When I understand what drives people to buy bottled water, I will be in a better position to forecast demand. I expect disposable income, distribution saturation, cleanliness and taste of tap water and price of bottled water will all factor. With this information, I could understand the price elasticity of demand, for example, or the elasticity of demand relating to any other variable. Going international I would focus on the same, but I would also understand the currency exchange dynamics and the image that my country or region has overseas. In general, however, the types of information I need would be mainly the same, with respect to marketing. With respect to culture (marketing message) or other such variables unrelated to the economics of the decision, there are undoubtedly some different forms of information that I would need.
Second student: I would want to know what the trends are for bottled water sales in general. I would want to know what sort of seasonality there is in bottled water sales. I would need to understand the competitive environment and perhaps the price elasticity of demand for bottled water.
There must be other factors besides price that compel people to buy bottled water — I would want to know what those factors are and if there is anything I can do to manipulate those factors. In international markets I would want to know the same kinds of information. The data itself might be different, but the questions should not change for an international market. I believe that the fundamental business principles of differentiation and elasticity should underlie the decision in both cases. The product must have the best utility for the price in order to sell, and for bottled water the variables that impact on utility I do not feel would change much in an international market.
Investopedia. (2011). Economics basics: Elasticity. Investopedia.com. Retrieved March 11, 2011 from http://www.investopedia.com/university/economics/economics4.asp
No author. (2011). Demand forecasting. Author unknown. Retrieved March 11, 2011 from 10.212.115.113:81/…/Managerial%20Economics/Demand/Demand%20Forecasting.ppt.