Financial crisis hits the market research industry
LONDON - More than 70% of market research agencies believe that the market research industry is being hit hard in the current economic crisis, according to a survey.
The survey, carried out by MarketResearchAgencies.eu, an online directory of market research agencies worldwide, also found that 60% of agencies had reported a slight or substantial decrease in their turnover for the last six months as a result of the downturn.
However, despite the downturn, agencies are optimistic with more than two thirds of those whose turnover has fallen in the past six months expecting a slight or substantial increase in the next six months.
The biggest worry for agencies is loss of business and 40% reported that they have already lost clients and 37% claim that while business has not gone yet they expect to lose some in the near future. Only 18% claimed they are not concerned about loss of clients.
More than half or 53% of agencies reported fewer domestic projects in the past six months, while 44% of the agencies reported fewer international projects in the same period.
With the losses, agencies have been cutting back on staff and the survey confirmed this trend. In the past six months 31% of the agencies said they had laid off staff due to the financial crisis.
There was no change in the headcount at 54% of agencies, while 15% actually hired new people, but these agencies hiring were mostly those that over the past six months had experienced slight or significant increases in turnover.
In addition, the survey revealed that there is a fresh focus on winning new business as well as strengthening their relationships with current clients.
From the majority there was optimism on the perceived length of the economic downturn with nearly two thirds of agencies expecting the crisis to be over within a year.
The sample population was comprised of market research agencies that are registered with MarketResearchAgencies.eu.
Approximately 370 members received an invitation by email to participate in the online survey and 132 of them responded with completed questionnaires. The response was global with 60 different countries represented in total.
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