristics
• Population: 18,438,824 (July 1997 est)
• Land Area: 7,617,930 sq. km
• Languages: English (though several indigenous
Aboriginal languages exist)
• Literacy Rate: 99%
• Religion: Anglican (26%) and Roman Catholic (26%)
• GDP: Purchasing power parity: $430.5 billion (1996 est.)
• GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity: $23,600
(1996 est)
• GDP real growth rate: 3.6% (1996 est.)
• Inflation rate: Consumer Price Index: 3.1 % (1996 est.)
Business characteristics
• While Australians tend to be friendly and easy going, this
behavior does not carry over to business relations.
• A code of etiquette with emphasis on the verbal as well as
non-verbal aspects is expected.
• It is customary to shake hands when greeting, as it is at the
conclusion of a meeting.
• It is also acceptable for people to introduce themselves
without waiting to be introduced.
Market Research in Australia
Australian market is highly urbanized (85% live in cities,
majority live in the southern region in the cities of Sydney,
Melbourne and Canberra)
Market Research is most effective through telephone and mail.
Media research is available for all media sources and this
includes meter measurement of TV audiences.
High news awareness ( Although TV and Radio penetration is
not as high as in the US, Newspaper keep the masses well
A limitation of conducting research here would be mail as a
mode of data collection (postal questionnaires are not popular)
Random Sampling is considered most suitable since there is
immense cultural diversity in the Australian market.
Country Characteristics
• Population: 1,221,591,778 (July 1997 est)
• Land Area: 9,326,410 sq. km
• Languages: Chinese or Mandarin, Cantonese, Shanghainese,
Fuzhou, Hokkien-Taiwanese, Xiang, Gan, Hakka dailects
• Literacy Rate: 81.5%
• Religion: Taosim, Buddhism, Muslim, Christianity, officially
atheist, but traditionally pragmatic and eclectic
• GDP: Purchasing power parity: $3.39 trillion (1996 est.)
• GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity: $2,800 (1996 )
• GDP real growth rate: 9.7% (1996 est.)
• Inflation rate: Consumer Price Index: 10 % (1996 est.)
Marketing and Consumer Behavior
Potentially, the world’s largest consumer market
They have a fascination for all things western( western styled
department stores and food courts, designer labels)
Bargaining is a very common selling tactic in smaller shop.
Most Chinese tend to assume that foreigners have money and
hence vendors at tourist spots target foreigners and have
compunctions about overcharging them.
Most Chinese women have adopted western wear
Many supermarkets carry international brands
English is becoming a popular language and many Chinese are
making a conscious effort to learn it.
Business Characteristics
Companies should be aware of extreme political sensitivity and
should take great care to avoid stirring political controversies
Chinese value time and most meeting start punctually
They place a lot of emphasis on precision and detail when
designing contracts
They pay close attention to long standing relationships
Dealing with legal aspects and negotiations may be time
It is important that the Chinese counterpart be convinced of the
company’s prowess or the manager’s technical expertise
Most Chinese prefer to work on a one-to one basis to prevent
“loss of face”
Most meetings are devoted to pleasantries in order to wait for the
most opportune moment to discuss formal aspects of the contract
Product Positioning
A common concern for western sellers in China is product
pricing and positioning
• Chinese consumers are becoming increasingly sophisticated
and are interested in both quality and value
• It is important to produce goods that combine Western quality
and Chinese price level
• It is difficult to find a nationwide distribution system
• There are no set legalities surrounding product liability or
return policy
Conducting Market Research
Chinese language tends to impede a consistent transposing of
strategies ( important to have good translators)
Very little Market Research data available for China
One of the main problems of conducting research is the size of
the market
High level of bureaucracy is encountered
Focus groups and semi-structured/in-depth interviewing are the
popular qualitative research methods
Probability sampling and quota sampling using face-to-face
interviews, central location study and in-home placement study
are popular quantitative methods.
Most commonly used sampling method is random probability
Conducting Market Research (contd.)
Respondents are usually co-operative and open and eager to try
new products.
Respondents are very candid in their feedback
There exists a very good procedure for quality control
Telecommunication penetration is small ( about 7% vs. 95% in
the US )
Chinese do not immediately respond to questionnaires
Country characteristics
• Population: 966,783,171 (July 1997 est)
• Land Area: 2,973,190 sq. km
• Languages: English ( for national, political and commercial
communication) Hindi is the national language (30% speak it)
There are several other major languages
• Literacy Rate: 52%
• Religion: Hindu(80%),Muslim (14%), Christian(2.4%), Buddhist
(0.7%) Jain (0.5%) , other (0.4%)
• GDP: Purchasing power parity: $1.538 trillion (1996 est.)
• GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity: $1,600 (1996 est. )
• GDP real growth rate: 6.5% (1996 est.)
• Inflation rate: Consumer Price Index: 10.3 % (1996 est.)
Business characteristics
Hinduism dominates every aspect of Indian life, and often seeps
into relationships and culture
Use of first name for address should be avoided
Attitude towards time is lax, with most people being complacent
about the the provision of service
Bargaining is part of the business culture
It is appropriate to chart the dimensions of the contractual
agreement in order to have a document to refer to over extended
periods of time.
Business and personal lives are kept separate
Conducting Marketing Research in India
The biggest problem is that of accuracy and reliability, which
are lacking in marketing research studies.
The role of market research as a tool in determining the
feasibility of product innovations and applications has been on
an increase.
The problem with telephone is that the infrastructure is not
adequate and expensive to construct or develop.
The problem with mail surveys is the size of the population and
the lack of good consumer databases.
The development of the internet as a tool in market research has
not significantly impacted India.
Resistance to Marketing Research
• The Indian market is a sellers market, hence it is difficult to
conduct market research
• Businesses in India does not recognize the integral role of of
market research and believe that it is a cost best not undertaken.
• The emphasis on secondary data collected by trade associations is
considered to be adequate.This shows a degree of complacence on
the part of companies.
• Some executives perceive marketing research to be the answer to
the firm’s problems.
Country characteristics
Population: 125,732,794 (July 1997 est)
Land Area: 374,744 sq. km
Languages: Japanese
Literacy Rate: 99%
Religion: Shinto and Buddhism(84%), other (17% - including
Christian 0.6%)
GDP: Purchasing power parity: $2.85 trillion (1996 est.)
GDP per capita: Purchasing power parity: $22,700 (1996 )
GDP real growth rate: 3.6% (1996 est.)
Inflation rate: Consumer Price Index: 0.3 % (1996 est.)
Cultural Characteristics
The Japanese’s purchasing behavior is centered on the vendors
selling the product than the product in itself.
Product purchase is dictated by the association to the company
rather than for usage of the actual product
Price-quality association is prevalent
Despite being competitive, the Japanese believe that intercompany dealings are advantageous and often relate to
competition on a personal basis.
Business Characteristics
The role or the purchaser is important and the retail industry
should be able to cater to this need.
One should never be too direct with a Japanese
Japanese society and workplace are both very collectivistic
The Japanese perceive uncertainty to be part of their business
The concept of time to the Japanese extends tot the number of
years they spend in a company.
The construction of contracts are not based on written
agreements, rather on verbal agreements.
Conducting Marketing Research in Japan
• Door-to-door interview is a major data collection method in
Japan although the use of telephone and internet is increasing.
• Sometimes mangers are unwilling to discuss their company or
their employees because of the space constraint in Japanese
offices which forces them to work in cubicles.
• Several Japanese companies are looking at cost efficiency as a
main prerogative in determining the kind of survey research
method to employ.
• There is a growing reliance on qualitative means of
measurement versus the quantitative aspect would mean that
companies rely on the provision of value-added services by
marketing research firms.

Chapter 17