NEWS13 September 2011

Global MR industry grew 2.8% in 2010, says Esomar


NETHERLANDS— The global research industry returned to growth last year with a 2.8% increase in revenue, according to industry association Esomar.


Research revenue in the 78 countries covered in Esomar’s industry report rose to $31.2bn in 2010, up 5.2%, or 2.8% after inflation.

The softest recovery was in Europe, which saw inflation-adjusted growth of just 1% to $13.1bn. This was driven mainly by investment in central and eastern European countries, which now account for the top five fastest-growing markets in Europe.

North America returned to growth after two consecutive years of decline, increasing 3.1% to $9.9bn. Latin America was the fastest-growing region, with a 13.9% increase to $1.8bn, driven by an “outstanding” performance in Brazil. Asia Pacific and Africa also grew, with the Middle East the only area to record a decline, which Esomar blamed on “varied levels of stability”.

Finn Raben, Esomar’s director general, said: “We are delighted to see a positive growth pattern restored to our industry in 2010. While the speed at which individual companies were able to return to profitable growth varied according to their geographical distribution and commercial challenges, it is nonetheless promising to see that investment in research has returned, and that the search for increased value (from both sides of the buyer-supplier relationship) continues to drive our industry forward.”

Esomar’s report also looks at debates around where the boundaries of market research should lie, and the use of social media for research purposes. If business intelligence providers whose activities are not covered by the traditional definition of market research were to be included in its figures, the size of the industry “could easily grow by 50%”, the organisation said.

The Esomar Global Market Research 2011 report will be published in full next week.