NEWS26 October 2022

Public trust in market research is stable, says GRBN survey

Data analytics News Privacy Trends UK

GLOBAL – Trust in the market research industry has remained stable and trust in data analytics has increased in 2022 compared with 2020, according to data from the Global Research Business Network (GRBN).

Wooden brick spelling 'trust'

The research shows that 33% of global respondents personally trusted market research companies, compared with 19% who indicated they did not.

GRBN said the level of trust in market research is similar to that in 2020 and remains average when compared with other types of companies and institutes, ranking 8th out of the 15 surveyed.

The data is based on the GRBN Global Trust Survey, which is based on 8000 people aged 18 or over living in Australia, Brazil, Canada, Germany, South Korea, Japan, the UK and the US who completed online surveys in either April to May 2020 or July to August 2022.

GRBN partnered with eight national research associations on the research, including the Market Research Society and the Insights Association, and nine corporate partners.

The survey found particularly strong trust in market research in Brazil, where it was ranked second out of the 15 types of organisations included in the study, and in Germany research ranked fourth.

However, there was a significant fall in trust in research in Japan, where the industry was ranked 12th.

The survey shows that trust in data analytics, although remaining net negative, has improved in 2022 compared to 2020, most significantly in the UK, the US, Germany and Canada.

Trust in election and opinion polling companies continues to vary hugely by country, according to GRBN, from a +17 net trust index score (the proportion trusting versus not trusting) in Germany, compared with -23 in South Korea, -20 in Japan and -15 in Australia.

The research said that there are three areas in which the market research sector has the opportunity to increase the level of trust among the general public, including improving the user experience of participating in surveys, with only a third of respondents describing the experience as ‘positive’

There is an opportunity for the sector to improve its perceived value, as while two-thirds saw the value of market research to business, less than half of those participating believed that market research actually benefits them as individuals.

The research added work was needed to increase the level of trust in how market research companies protect and use people’s personal data, with less than one third believing that the use of their personal data by market research companies was appropriate.

Andrew Cannon, executive director at GRBN, said: “It is good to see that trust in market research companies remains stable and that clear opportunities exist to increase the level of trust in what we do.

“Public confidence in the sector is paramount if we are to expect a broad representation of people to give their time to participate in research.

“The GRBN calls on market research companies and associations to come together and do what our sector does best – to use this research to drive actions across our organisations that will have a real impact on public trust.”