Contents Study background and purpose4 Methodology5 Summary of response6 Executive summary: key findings7 Satisfaction with a career in market research12 Effectiveness of market research spending19 The client/supplier relationship23 The research proposal30 The research sales call35 Issues facing the market research field46 Respondent profile50 2
Bridgemark Solutions Bridgemark Solutions provides lead generation and sales support solutions, specializing in the unique needs of market research firms. We develop and schedule 1- to-1 sales presentations (or, leads) for our clients that allow them to introduce themselves and their companies to new sales prospects in any companies, anywhere in the world. We help our clients market their services faster, more effectively, and with considerably less expense than an in-house team, employing best practices developed over years of experience. Our lead generation service is a sophisticated and affordable way to grow your business and keep you regularly engaged with new sales prospects. We also provide highly-customized, 100% guaranteed lists of sales contacts for you or your sales team to pursue on your own. 3 Crux Research Crux Research is a market research firm dedicated to connecting decision makers with customers, inspiring new thinking, and setting new standards for customer service. We focus on delivering insight with the power to drive change by building on a solid understanding of your business and culture. Every important business decision faces a vital point, a crux, when you select which path to take. Our goal is to guide you to the right path by providing you with the right information for the right decisions. Crux Research, Inc. One North Main Street Honeoye Falls, New York 14472 585 624 9150 www.cruxresearch.com Bridgemark Solutions 2604 Elmwood Avenue, Suite 251 Rochester, New York 14618 585 413 0090 www.bridgemarksolutions.com
Study Background and Purpose The MR industry is estimated as nearly a $10 billion industry in the US,* spent by thousands of clients with hundreds of research suppliers. MR is a highly fragmented industry – with multi-million dollar firms competing with boutiques and independent consultants. Despite its reliance on sophisticated methods and analyses, the MR industry relies heavily on relationships. While other industry polls have detailed spending and evolving research methods, this is the first study to concentrate primarily on the professional relationships between clients and suppliers. The main purpose of this project is to provide data to suppliers and clients that allows them to view these relationships from the other side. Many parallel questions were posed to both clients and suppliers. Our goal? Simply to put this information out to the industry in the hopes that it will facilitate improved relationships and, in turn, more effective market research. 4 * According to the American Marketing Association, more than $9.5 billion was spent within the U.S. for marketing/ advertising/public opinion research services in 2012 through U.S.-based, for-profit research firms.American Marketing Association
Methodology The questionnaire was developed by Crux Research and Bridgemark Solutions, and reviewed by a number of clients and suppliers prior to fielding. The survey was recruited to the Bridgemark Solutions MR database. This is an extensive database with tens of thousands of individuals working in marketing and market research related fields. In addition, the survey was promoted on LinkedIn and on key MR group pages on LinkedIn. The result is a convenience sample. While not necessarily projectable to a wider population, the sample does include a breadth of experience levels, industries, geographies, and job titles. Data were collected by Crux Research, using the Confirmit research platform. This study was conducted online in September 2013. Password-protected email invitations were sent to prospective respondents from the email database. The questionnaire was by invitation only and not publicly accessible. Qualified respondents were current clients (decision makers for MR spending in their organization) and suppliers (from all functions excluding administrative functions such as HR, accounting, office management, etc.). Administrative employees were included if they also had other qualifying roles in their organization. Individual interviews averaged 14 minutes in length. 5
Summary of Response 290 respondents in total. 139 suppliers. Average tenure 24 years, 20 of which have been spent in market research. –53 principals or owners* –47 senior managers (President, Vice-President) –44 client services/project management –43 research analyst –21 methodology/sampling/statistician –12 programming/data processing –11 field services/data collection –6 administrative (HR, accounting, office management) 151 clients. Average tenure 21 years, 17.1 of which have been spent in market research. 44% of respondents were male; 56% were female. While 48% of the suppliers were female, 63% of the clients were female. 6 * Respondents could choose more than one job function.
The 2013 Crux Research/Bridgemark Solutions Market Research Industry Survey was conducted to help better understand the MR industry. While we conducted the project to help improve our own sales and client management efforts, we realize the information we gathered is of value to many clients and suppliers. The study is thus publicly available, and redistribution and comments on the study are welcome and encouraged. In total, 290 researchers responded to the project – about half of whom were suppliers and half of whom were clients. Respondents tended to be fairly senior level, and with broad backgrounds. For instance, 61% of the clients who responded also have supplier-side experience. 36% of suppliers responding also have had client-side experience. On average respondents had more than 18 years of market research experience, so while this respondent base isnt necessarily representative of the entire MR industry, it is made up of highly experienced researchers. The study showed that while market researchers are largely happy with their careers, suppliers are a bit more satisfied with their jobs than clients. We feel this could be because our supplier respondents tended to be more senior in their organizations than our client respondents. While suppliers were happier with their current employer than clients were, clients were more likely to recommend a career in market research on the client-side than suppliers were to recommend a career on the supplier-side. And, about two-thirds of suppliers and three-quarters of clients would choose market research as a career if they had to do it all over again. What are the good parts of working in market research? Respondents were likely to say the MR field offers an opportunity for intellectual challenge and growth, and has excellent co-workers. Clients were more likely than suppliers to cite items like work/life balance, job security, work hours, and pay/benefits. Suppliers were more likely to cite items like employer flexibility and career trajectory. 8
Key Findings Continued We have all heard the saying that half of advertising is wasted. From this study, it appears that the analogous statistic is between a quarter and a third of MR spending is wasted. While suppliers say that 24% of the money clients spend with them is ineffective, clients feel that 32% of their spending is ineffective. In an industry of nearly $10 billion in annual spending domestically, this is a considerable inefficiency. We feel that this question is an important one to track in subsequent years, as it is a good measure of the effectiveness of our industry. A primary objective of this project was to understand more about the relationships between suppliers and clients, and to understand how they can be improved. First, we found that there are many relationships overall – the average supplier works personally with 14 clients and the average clients organization uses 10 suppliers. Suppliers tend to be more sanguine about these relationships than clients. For example, clients feel that they will be expanding the work they do with 41% of their clients in the coming year, but clients only expect to expand the work they do with 22% of their suppliers. 68% of suppliers are highly satisfied with their client relationships, while 62% of clients are highly satisfied with their supplier relationships. An open-ended question suggested that suppliers are searching for more respect and partnership from clients. Clients, on the other hand, would like to see better listening and customer service attention from suppliers. Suppliers would like to see clients raise the profile of research and insights within their organization. Clients would like to see suppliers provide more distilled insight, and fewer detailed, data heavy analyses and presentations. The top attributes of a good client from a supplier standpoint include having clear objectives, communicating effectively, and having respect for the supplier. 9
Key Findings Continued The study indicates that overall, about half of research proposals are sole-sourced while the other half are bid out to multiple suppliers. The smallest, boutique market research firms were most likely to say their proposals are sole- sourced. Suppliers are overly-optimistic when assessing their win-rate on competitive proposals – 58%. If all competitive proposals went to just two suppliers, the industry win-rate would be 50%, and since many go to multiple suppliers, our conclusion is that suppliers are often in competitive situations they dont recognize. It is challenging for a supplier to generate a new relationship with a client. Clients tell us that 4 out of 5 projects go to suppliers they have previously worked with, and the new ones tend to go to suppliers that have a specific, narrow expertise they are searching for. We posed a question to both suppliers and clients seeking to understand the characteristics of a good research proposal. We found that relative to clients needs, suppliers tend to understate the importance of client service and the background of individuals associated with the project. Conversely, suppliers tend to understate the importance of delivering the proposal on time, having a brand name behind the study, and past client experiences. Research sales calls are a necessary part of the business, but not something that clients or suppliers appear to look forward to. Suppliers make an average of 3.3 calls per month, and clients accept an average of 2.8 sales calls per month. Suppliers greatly overstate the effectiveness of these calls. While suppliers tell us that 40% of their sales calls are extremely or very effective, clients tell us that just 4% of these sales calls are extremely or very effective. 10
Key Findings Continued Suppliers tend to generate new work in a reactive fashion – by referral or by inbound leads and calls. Just 28% of suppliers say that making sales calls is something they enjoy about their job. 60% say their sales efforts are inconsistent. Clients tell us that suppliers need to do their homework and understand their businesses and challenges before making the call, and above all, to show them how the firm can uniquely address their needs. Having a point of difference is important. The MR field is constantly changing and adapting to new technologies and new preferences of respondents and clients. This study indicates that research on mobile devices, social media monitoring, and successfully analyzing big data are the key trends to watch. It appears that older methods such as telephone and mail research are on the way out. 11
Satisfaction with a Career in Market Research 12
13 Suppliers are slightly more satisfied than clients with their jobs Q200 All respondents (n= 290) How would you rate your overall satisfaction with your current job? (Means shown – 0 to 10 scale)
14 Suppliers satisfaction is lowest among those working in the largest firms; Client satisfaction is lowest in organizations with the smallest MR budgets Q200 All respondents (n= 290) How would you rate your overall satisfaction with your current job? (Means shown – 0 to 10 scale)
Clients are far more likely than suppliers to recommend a career on their side of the business But, not necessarily at their employer 15 Q205/Q210/Q220 All respondents (n=290) Suppose you were talking to a young person who was thinking about their career choices. How likely would you be to recommend…? (% Extremely/Very Likely) Clients Suppliers
16 Many would choose a research career if they had to do it all over again Q220 All respondents (n=290) If you had to do it all over again, how likely would you be to pursue a career in market research? Suppliers Clients Top 2 Box = 68% Top 2 Box = 73%
Clients: Limited mobility to other areas of marketing or outside of marketing. Market research professionals tend to stay in MR. I have found it [research] very prescriptive with less room for innovation in methods on the client side. The reliance is completely on vendors (supplier side) for new approaches. There's not enough money in it and people do not truly value good research. You tend to be siloed if you do it well. Since you have the skills, you keep getting it by default. Would prefer a career that was more family-friendly. Suppliers: Crunching numbers gets tiring after a while. I would have done something I have more passion for. How research suppliers are treated by clients. In the past we worked directly with line business management. Increasingly purchase decisions in our market are being influenced by corporate procurement professionals. This is leading to the perception that the service is a commodity. MR does not get much respect from senior management and is among the first things to be cut when the economy gets bad. Too much night work and travel. 17 Q222 Would not consider a MR career (n=27) Q223 Would consider a MR career (n=204) Reasons why some would NOT consider a MR careerReasons why some would consider a MR career Clients: There is a lot of variety from day-to-day. There is a lot of satisfaction in seeing the result of your work impacting the high- level strategic decisions being made by your employer or client. Everyday is a challenge. It is never boring! Each project is so different, yet gives an opportunity to learn something new about the business. I have always been inquisitive, asking questions, pondering all sides of understanding, traveling to learn more, hungry for answers and more questions. It's a very rewarding field for a naturally inquisitive person… Market research is a good mix of both an art and a science, and I enjoy the balance of the two. Suppliers: I like the continuous learning that goes along with being a supplier-side market researcher. I like the variety that comes with the job, as well as learning about various types of industries and businesses. I am by nature an inquisitive person. I have a passion to understand people. Research allows for insight into how people think and choose products they do....fascinating! Love consumer insights... digging for the insights, talking with consumers, solving problems and telling consumers' stories.
Clients tend to rate items like work/life balance, job security, work hours, and pay/benefits higher than suppliers do Suppliers tend to rate employer flexibility and career trajectory higher than clients 18 Q225 All respondents (n=290) How would you rate the following specific aspects of a career in market research? (% Excellent Shown)
20 Almost half of clients feel market research is given too little priority in their organization Q300 Clients (n=151) In your current organization, would you say that market research is given …? Clients Clients from organizations that spend less than $500K a year in research were most likely to say that research is given too little priority (55%).
21 Clients are less likely than suppliers to see research spending as effective Q305 All respondents (n=290) We would like to know how effective you consider research spending to be. We consider research spending to be effective if it yields data and insights that result in more effective decision making. Suppliers Clients What % of all the money that your clients spend on research with your firm would you estimate as being …? What % of all the money that your spend on research would you estimate as being …?
22 Suppliers: Reasons why spending is ineffectiveClients: Reasons why spending is ineffective Q310 25% or more of spending is ineffective (n=158) A lot of the time it is used to either a) check a box that research was conducted or b) confirmation of a direction already chosen. [Our] industry works on gut and instinct. Often senior management rejects findings from studies outright if the learning don't correspond with their gut evaluation. The insights gained through research are often not fully acted upon and that is where the disconnect occurs. I think that sometimes objectives are improperly defined, or not fully defined, so we end up not always getting the most useful data at the end of the study. Some of the studies become too routine and the findings are easily predicted (we know what the results will be already). We have to compromise value (correct methodology, representative sample, etc.) on many occasions to meet demanding deadlines and budget constraints, lack of understanding of research at higher levels of organization. Sometimes the research does not yield the results a key stakeholder/executive wanted. Sometimes, these people decide they know what's best, and proceed with their intended plan despite what the results say. [Clients] are limited in what they can really do to change the company. Some of the things that really need to be done require top level buy-in and the research team doesn't have that kind of clout. Because they sometimes just go through the motions and have little intention of carrying out any recommendations. Lots of MR happens in a political stew, and suffers the inevitable consequences of that. Because we are constantly understaffed, we aren't able to accompany our research with personalized consultation and explanation of the research. For my company - I think some of the "content experts" that advise our clients are not thoughtful enough about the clients research objectives so they can successfully design a good survey. Timelines are often ridiculous and people don't spend the right amount of time up front in determining objectives, business needs, or what they are going to do with the results (how they are going to use them). Tracking projects have a tendency to live past their shelf life. It is so difficult for some of our clients to implement any type of change due to time, culture, executive buy-in that it leads to ineffective research at times.
24 Market research professionals juggle many supplier/client relationships In the past year, how many clients have you personally worked with? (Medians Shown) Suppliers Q620 Suppliers (n=121) Q520 Clients who make or have input into supplier selection decisions (n=150) In the past year, how many different suppliers has your organization used? (Medians shown) Clients
25 Suppliers are more likely to feel they will be expanding the work they do with clients than vice-versa Clients Q625 Suppliers (n=121) Q525 Clients who make or have input into supplier selection decisions (n=150) How many of these suppliers do you expect to expand or reduce the amount of work you give to? (Means shown) Suppliers Are you likely to expand or reduce the amount of work you do with these clients in the coming year? (Means shown)
26 Suppliers and clients report being satisfied with their relationships How satisfied or dissatisfied are you with the (market research suppliers you have used/clients you have worked with) in the past year? (Means shown) Clients satisfaction with suppliers Suppliers satisfaction with clients Q605 Suppliers (n=121) Q505 Clients who make or have input into supplier selection decisions (n=150)
27 What would you say is the best thing about the (clients/suppliers) you currently work with – what makes you want to work with a client over and over? Suppliers thoughts on clients They listen to my needs and articulate solutions that reflect those. They provide thought leadership in making the study more valuable either in the up-front scoping discussion or in preparing findings and recommendations. Client service. I want a supplier that works to meet my needs but also knows that I am a market researcher and can talk the talk. That means communicating to me as though I am a peer, accepting my input, and coming to me with new ideas. Anyone can have a "method" that gets to something or another. And all methods have their pros/cons. It's the PEOPLE that make interactions. Having a familiar relationship with those suppliers; when a supplier takes the time to get to know me on a personal level that extends beyond a few work emails here and there, I feel as though I've developed a much stronger relationship with that individual. They "get it" - understand our products, customers and once brought up to speed, require very little hand holding or further direction. They are cooperative and function as a true thought partner. Proactive and creative thinking. The ability to write well and design effective presentations that combine an understanding of the business questions, interpret results and tell a relevant and meaningful story that can be understood by non-research audiences. I want a supplier who thinks and provides value add. I don't want an order taker. I am looking for a team that has my interest at heart and that doesn't try to cross sell me the latest and greatest new black box tool. Being treated with respect. Having clients that realize our expertise and don't question everything we do. Clients who share their business problems with us, and who want to collaborate together to find solutions to those problems. Clients who want to participate in the solution, not just have it handed to them. Easy going clients that truly understand the issues we face with recruitment, sampling, incentivization, tight timelines are the best kind to work with. Long standing relationships make clients a pleasure to work for. I feel like a valuable part of their team rather than a servant. Those good clients understand the data collection process. They grasp why some questions don't work well, why some audiences are hard to target, why telephone data collection can't be completed in 3 days, why the focus groups can't happen tomorrow, why you can't expect employed people to do focus groups during working hours. These clients allow a dialogue and are open to suggestions. Our best clients are not only smart, but they know how to best use us as a partner. They know their business, and see that we bring a broader perspective. We love working with clients that see us as part of the team, and not just someone who is gathering their data. Smart, considerate partners who understand the value you bring to the table. Have realistic expectations about timing and deliverables. Let you be part of the team and have access to key stakeholders, allowing us to provide a fully integrated research solution. Clients thoughts on suppliers Q610 Suppliers (n=121) Q510 Clients who make or have input into supplier selection decisions (n=150)
28 What is there about your current (clients/suppliers) that you would like to see improved? What would you change about your current (clients/suppliers) if you could? Better presentations that stick with the audience. No need to have 100 slides or to show all the data when it's not needed. Answer the business questions only, do not show unnecessary slides just because the analysis was done. I understand that they are in business as well, however the research companies with whom I'm least satisfied have yet to ask me the questions you are asking. Many suppliers give you only what you ask for and never go the next step. Some don't understand the business well enough to look at research data and know if something is out of place or doesn't make sense. Most suppliers I have worked with over my career are more reactive than proactive. I would like to see them use their experience to anticipate possible roadblocks. Market researchers are by nature too detailed. Folks have little time to sit through it all. Give the sound bites; with details at the back to support those sound bites. Good project management is dead. No one knows how to design truly great research. Vendors think data on Power Point slides is analysis versus truly doing the analysis. They report data and don't decipher it into the compelling insights, tell the story and take a stand. Some of the larger suppliers like to nickel and dime us If they have to expend an extra hour on a project (beyond what was bid), they try to charge us. Smaller vendors don't do that. EVERY client needs to learn respect for research respondents. Most surveys are boring, are long, are tedious. How "good" the survey is will impact the data. And these people who answer the questions, attend the focus groups, allow us to follow them on social media deserve RESPECT. They give us their time and their opinions. I have one client who pays well, and pays fast, so I continue to work for them, but there is a "master and servant" dynamic that I don't like. Reasonable deadlines. There is an emphasis on speed to the detriment of some of the work we are asked to do. There are individuals who need to trust themselves, and their positions more. Client side researchers often think of themselves in a tactical/service role, and they (and the results) are marginalized because of it. Conducting more research that answers important questions and provides direction for their company. Less "nice-to-know" research. Less research by committee with too many people involved in key decisions at client end. I'd eliminate corporate procurement from the relationship. Frankly after getting beat up over price by a long term client I am less likely to want to give them my best work. They can't have it both ways. When we do NOT get a project with a client… the courtesy of letting us know we were not awarded the business, with a reason why so that we can learn from it. Suppliers thoughts on clients Clients thoughts on suppliers Q615 Suppliers (n=121) Q515 Clients who make or have input into supplier selection decisions (n=150)
Suppliers feel that good clients are ones with clear objectives and that communicate effectively throughout the project 29 We are interested in the characteristics that make for a good client from your standpoint. How important are the following? Q635 Suppliers (n=121)
31 About half of MR proposals are sole-sourced What percent of all the proposals you write are …? (Means shown) Suppliers Boutique firms (revenue <$1 million) were most likely to say their proposals are sole-sourced (57%). What percent of all the projects you commission are …? (Means shown) Clients Q640 Suppliers (n=121) Q540 Clients who make or have input into supplier selection decisions (n=150)
32 Suppliers say they win 58% of their proposals; Clients say the winning proposal is the lowest price about half the time Clients When you bid projects out to multiple suppliers, what percent of the time is the winning supplier the one with the lowest price? (Means = 52% of the time) Q645 Suppliers (n=121) Q545 Bid at least some projects to multiple suppliers (n=141) Suppliers What is your best estimate for your win rate on proposals? (Means = 58% of the time)
33 80% of projects go to suppliers with already established relationships New suppliers are commissioned when client is looking for a specific expertise In the coming year, what percentage of the projects you commission will be with …? (Means shown) Clients Which of the following are reasons why you expect to work with suppliers you do not currently work with in the coming year? Q550 Clients who make or have input into supplier selection decisions (n=150) Q555 Will work with new suppliers in coming year (n=136)
Suppliers and clients can have different views on what makes a good proposal 34 When you are proposing a new project to a client or prospective client, how important are the following considerations?* % saying criterion is critical shown * Question wording to suppliers is shown. An analogous question was posed to suppliers with appropriate wording changes. SuppliersClientsGap Stressing the level of customer service the client will receive49%72%-23% The experience level/academic background of the individuals who will work on the project 31%39%-8% Being located near the client0%4%-4% Having the methodological expertise needed78%81%-3% Having a technological advantage17%19%-2% Demonstrating that we can meet client deadlines58%55%3% Displaying an understanding of the issues the client is researching 90%87%3% Asking good questions at the proposal stage65%60%5% References/recommendations23%17%6% Having a competitive price53%42%11% Specializing in the clients industry40%27%13% Stressing work your organization has done with the client in the past 34%20%14% Your past client base25%6%19% Having a relationship with the specific individuals who will manage the project 60%28%21% Having a brand name that the client can trust26%5%21% Delivering the proposal on time62%37%25% Items clients feel are more important than suppliers feel they are Items suppliers feel are more important than clients feel they are Items suppliers and clients agree on Q630 Suppliers (n=121) Q535 Clients who make or have input into supplier selection decisions (n=150)
36 Most suppliers are okay with being responsible for sales and revenue generation Just 28% of suppliers have a dedicated sales staff Q647/Q660 Suppliers responsible for generating revenue (n=121) Which best describes your feeling towards sales/revenue generation? Suppliers In your firm, who is responsible for sales (bringing in revenue)? Clients service/project staff (11%) were least likely to say sales is an aspect of their job they enjoy.
37 Referrals are the primary source of sales calls/meetings Suppliers When you think of calls/meetings you have had with potential clients in the past 6 months, which of the following describe how these calls/meetings came about? Q655 Suppliers responsible for generating revenue (n=102)
38 Suppliers feel that 40% of their sales calls are extremely or very effective They make an average of 3.3 calls per month Suppliers In a typical month, how many sales calls/meetings do you have with new potential clients? (Mean = 3.3 calls per month) Suppliers From your standpoint as a supplier, how effective are the sales calls you make with potential clients? Q650 Suppliers responsible for generating revenue (n=121) Q652 Suppliers who have at least one sales call per month (n=102)
39 Clients take an average of 2.8 sales calls per month from suppliers Clients In a typical month, how many sales calls/meetings do you have with market research suppliers who are seeking to do business with you for the first time? (Means = 1.9 calls per month) Clients In a typical month, how many sales calls/meetings do you have with market research suppliers who are seeking to expand the amount of work they do with you? (Means = 0.9 calls per month) Q560/Q565 Clients who make or have input into supplier selection decisions (n=150)
40 Clients are likely to say that supplier sales calls are ineffective Just 4% say sales calls are extremely or very effective How effective are the sales calls you take from research suppliers calling on you seeking to do business with you? Clients In your view, what could suppliers do to make these calls more effective? (Open-ended question) Q575 Clients who take one or more new business sales calls per month (n=115) Q580 Clients who say sales calls are not very effective or not effective at all (n=70) Before you show me the capabilities presentation, talk with me about my business issues and tailor your presentation to how you can help ME not what you can do. Don't have sales people make the calls to generate leads. Have the true knowledgeable person make the initial call. 90% of the sales calls I've taken in the past have been a waste of my time, so I've basically stopped taking them. Spend time telling me what you bring to the table and how that's different. Otherwise you are one company in a sea of sameness. Spend a little time with our web site, my LinkedIn page or something that educates you. Trust me, I won't call you unless I think you have something to offer. So please don't call me unless you KNOW you have something to offer me.
41 What advice would you give a market research supplier that is calling on you hoping for new business? Clients Q570 Clients who take one or more new business sales calls per month (n=115) I get 2 - 3 calls a week asking me for a 30 minute introduction session; unless you can tell me what you have that differentiates you from everyone else, I will not make the time to meet with you. Show me what you do that is unique from the rest of the MR suppliers. Cost is a major factor for me so be up front about your prices. Position yourself as an expert on something - ideally a methodology that we need and use often. We have plenty of custom research vendors that do the usual stuff and need a reason to talk to you. Many sadly run thru their capabilities as if they are on a quota of # delivered per month, without much attention to precisely working thru to determine what their approach is quite able to do for me. Some make it seem as if it is my job to determine the fit of their products, yet it is not. That's their job. Educate me about what others are doing out there, new and different ideas. Show me a beautiful presentation. Put a smart person on the phone who knows a bit about my category or has at least researched my company a little bit. A quarterly check-in is more than enough... and that should be by email. Phone calls never come at the right time and are always a distracting bother. I should know who you are... and will reach out when I need you. I shouldn't have to dig too deeply to find a recent email from you when I need you. Be able to provide meaningful points of differentiation. Provide a compelling reason why we should use the supplier in question vs. another supplier. We're very unlikely to use a new supplier who is a "me-to" operation Don't be "salesly"...tell we what you've got...why it's different - be transparent. Don't over-sell your capabilities, and don't promise to be able to answer every possible research need. Your particular methodology or organizational strengths are not the best solution for every problem out there, so admit that. Honesty in addressing my questions and letting me know when you can (and can't) help. I like personalized messages; that shows me that if the supplier will take the time on the front end, he/she will also take his/her time with me once we partner on a project.
42 Most suppliers feel they are not making enough sales calls Many describe their sales efforts as inconsistent In your opinion, does your company conduct …? Suppliers Which best describes your firms efforts to generate new revenue? Q665/Q670 Suppliers responsible for generating revenue (n=102)
44 What do you think will be the single biggest change to happen to market research over the next 10 years? Suppliers Clients Q400 All respondents (n=290) Surveys will be more fun, smoother, and pop up in a natural setting (when consumers are at retail, watching advertising, etc.). Big Data will eat into traditional market research in big corporations. I think the biggest change is the incorporation of new methods - combining data points from social media, transactional databases, biometrics, and traditional research to develop a better view into markets and customers. Less reliance on quantitative custom studies. More focus on data mining large data sets, coupled with qual findings to support. New and disruptive technologies that we can't yet anticipate. My career is long enough to remember what it was like before personal computers, and before the internet, and before wireless, and before tablets and smart phones, and... what's next? Shifting to mobile. How do we get clients to shift away from 20-30 minute questionnaires that ask everything and their kitchen sink to only asking a handful of questions on their phone? There will be more tools and methodologies available but in the end there won't be massive changes as good researchers will use the tools best suited to tell the story best. A move to everything being online. I think in-person focus groups will slowly become non-existent and it will be up to market researchers to find new innovative ways to engage customers to give feedback. Big data vs. quant research, the world is over-surveyed so faith in the results is dropping. We will move to more extremes -- extreme quant (big data) and extreme qual (social media and co-creation). DIY tools that allow people who don't know what they're doing to do their own (bad, poorly conceived) market research. Methodologically we need to migrate from the long form structured questionnaire to a more broad data collection/ retention methodology that enables researchers to deliver results based on multiple facets (data sources) and not have each insight rely upon a single survey instrument. Surveys take too long, and the public's patience has worn thin. More online, less in-person which is sad to me. I value speaking to consumers and dislike how our industry is migrating more to online. The research industry is rapidly evolving, but many things are staying the same. You hear about a ton of stuff, 'hot new things', but some of them never really take off, or end up much less 'big' than industry experts expected.
Mobile research, social media monitoring, and big data are seen as technologies that hold the greatest promise 45 Q405 All respondents (n=290) Which of the following techniques/technologies do you think hold the greatest promise for market research over the next decade? Items with 50%+ adoption shown
Mail, telephone, QR codes, and eye tracking are not seen as holding promise 46 Q405 All respondents (n=290) Which of the following techniques/technologies do you think hold the greatest promise for market research over the next decade? Items with <50% adoption shown
The study reached both clients and suppliers Supplier job titles tended to be senior 48 Do you currently work at …? Q100: All respondents (n=290) Q105: Research suppliers (n= 139) Which of the following describe your role(s) at your organization? (Suppliers Only) Multiple response question
49 The study reached a range of suppliers and clients, small to large Suppliers How would you best describe your firm? Clients Which best describes your organizations annual spending on primary market research? Q702 Suppliers (n=138) Q703 Clients (n=148)
Overall, market research budgets are increasing slightly 50 Which best describes your expectations for your organizations market research budget over the coming year? Q530 Clients (n=151) Clients This calculation would suggest that total research spending will increase by 1.5% in the coming year.
Most suppliers work primarily for clients and do both qual and quant studies 51 Does your firm conduct work for …? Q110/Q112 Research suppliers (n= 139) Which best describes your firm? Suppliers
52 Suppliers and clients are highly educated Clients are more likely to be female than suppliers Which best describes the highest level of education you have completed or the highest degree you have received? Q705/Q710 All respondents (n=290) Are you …?
Suppliers surveyed have slightly more experience than clients Many have experiences on both sides of the business 53 Q120 All respondents (n= 290) 81% of suppliers have been working in MR for 10+ years and 51% have been working in MR for 20+ years. 81% of clients have been working in MR for 10+ years and 38% have been working in MR for 20+ years. Across your entire working career, how many years have you spent doing the following? (Means shown) 61% of clients have supplier experience 36% of suppliers have client experience
54 What topics or question areas should we include in next years study that we didnt include in this years? SuppliersClients Q720 All respondents (n=290) Perhaps dig more into the relation between market research & our internal clients: what works, what hasn't worked, frustrations & successes and why. Are researchers interested in moving out of research into other areas of their organizations, or do they consider themselves "career researchers"? Cold calling and constant calls from agencies. Let the suppliers know the frequency of cold call we receive and how irritating this persistence is. More about the state of the industry. As technology advances I fear that certain elements of the industry could become phased out. I'd love to hear more about this from my peers. We are moving a lot of our primary market to internal resources, rather than leveraging suppliers. You may want to ask about how many other organization are building capabilities to do some of the less complex work. I want to see/learn what makes a 'bad corporate researcher' or negatively impacts the supplier/client relationship. There should be a true partnership and it seems like most of these surveys is focused on assessing the vendor. What keeps clients coming back for more -- what generates repeat business? What about competitive salary? Ways of selling, positioning traditional market research in the face of 'big data' and all the other technology driven methodologies. I'd be interested in some measure of how researcher's view themselves, our image and self image is poor, propped up by technology and pretending to be scientists. The "prompt payment" questions do not capture the full extent of payment problems. I'd like to see additional questions on the time it takes clients to issue a PO once the project is approved. We have clients that award us the project, but then take anywhere from 10 to 30 days to approve the PO, and do not allow us to invoice until we have a PO. Some questions about professional learning opportunity - what activities are most useful from a learning perspective?