Market Research & Public Opinion Polling

Industry Profile Report

Dive Deep into the industry with a 25+ page industry report (pdf format) including the following chapters

Industry Overview Current Conditions, Industry Structure, How Firms Operate, Industry Trends, Credit Underwriting & Risks, and Industry Forecast.

Call Preparation Call Prep Questions, Industry Terms, and Weblinks.

Financial Insights Working Capital, Capital Financing, Business Valuation, and Financial Benchmarks.

Industry Profile Excerpts

Industry Overview

The 4,100 market research and public opinion polling firms in the US gather, record, tabulate, analyze, and present marketing and public opinion data. Major market research service categories include research conducted over the Internet; research conducted by telephone; face-to-face methods; focus groups; and polling services. More specific types of services include audience measurement; custom research; syndicated research; advisory and consulting services; data collection; and data analytics.

Competition from Alternative Service Providers

Market research and public opinion polling firms face competition from a variety of sources, including strategy consulting firms, client in-house market research departments, publicly available information, and data providers, such as digital media measurement services and print and media firms.

Vulnerability to Economic Conditions

Demand for market research services is sensitive to economic conditions and typically drops during periods of uncertainty.

Industry size & Structure

The average market research firm operates out of a single location, employs about 18-19 workers, and generates $5-6 million annually.

    • The market research and public opinion polling industry consists of about 4,100 firms that employ 77,800 workers and generate $22 billion annually.
    • The industry is concentrated at the top and fragmented at the bottom; the top 50 companies account for 58% of industry revenue.
    • Large firms, which include Gartner, NPD, and Forrester Research, may have international operations.
                                Industry Forecast
                                Market Research & Public Opinion Polling Industry Growth
                                Source: Vertical IQ and Inforum

                                Recent Developments

                                Mar 7, 2023 - Some Marketers Shift Focus to Customer Loyalty
                                • Anticipating smaller marketing budgets, some marketers are pivoting their focus from acquiring new customers to fostering loyalty in the ones they already have, according to a recent survey report by Advertiser Perceptions. Fewer than one-third of marketers expect their 2023 budgets to grow compared to 2022, and 55% say inflation is having an impact on their business. About 45% of marketers say that rising interest rates and supply chain issues are impacting them. Amid these challenges, 38% of marketers plan to prioritize customer loyalty over customer acquisition.
                                • Led by some of the biggest consumer brands, marketing industry insiders suggest more firms might consider bringing some media planning activities in-house, according to Marketing Dive. Procter & Gamble and Kraft Heinz have in-housed a greater portion of their media planning in recent years. Some industry watchers believe other, smaller companies could follow suit. In addition to simply saving money, a key motivation for in-housing includes the need to acquire and safely manage first-party data ahead of Google’s plan to end support of third-party cookies at the end of 2024. Apple’s changes to iOS that allow users to opt out of in-app tracking, and a rising tide of platforms marketers need to master, are also prompting more discussions around in-housing.
                                • A recent study by user experience (UX) research platform Maze showed that 64% of firms’ product organizations have a democratized research culture whereby research is conducted by designers, product managers, and marketers, as well as researchers. The study found that 82% of respondents had a dedicated UX researcher. About 83% of those surveyed said that research should be done at every stage of the product development process, and 60% said research findings can inspire new product opportunities. While 77% of respondents said they conduct new research on at least a monthly basis, 78% said their firm doesn’t do enough research or could increase the number of studies it performs.
                                • Salary growth among design, creative, and marketing talent rose by just 1.1% in 2022, falling well behind peak 2022 inflation of 9.1%, according to a recent report by Aquent, a creative and marketing staffing firm. Aquent, which based its study on more than 19,000 actual salaries, found that in addition to poor wage growth, there were persistent pay disparities for women and ethnically diverse talent. Men earned more than women in 12 out of 15 job types surveyed, including female user interface (UI) designers (-15.79%), female user experience (UX) researchers (-14.63%), and female presentation designers (-8.33%). The reports also showed that ethnically diverse employees earned 2.25% less than white talent across all position types.
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