Market research industry, tipping point or no return?

Laurent Florès

ESOMAR

Market research industry, tipping point or no return?

Year after year, we hear more and more about change, innovation, crisis and transformation. It seems that, whatever we do, these keywords come back again and again. Having spent more than 20 years in the market research industry, I have heard the same words repeatedly from all stakeholders: advertisers, advertising agencies, research providers. But, year after year, it seems that we are still around and are proud to be called ‘researchers’. In the span of the past 15 years, however, a lot has changed. Online research now leads the way. It is said to have transformed the research industry. Has it really? Yes, in some ways, as other processes at play have, such as consolidation and internationalisation. The result is a more concentrated market, with fewer players, especially fewer small players. (A lot of smaller MR shops have closed down.) And even with our new players that provide samples, technology and even full service, we can still only refer to a market that is growing by a tiny percentage each year.