Criteria for Judging a Research Study – International Business (300 Level Course)
The article “Investigating the impact of international cosmetics advertising in China” is written by Bradley R. Barnes, who researches and lectures in marketing at Leeds University Business School, Philip J. Kitchen, who
holds the Chair in Strategic Marketing and founded and directed the Executive MBA programme, and Graham Spickett-Jones, who is a lecturer in Marketing at Hull University Business School, and Qionglei Yu, who is Lecturer in marketing at the Hangzhou University of Commerce, China. The article is described in the International Journal of Advertising, 23, pp. 361-387, 2004 Advertising Association and published by the World Advertising Research Center.
1.Review of previous research
44 references from 1970 to 2001 are used for this article. The authors review these references and describe where these data or words come from. They research many literatures not only the field of Marketing of China but also the culture and history of China. In addition, among the authors, the expert in Marketing of China is included. Therefore, I think that their information of the previous research is enough.
2.Statement of the research problem and the purpose of the study
They describe clearly their statement of the problem. Their purpose is Chinese women’s perception of international advertising from a Chinese cultural context. Currently, there is a crossroad between old customs and modern thinking in China. Chinese women experience a mixture of traditional culture and modern-world tendencies. On the other hand, they obtain great pleasure form the new power to make decisions regarding their appearance and status quo. The author says that although many experts researched and described about Chinese women’s perception, the contexts are somewhat scant and little has been concluded. That is the reason why they decided to do more researches. Their study is explanatory style and I can not see any predictive style and hypotheses in the article.
3.Description of the research procedures
They describe clearly how the study was conducted. Firstly, they describe the background of Chinese people. For example, according to the article “Chinese people have a strong belief in a certain stereotypical model of the typical woman, and this accepted by the public.” “They experience great anxiety and a pressure to maintain the status quo (Afshar 1991).” Next, they describe literature review: factors influencing cosmetic advertising decisions in China. In this section, they explain what kind of advertising is effective approach. For example, international advertising approach which is used for all markets, localized approach which is changed by the area, or combination approach. Company should translate their original brand name into Chinese name or not because according this article, “China has a distinctive language and easy-to-pronounce and meaningful names are important for the initial stage in generating customer attention.” For example, Coca-Cola was translated into a Chinese name to get the attention of Chinese customer, which had the meaning of “tasty and happy” even though there is a little different form the meaning of the origin name. Third, they research the effective of back music. Fourth, they research the range of age of customers who are interested in the cosmetic. They limit the range of age from 20 to 35. Fifth, they research by using a questionnaire and break down it to six parts: Table 1 ‘Demographic”, Table 2 “Reference of brand name”, Table 3 “Reference for music and model’s ethnic origin”, Table 4 “Individual and reference groups”, Table 5 “Relationship appeal in advertisement” and Table 6 “Levels of influence associate with various media source.” Finally, they describe the result from their researches.
4.Flaws in procedural design
First, although their research is clear and enough the purpose and procedure, their conclusion is ambiguous because the result of their data is ambiguous. Most data locate neutral which means that the participants answered ambiguously. Ambiguous answer is not always accurate. If they want to dodge their answer or do not have any idea, they would answer neutral position. I think that although Chinese people desire to change, they can not change back stage. Therefore, they can not answer clearly by nature characteristic. Finally, in this research, they could not describe their results strongly. In addition, they do not research by predictive style. If potential companies create advertising to sell something, the most necessary data would be future’s trend. Second, why their research limited from the age 20 to 35? When I asked my Chinese friends, they answered that the Chinese women of high class, who are the age from 40 to 60, also make up and also the Chinese women of all ages are interested in the base cosmetic and take care their face. My opinion is that they should create a questionnaire which has just three categories: Unimportant, Very important or no idea to Chinese people. If they do, they would be able to get clearer result than this research. In addition, they should expand the range of age. Cosmetic products include base goods which are lotion, milky lotion, massage cream etc. There products would be used by wider range Chinese women than that of this research.
5.Analysis of data
After they gathered their questionnaire, they organize to six tables and one graph. Then they describe the result of their research obediently.
6.Results and discussion
Finally they describe six results. First, the target of the range of age is from 20 -35 because they researched that the women are affected by the cosmetic advertising. Second, level of importance with language and the brand results ‘neutral’ opinion 43%. Therefore, they conclude that none of the respondents had a strong preference for the translation of international brand names into mandarin. Third, according to the preference for music, the number of respondents with a preference for either Western or Oriental models in cosmetics advertisements also express a ‘neutral’ attitude 43%. As a result of the findings, music is not considered critically important to Chinese female consumers. That means that they do not need to change or compose a new piece of music adjusted to Chinese tastes. (P378) Fourth, Chinese women are very sensitive when they evaluate cosmetic products because cosmetic products related to the issue of health and beauty. Therefore, Chinese women need Friends or opinions of specialists when they select their cosmetic products. Fifth, the result of the relationship appeal in advertisements is that the boyfriend/girlfriend or sister/sister relationship is most positive. Next, according to Saywell’s research, Mother/daughter relationship or husband/wife relationship is less attractive because these relationships are traditional types of relationship. As Chinese women desire new something, this research strongly express the present Chinese women.
Current China change greatly. So, even though these references are relatively new, I can not say the references are complete. In addition, even this article may not be competing because Chinese economy progress rapidly. Some of the most important reference sources in the field is
9.General comments about the report
It is clearly written an understandable. The strength is that the researchers are experts in Marketing and they have much information and knowledge. In addition, a Chinese expert of this field is included as a writer of this article. The weaknesses of the research are the only one woman researcher and only she is Chinese. Other researchers who have authority are men and not Chinese. My opinion is that they should have described more detail background about the interest of Chinese women in the cosmetic products. In addition, As China culture is high-context culture; they should have devised their questionnaire style.