Marketing advertising in the Middle East

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Chapter 3. Methodology

Many of the research books describe the process of marketing research in six broad steps. Malhotra and Birks (2006) describe that these six steps exist out of problem definition, research approach development, research design formulation, fieldwork or data collection, data preparation and analysis, and report preparation and presentation.
Based on the ‘research-process onion’ of Saunders, Lewis, and Thornhill (2009), this part of the thesis will focus and describe the development of the research approach and the formulation of the research design as following: Philosophies, approaches, strategies, choices and time horizons. The last part will discuss the techniques and procedures of this chapter.
Saunders et al. (2009) describes the research philosophy as something that contains important assumptions about the way in which the world is being viewed by. An example is that if a researcher is mostly concerned with facts, it is most likely going to have a different point of view of researching compared to a researcher that is mostly concerned with feelings and attitudes in a certain research.
Saunders et al. (2009) mention four different philosophies in their process;Since this thesis is focusing on finding out how global companies can better address cultural differences in marketing advertising in the Middle-East, the authors find the realism philosophy the most appropriate to this study.

Deductive and inductive approaches

Deduction and induction are mentioned by Saunders et al. (2009) and Malhotra and Birks (2006), among many other researchers, as the most common research approaches. The deductive approach develops a theory and hypothesis(-eses) and also a strategy that is designed to test this hypothesis. Inductive approach on the other hand collects data and develops a theory as a result of the data that has been analyzed (Saunders et al., 2009). There is however also a possibility to do a combination of the two approaches.
The authors will have a deductive approach that will also include some elements of inductive. This approach will help the authors with implementing the theoretical part with the empirical part and to have a structured approach.
The main reason for choosing the deductive approach derives from Yin (2003) and Saunders et al. (2009) who share the thought that inductive approach may be a difficult approach to follow and is also not advised for inexperienced researchers. Further, they also claim that it is a lengthy process of time and resource intensive if a researcher wants to make it successful (Yin, 2003) and (Saunders et al., 2009).
There are three studies mentioned by Saunders et al. (2009) to approach a research:
explanatory, descriptive or exploratory.
The most appropriate approach for this study is according to the authors a combination between exploratory and descriptive. This is due to the belief that there is a great number of information that can be found on the chosen topic (being exploratory), but at the same time it will be a structured research that has set its goal to describe the approach how to better address cultural differences in an accurate and conclusive way.

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Strategies, Choices and Time horizons

There are several research strategies that can be used along with the research studies.
Saunders et al. (2009) describe the following seven which are mentioned below:
•Case study
•Action research
•Grounded theory
•Archival research
The authors will focus on the case study strategy for this study as it enables them to gather sources of evidence in a real life context with the involvement of empirical investigation of the cultural differences within the Middle-East. Hence, this will mean that only one strategy will be used making it a mono method (a single data collection technique).
There are two time horizons that can be applied for the research; the cross-sectional studies and the longitudinal studies. Cross-sectional focuses on a short-time span whereas longitudinal for a longer period of time (Saunders et al., 2009). Due to the time constraint the authors have decided to make this study a cross-sectional study where the focus will be on finding companies that are operating in the Middle-East and how they are operating in the present time.

Data collection: Qualitative vs Quantitative

There are two types of research data that can be conducted in order to attain data: Qualitative and quantitative. Malhotra & Birks (2006) describe both research data as following: ‘Qualitative research is an unstructured, primarily exploratory design based on small samples, intended to provide insight and understanding, Quantitative research are research techniques that seek to quantify data and, typically, apply some form of statistical analysis.’ (p. 132). Saunder et al. (2009) highlights the main differences between both data as following
Based on the earlier research processes, the authors have decided that the qualitative data is the most appropriate one for this study. Amongst several qualitative data methods such as, focus groups, mood boards, observations etc., the authors have decided upon conducting interviews.
According to Gorden (1987) interviewing is a valuable method to use for getting information about people. Interviewing can be defined as a formal discussion between two parties in which information is exchanged. Interviewing is most valuable when researchers are interested in knowing people’s beliefs, attitudes, values, knowledge, or any other subjective orientations or mental content regarding a certain topic.
In order to collect the data for the empirical material, semi-structured telephone and video calls will take place through Skype or phone. In semi-structured interviews the interviewer has the flexibility to develop follow-up questions if necessary. In this type of qualitative data collection it is possible to ask questions in different orders. This method is chosen, because the data collection of the empirical material should gain valuable, deep and detailing answers. Furthermore, the reasoning for using telephone- and video calls is because the authors want to collect data from marketing managers and advertising agencies that are in the Middle East. Since it will be impractical and expensive to go there, the fastest, easiest, and cheapest way is thus to have telephone- and video calls.
Regarding the content of the interviews, the authors have prepared a questionnaire that contains a total of twelve questions that can be found in appendix 3. The interview will start with thanking the interviewee for participating in the interview in order to establish a personal contact and also to put the interviewee on ease. The purpose of the interview will again be explained briefly before the interview will start. Further, the interviewee will be asked for permission to record the interview. The first question starts with asking the job function and responsibilities of the interviewee within the company, followed by the main questions. Other factors on which the authors need to pay attention to during the interviews are to use appropriate language and to test and summarize what the interviewee will say. The questions are related to the opinions of the interviewee concerning advertising in the Middle East and the challenges, the debate of standardization and adaptation of marketing advertising strategy, the influence and the role of the Islamic religion and finally, the recommendations and future expectations.

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Criteria for qualitative research

There are criteria’s for measuring the conducted qualitative research. Reliability and validity are terms that are often used to measure the research (Saunders et al., 2009).


Validity is one of the most important research criteria’s and it describes whether the study measures what it intends to measure (Saunders et al., 2009).
Semi-structured interviews will be conducted with decision-makers and/or influencers in marketing practices related to advertising in the Middle Eastern market of global companies. The interview respondents’ perspectives and opinions will be compared with each other to analyze differences and similarities in the answers.
The validity of the study can be improved by having more interviews with marketing managers from different global companies that are active in different markets. Moreover, the differences

Chapter 1. Introduction
1.1 Background section
1.2 Problem statement
1.3 Purpose
1.4 Delimitations
Chapter 2. The theoretical framework 
2.1 Globalization
2.2 Cultural differences
2.3 Previous studies: Marketing advertising in the Middle East
2.4 Examples of global marketing strategy
Chapter 3. Methodology 
3.2 Philosophies
3.3 Deductive and inductive approaches
3.4 Strategies, Choices and Time horizons
3.5 Data collection: Qualitative vs Quantitative
Chapter 4. Empirical Data
4.1 The companies participated in the interviews
4.2 Interview results
Chapter 5. Data analysis
Chapter 6. Conclusion 
6.1 Recommendation
6.2 Future research
Global marketing advertising with cultural differences

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