NEWS17 June 2014

UK research agencies see return to growth

Financials News UK

UK — Research agencies in the UK have seen a return to growth following four successive years of contraction, according to results from the Market Research Society (MRS) annual survey.

The survey gathered insight from 62 member organisations of the MRS Company Partner Service (CPS), with a combined 2013 turnover in excess of £1 billion. Results showed a total turnover growth of 1.1%, apparently driven by the international sector, which saw its turnover increase 15.8% during the 12 months to December 2013.

Other findings were:

  • Internet-based spend rose by 4% to 44% of all quantitative research spend
  • Face to face interviewing fell by 2.6% to 14.4% of all quantitative research spend
  • 57% of respondents anticipated that the industry would expand over the coming 12 months

“It is pleasing to see a return to growth after several challenging years,” said Jane Frost, chief executive officer of MRS. “There has been a significant improvement in sentiment over the past 12 months – this is reflected in the re-investment in full-time employees experienced during this period, as organisations adapt to take on more work. The increase in international work reflects organisations expanding appetite for UK research companies to collect overseas data to help inform their strategies and decision-making.”

“While the outlook has improved, clients’ budgets remain tight. The expansion of digital channels provides new opportunities for researchers as well as chance to improve internal cost-efficiencies. This helps to explain the fall in face-to-face interviewing techniques despite the overall growth in turnover.”

More information can be found here.