NEWS10 October 2013

US research index hits highest point since Q4 2010 – MRA

Financials North America

US — The Marketing Research Association’s quarterly index, tracking the health of the US marketing research industry, has reached its highest point since the fourth quarter 2010, thanks to across-the-board increases in staffing levels, projects and proposals.

The full announcement follows:

The Research Industry Index (RII) – the Marketing Research Association’s indicator of business activity in the US marketing research industry – finally reached 100 for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2010. In early 2011 and 2012, the index took a significant drop, slowly increasing throughout each year, but never quite reaching the 100 mark.

“Although we continue to see the same pattern of prior years in terms of starting out slow and gaining each quarter, it’s difficult to not feel optimistic about one of the strongest increases in booked revenue and proposals since RII began tracking MR business activity in 2007, along with a higher overall index score for 2013 than we’ve seen since 2010,” said MRA director of research Amy Shields.

Contributing factors to the second quarter 2013 improvement was a 6 point increase in both RFPs/proposals and projects/booked revenue coupled with a 3 point increase in staffing. The difference in point increase for these business metrics appear to be attributed to corporate researchers being slower to add staff than research providers.

While firms of all sizes experienced net gains on key metrics, larger firms saw the greatest gains. This wave of the RII is based on online interviews that were conducted among 216 senior executives from both corporate researchers and marketing research firms via a survey hosted by Issues and Answers. Reporting was completed by Cooper Roberts Research.