NEWS28 June 2013

US marketing research industry stays stubborn

Financials North America

US — The US marketing research industry is stuck in a rut and ‘stubbornly’ refuses to shift according to the latest data from the Marketing Research Associations’ (MRA) Research Industry Index (RII).


The RII – which measures business activity in the US research industry – remained below 100 for Q1 2013 at 97, one below 2012’s last quarter figure.

Larger firms ($5 million plus in annual revenues) are doing better than their smaller counterparts in terms of RFPs/proposals and projects/booked revenue, according to the MRA, however, firms of all sizes took a hit in their operating margins. For the larger firms, they experienced an overall decrease in margins, but not to the extent seen by small to medium size firms.

MRA director of research, Amy Shields, said that “the dissipation of fourth quarter 2012 increase in projects/booked revenue is likely a reflection of end-of-year spending driving the previous quarter’s bump.”

However, the first quarter change did not lower the overall RII since it was countered by neutral to modestly positive scores for other key metrics.