US Marketing Research Industry Activity Remains Flat

March 8, 2013

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Market Research

MRA-US-Marketing-Research-Activity-Index-Q42007-Q42012-Mar2013Business activity in the US marketing research industry displayed virtually the same pattern in 2012 as it did in 2011, finds the Marketing Research Association in its latest Research Industry Index (RII). After the year began with indications of a soft market, the index improved in the second half, finishing up a point to 98 in Q4 2012, the same level as Q4 2011. The composite score is based on reported changes in multiple key business metrics sich as RFPs, projects, and staffing levels, as well as changes in business owners’ perception of business health. The index uses Q4 2007 as its baseline period (=100).

According to Ken Roberts, PRC, MRA’s Immediate Past Chairman, and the report’s author, the latest index demonstrates the industry’s resilience, but also that economic troubles continue to pose challenges.

CMO predictions might reflect the RII cycle. According to the latest iteration of The CMO Survey, conducted by Duke University’s Fuqua School of Business in February, CMOs predict 4.5% growth in spending on marketing research and intelligence over the next 12 months. That represents a sharp drop from the previous edition of the survey conducted in August 2012, in which CMOs forecast an 8.2% increase in marketing research spend.

About the Data: The latest wave of the RII is based on online interviews that were conducted among 296 senior executives from both corporate researchers and marketing research firms via a survey hosted by Synapse. Reporting was completed by Cooper Roberts Research for the Marketing Research Association (MRA).

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