Client budget cuts impact on market research

Buyers of market research services expect their 2009 budgets to drop by 9.5% over the year, reversing a 20-year trend of annual spending increases.

Buyers of market research also say cost is becoming increasingly significant, although the most important attributes remain quality of data and derived insights. The largest corporations are seeking to shrink their budgets the most.

The data from the 2009 Annual Survey of Market Research Professionals has been released by QED, the Birmingham company that runs a research meeting and viewing facility.

The research also shows that while survey data and company sales data continue to be used by nearly all market research professionals, other methods, such as focus groups, syndicated research and scanner data, have all experienced decreases. For instance, use of focus group data has dropped from 80% for the past two years to 74% to date for 2009.

Attitudes towards market research by clients have also shifted, with a decline in the number of organisations that consider market research companies “to be my partner” from 60% last year to 54% this year. Innovation is still appreciated by clients but has slipped 3% year on year.

The survey was conducted online and answered by more than 800 marketing professionals.

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