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Research Industry Trends2009 Final Report

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Research Industry Trend Report

Research Industry Trend Report

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  • 1. RESEARCH INDUSTRY TRENDS 2009 Atlanta • Beijing • Dallas • Denver • Los Angeles • New York 866.545.3216 • rockhopperresearch.com
  • 2. TABLE OF CONTENTS I. INTRODUCTION AND METHODOLOGY ........................................ 4 II. WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW (KEY FINDINGS) ..................... 5 III. 2009 RESEARCH INDUSTRY DASHBOARD ..................................... 8 IV. DETAILED FINDINGS ............................................................. 9 A. CURRENT MIX OF PROVIDER SERVICES.................................... 9 1. QUANTITATIVE METHODS............................................ 9 2. QUALITATIVE METHODS ............................................ 10 B. FROM SLOW GROWTH TOWARD NO GROWTH ......................... 11 1. OVERALL REVENUES AND BUDGETS ............................... 11 2. RESPONDENT USE OF QUANTITATIVE METHODOLOGIES....... 12 3. RESPONDENT USE OF QUALITATIVE METHODOLOGIES......... 13 C. METHODS: COMPLICATED CHOICES ..................................... 14 1. SELECTION CRITERIA ................................................ 14 2. ISSUES IN DECIDING WHAT METHODOLOGY TO USE ........... 15 3. HYBRIDS ............................................................... 16 4. ON TO NEXT YEAR: THE FUTURE OF METHODOLOGIES........ 17 D. OUTSOURCING .............................................................. 19 1. QUANTITATIVE OUTSOURCING: NO GROWTH SINCE 2008 .... 19 2. QUANTITATIVE TASKS OUTSOURCED ............................. 19 3. QUALITATIVE TASKS OUTSOURCED ............................... 20 4. INTERNATIONAL ...................................................... 21 E. MISSION CRITICAL ISSUES ................................................. 23 1. ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY .......................................... 23 2. OVERALL ISSUES FACING THE INDUSTRY ......................... 24 F. USE OF ONLINE ENHANCED LISTINGS OR ADVERTISING.............. 26 Research Industry Trends 2009 2
  • 3. G. RESPONDENT PROFILE .................................................... 28 1. TYPE OF COMPANY – Q1 ............................................ 28 2. YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AS A RESEARCHER – Q60 ............... 28 3. ANNUAL REVENUE – Q67 ............................................ 29 4. GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENT OFFICES - Q65 29 5. RESPONDENT REGIONAL BREAKOUT .............................. 30 6. RESPONDENT’S POSITION IN ORGANIZATION - Q63 ............ 31 7. MEMBERSHIPS IN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS – Q66 ...... 31 Research Industry Trends 2009 3
  • 4. I. INTRODUCTION AND METHODOLOGY Since 2003, Rockhopper Research has collaborated with select industry partners to produce the annual Research Industry Trends (RIT) report. Initially focused on data collection issues, the scope of RIT has expanded to include directions in outsourcing, advances in technology, and inter-relationships among research providers/providers and clients/buyers. Along with Rockhopper, co-sponsors for RIT 2009 were Market Research Global Alliance (MRGA), Pioneer Marketing Research, the GreenBook Marketing Research Directory, Qualitative Insights, and Greenfield Online. RIT 2009 was fielded in August 2009. A brief e-mail invitation was sent to just under 12,000 individuals, randomly selected from co-sponsors’ internal lists of research providers and clients. As an incentive for participation, respondents were offered a complimentary copy of the 2009 edition of the GreenBook Marketing Research Directory. From this invitation, a total of 512 usable responses were included in our analysis. The 2003-2009 respondent mix is displayed below. Respondent Category 2009 2008 2007 2006 2005 2004 2003 Full-service providers 42.6% 46.1% 42.9% 43.3% 49.7% 43.7% 36.0% Research consultant 25.6% 23.9% 21.0% 14.5% 13.1% 11.9% 13.7% Research client/purchaser in an 10.9% 9.9% 10.9% 11.7% 8.9% 17.9% 21.8% enterprise Quantitative provider/ 8.0% 6.7% 7.1% 10.3% 11.9% 1.5% 3.7% Data collection & tab Qualitative research provider 5.7% 6.0% 7.7% 9.8% 5.7% 3.7% 2.1% Advertising agency 3.7% 3.2% 3.3 3.3% 4.2% 4.2% 4.9% Academic/non-profit/medical 3.5% 4.2% 7.1% 7.0% 6.5% 7.1% 17.9% researcher Q1 - BASE: Total Respondents (512) (284) (366) (600) (336) (720) (431) To stay abreast of the most current issues facing the market research industry, we continue to modify the online quantitative survey instrument. Thus, year-to-year trends are not available for every question. Where possible, trend data are shown. As is true with all self- administered survey instruments, not all participants answered every question. Consequently, the base per question may change. The expected margin of error for the total of 512 responses is  3.47% at the 95% confidence level. For consistency in analysis, all rating questions are scaled to indicate “the higher the number, the more positive the result.” For more information regarding the Research Industry Trends 2009, please contact: Leonard F. Murphy, CEO - Rockhopper Research, Inc. Office: 770-985-4904 Cell: 678-232-7691 Skype:lennymurphyrhr lmurphy@rockhopperresearch.com Research Industry Trends 2009 4
  • 5. II. WHAT YOU REALLY NEED TO KNOW (KEY F INDINGS) The impact of a severe economic downturn is of course the big story for 2009, but a trend more significant for the future of the industry is the shift from traditional data collection modes to social media and mobile communications. Rather than reaching “homes” through telephone and surface mail, researchers are increasingly trying to reach individuals wherever they gather through their cells and social network sites.  The Big Story: It’s The Economy In the last quarter of 2008, when data was collected for RIT 2008, there was apprehension about the economy and a marked decline in confidence from RIT 2007. Researchers still, however, expected demand to increase during 2009. Providers were slightly more optimistic than clients, but two-thirds overall expected growth. In RIT 2008 there was some sentiment that the research industry might be “counter-cyclical” and at least somewhat insulated from the worst impact of a recession – on the theory that companies would use research to seize advantage in a more competitive environment. For RIT 2009, respondents had a very different attitude. A razor-thin majority of providers, with more confidence coming from those with some operations or data collection outside the US, expected growth for the overall year of 2009. US-only providers were negative, with only 42% expecting a growth year. Most striking of all, however, was the sharp (>50%) decline in client confidence. Only 31% of clients expected to see growth for the year as a whole. This has been a bad year.  Negative Revenue Growth for Most For RIT 2009 more than half (57%) of respondents reported at least some decline in revenue, and one-fourth experienced “significant” to “severe” impact on revenue. A happy 22% reported increased revenue.  Wounded, But (Very) Cautiously Optimistic Among the respondents who have experienced declining revenue, 27% are confident that they are in recovery or have already seen upturns in business and revenue. A further 44% think the worst is over, expect that they will see improvement before the end of 2009, but have not yet had any actual good news. Another 29% expect the current depressed business and revenue to continue through the end of the year or even to worsen (8%). The situation in the economy is fluid, and attitudes may have shifted since data was collected in August. At that time, however, the predominant outlook seemed to be hope resting on a foundation of uncertainty.  Professional and Industry Challenges: Less Respect Pressure on prices and budgets resulting from the recession are a serious matter for over 85% of all respondents participating. It is not the only serious issue, however. Large majorities agree that: Research Industry Trends 2009 5
  • 6.  Research is becoming commoditized with clients less willing to pay for quality (73%)  Clients are demanding shorter timelines for projects and faster delivery of findings (70%)  Non-researcher management are conducting their own surveys on the internet (63%) Additionally, 45% see less demand for primary research because managers think they can learn anything they need from the web. And 44% have problems with RFPs from purchasing departments that seem to treat research consulting as if it was a flatcar of widgets. Taken together these issues point to a loss of respect for professional research. Research is seen as a commodity: an area that can be squeezed on price with no harm to the mission. Under severe economic constraints and without strong confidence in a rebound, researchers say they have made do with less (staff, time, revenue) and are stepping up to provide quality faster and cheaper than formerly. While it is hard to fault this response in a economic crisis, it can only validate client suspicions that they have been paying too much for research and that providers can make do with much less money. The key questions seem to be:  How long can a healthy industry operate on low margin with insufficient resources? The strain is already apparent as many shops have closed their doors since 2008.  What should be done to support a perception that research is a valuable resource that demands great expertise and experience and that investing in quality is smart business?  Online data collection continues to grow, with increasing emphasis on social media and mobile based studies. Past trends continue. Online, panel, mobile and (somewhat surprisingly) in-person intercepts are slated to grow at the expense of CATI, Mail, and IVR. Over half of all respondents expect an increase in their use of online surveys, with growth projected in all of the following areas:  Online communities  Online panels  Mobile/SMS  Blogs Rather than trying to reach everyone at home, researchers are taking studies to respondents where they gather and interact and are using new media. Landlines and carried mail are in decline. Research Industry Trends 2009 6
  • 7. Looking farther into the future, respondents see these trends continuing through 2010. Two-thirds see an increase in mobile phone surveys and within social media (“online communities”). One of the more interesting things to follow in the next few years will be the extent to which voice interviewing ports over to mobile and web surveys. While surface mail does seem to be losing traction rapidly, it is much too early to write off CATI. Qualitative researchers also expect more research using social media, an increase in blog monitoring, and a decline in text-chat online focus groups. The most growth is expected in hybrid approaches. The margin of change is narrower for traditional focus groups and traditional IDIs – both in person and by telephone. If any qualitative research modes decrease, it will most likely be one of those. Providers who can demonstrate stand-out expertise in fielding social media research seem extremely well positioned for 2010.  Outsourcing: holding steady or diminishing. In contrast to all past years, respondents do not report an increase in outsourcing for 2009. Three quarters expect the same level as in 2008, and more expect outsourcing to diminish (15%) than expect it to increase (10%). It seems possible that providers under severe price pressure may be bringing everything they can in-house to save money and increase control over timing and quality. Research Industry Trends 2009 7
  • 8. III. 2009 RESEARCH INDUSTRY DASHBOARD On the following page you will find a Flash-based dashboard giving you the opportunity to visualize some of the key data yielded by the 2009 survey. In order to view the dashboard and interact, you should download the latest version of the free Flash Player. It is available for easy download and installation from http://www.adobe.com. Research Industry Trends 2009 8
  • 9. IV. DETAILED F INDINGS A. CURRENT MIX OF PROVIDER SERVICES When considering the quantitative/qualitative studies you’ve done or plan to do in 2009, which data collection methods have you used (or will you use)? Which of these quantitative/qualitative data collection methods have you used (or will you use) most often this year? 1. QUANTITATIVE METHODS Utilization of data collection methods for quantitative research did not differ markedly from RIT 2008. Web-based surveys continue to dominate. As in 2008, nearly nine-in-ten participants used online surveys this year. Also as last year, online surveys leads CATI by a 3:1 margin as the quantitative method used most often by RIT 2009 respondents. CATI and intercepts are still used by at least half of researchers polled. Reported use of mail surveys and CAPI declined by 5%, and there was a slight directional drop-off in reported use of mobile phone surveys, primarily among smaller providers who work entirely in the US market. Mobile/SMS data collection is more prominent among large research providers with more resources and among providers who conduct research partly or entirely outside the US. Use Most Total Usage* Often# Quantitative Methods Used 2009 2008 2009 2008 Online Surveys 87% 88% 56% 59% CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) 60% 63% 15% 22% Face- to –Face/Intercepts 48% 50% 11% 11% Mail 26% 31% 2% 3% CAPI (Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing) 23% 28% 3% 2% Mobile Phone Surveys 15% 17% ---- 1% IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Surveys 11% 11% ---- ---- Mixed Mode (2 or more methods in combination) ---- ---- 10% ---- Other 5% 8% 4% ---- Q13 & Q14 - BASE: Respondents Answering 463 253 463 248 *Multiple Responses #Single Response Research Industry Trends 2009 9
  • 10. 2. QUALITATIVE METHODS Traditional qualitative research modes still dominate, but changes are consistent with a need to reduce costs in the economic downturn and the increasing acceptance of electronic solutions. Focus group usage remains at the 86% level reported by RIT 2008 respondents, but fewer say focus groups are their primary qualitative research method. In person IDIs are still in use by roughly two-thirds of research organizations, but usage is declining while the number of researchers using less expensive telephone IDIs is climbing. More respondents than in 2008 say their primary research methods are in-person and telephone IDIs. Also on the rise are bulletin board studies, qualitative using online communities and blogs, online groups with video, and online IDIs with video. Use Most Total Usage* Often# Qualitative Methods Used in 2009 2009 2008 2009 2008 Traditional In-Person Focus Groups 86% 86% 53% 59% In person IDIs 64% 67% 14% 11% Telephone IDIs without Internet 50% 44% 11% 9% Ethnography 39% 40% 2% 1% In-Store/Shopping Observations 32% ---- 2% ---- Bulletin Board Studies 29% 23% 4% 2% Interviews/Groups Using Online Communities 25% 20% 4% 2% Chat (text)-based Online Focus Groups 24% 31% 2% 3% Monitoring Blogs 22% 16% 2% 2% Video-based Online Focus Groups 15% 12% 1% 2% Telephone Focus Groups without Internet 14% 18% 2% 1% Chat (text) or IM Online IDIs 9% 9% 1% 1% Video-based Online IDIs 7% 5% ---- ---- Other 8% 10% 3% ---- Q20 & Q21 - BASE: Respondents Answering 410 209 410 203 *Multiple Responses #Single Response Research Industry Trends 2009 10
  • 11. B. FROM SLOW GROWTH TOWARD NO GROWTH 1. OVERALL REVENUES AND BUDGETS Do you anticipate that your spending on [revenue from] research will increase in 2009 compared to 2008? When data was collected for RIT 2008 in the latter half of the year, we did not see the overwhelming optimism of RIT 2007, but a solid majority still expected growth in demand for research services in 2009. Anecdotally, there was some expectation that the research industry might be “counter-cyclical” and would escape the worst effects of the serious economic downturn that seemed more and more likely. Overall, providers expecting growth diminished from 66% to 50%: a striking enough drop of 16%. Among clients, however, optimism fell off a cliff – diminishing from 63% expecting growth in spending to only 31% in RIT 2009 for a decline of 32%. Providers who derive all of their revenue from researching the US market were less optimistic than those who do some or all of their work outside the US. Expect Research Demand to Increase - Q5 85% 82% 79% 79% 76% 66% 68% 66% 63% 64% 53% 50% 47% 42% 31% Total Providers Clients US-only Providers Int'l Providers 2009 2008 2007 Research Industry Trends 2009 11
  • 12. 2. RESPONDENT USE OF QUANTITATIVE METHODOLOGIES Please indicate the usage you anticipate for your business in 2009 compared to 2008 for each of the following quantitative research methods Top 2 boxes: “Will use somewhat more/Will use much more” than in 2008 Bottom 2 boxes: “Will use somewhat less/Will use much less” than in 2008 When asked directly to compare their expected use of various quantitative research techniques in 2009 to their actual use in 2008, respondents overwhelmingly see increases in all aspects of online and wireless data collection. They also project a continuing retreat from CATI and Mail. Researchers expect to take research to pools of online respondents, whether through panels, social media, blogs, or mobiles. The trend clearly is away from land lines and mail toward wireless, online, and social media. Quant Data Collection Modes: Difference 2009 vs. 2008* - Q45 Online Surveys 52% 6% Surveys within Online Communities 38% 6% Using panels for sample (net) 36% 8% Hybrids 33% 8% Proprietary Panels 29% 6% Access Panels 27% 12% Mobile/SMS 23% More Than 2008 3% Surveys On Blogs 23% Less Than 2008 6% Face to Face / Intercept 21% 15% CATI 15% 22% Surveys in Virtual… 14% 6% CAPI 13% 12% IVR Surveys 8% 11% Mail Surveys 6% 20% *Top/Bottom 2 box, 5-point scale Research Industry Trends 2009 12
  • 13. 3. RESPONDENT USE OF QUALITATIVE METHODOLOGIES Please indicate the usage you anticipate for your business in 2009 compared to 2008 for each of the following qualitative research methods. Top 2 boxes: “Will use somewhat more/Will use much more” than in 2008 Bottom 2 boxes: “Will use somewhat less/Will use much less” than in 2008 As in 2008, hybrid qualitative research techniques are set to increase among the largest percentage of respondents. Other qualitative growth areas are online communities, recruiting through panels, ethnography, online text exchanges, and monitoring blogs. Respondents were most likely to forecast a retreat from traditional focus groups, in-person IDIs, and telephone groups or IDIs. Qualitative Collection Modes: Difference 2009 vs. 2008* - Q47 Hybrids (Use 2 or More Qualitative) 38% 6% Interviews/Groups Using Online Communities 33% 6% Using Panels For Sample 33% 7% Ethnography 26% 7% Text-Chat Online Focus Groups 25% 7% Bulletin Board Studies 25% 7% Interviews or Monitoring Blogs 24% 5% More Than 2008 23% Less Than 2008 Traditional Focus Groups 13% In Person IDIs 21% 11% Video Based Online Focus Groups 21% 7% Telephone IDIs 19% 10% Text-Chat Online IDIs 16% 7% Video Based Online IDIs 15% 5% Telephone Focus Groups 11% 10% * Top/Bottom 2 box, 5-point scale Research Industry Trends 2009 13
  • 14. C. METHODS: COMPLICATED CHOICES 1. SELECTION CRITERIA How important is each of these factors to your organization when choosing which data collection method to use? Top 2 boxes: “Somewhat important/Extremely important” Providers and clients have a very similar hierarchy of selection criteria when deciding on a data collection methodology. As in RIT 2008, key decision factors for both were effectiveness, control of quality, timeliness of results, and cost. More clients than providers were concerned about data security and novelty (“new and different”), while providers were more likely to cite client demands, familiarity, simplicity of use, and a core competency (main method used). Percent Rating Each Factor Important - Top 2 Box - Q16 & Q17 Effectiveness 91% 92% Control of Quality 88% 91% Timeliness of results 85% 82% Cost 83% 88% Client or Managers 72% understanding of method 73% Client demands or Supplier 69% requests method 29% Data Security 68% 76% Familiarity with technique 55% 40% Main offering or Method used 48% 32% Simplicity of use or Not 46% complicated 29% Something new and different 28% 36% Providers Buyers Research Industry Trends 2009 14
  • 15. 2. ISSUES IN DECIDING WHAT METHODOLOGY TO USE What one issue has had the greatest impact on any changes you’ve made in how you collect data in 2009? As in RIT 2008, respondents cite client budgetary constraints as the issue which will have the greatest impact on data collection methods during the coming year. Not unrelated, the second most frequently cited change agent is the economic slowdown. Taken together with layoffs, economic/budget considerations were the primary factor for over half (52%) of researchers responding. Declining response rates are still a major factor for 10%, down slightly from 2008. Apart from the dominance of economic issues, the two most striking shifts from 2008 are in Sample Quality and Mobile use. In 2008, quality of sample was the main driver for 16%. For RIT 2009 that figure is down to 10%. Increased use of mobile communications was a major factor for only 1% in 2008, up to 5% this year. Issue With the Greatest Impact on How Data Collected 2009 2008 See or anticipate changes in data collection (Net) 82% 81% Client budgetary constraints 31% 25% The economy, business slowdown 17% --- Declining response rates 10% 12% Quality of Sample 9% 16% Client demands for innovation 6% 4% Increased use of mobile communications 5% 1% Speed of completion 5% 6% Reduced staffing or layoffs 4% Availability of international sample 3% --- Higher salaries/wages/costs 2% 4% Availability of US sample 2% 1% Bias issues (e.g., representativeness) 2% 4% Higher CPIs for sample 1% 4% Other 1% 3% Don’t see or anticipate changes in 2009 data collection 18% 19% Q43. Base - Total Respondents 512 284 What steps is your organization taking to address these issues? Please choose from the following list. RIT 2009 Researchers are responding in 2009 in patterns similar to 2008, but in greater numbers. Almost half (49%) of RIT 2009 respondents are exploring new methodologies and technologies while stretching their resources. One third report reducing prices or demanding price reductions from suppliers. Longer hours with less staff, asking for sacrifices from Research Industry Trends 2009 15
  • 16. employees and vendors, and negotiating more favorable pricing or performance from vendors are all part of the business picture for many researchers in 2009. Steps to Address Data Collection Issues* 2009 2008 Exploring new methodologies 49% 45% Doing more with same resources 49% 40% Exploring new technologies 49% 38% Spending/Charging less for the same services 32% --- Exploring new sample resources 32% 31% Actively looking for better sample providers 30% 38% Close partnering with quality access panels 29% 29% Working longer hours with less staff 27% --- Negotiating discounts or shorter timelines with vendors 26% 18% Recommending higher respondent incentives 18% 20% Asking for sacrifices from vendors 18% --- Asking for sacrifices from employees 17% --- Using more sample provided by clients 13% 17% More diligent validation 12% 21% Other 5% 9% Q44. Base - Anticipate changes (*multiple responses) 420 231 3. HYBRIDS Researchers use different definitions for hybrid or mixed mode studies. What proportion of your hybrid or mixed mode projects will utilize each of the following approaches? For more than one third of RIT 2009 respondents, the use of hybrid methodologies means the traditional approach of conducting focus groups or IDIs before or after a survey. Research Industry Trends 2009 16
  • 17. The only striking difference from RIT 2008 is the increased use of hybrid platforms such as Invoke or iTracks. Type of Hybrid Quant/Qual Approach 2009 2008 Focus groups or IDIs before or after a survey 35% 32% Quantitative tabulation of qualitative data 17% 17% Hybrid sessions using Invoke or similar online qual/quant 14% 8% Quantitative data gathered during IDIs 13% 10% Polls taken during focus groups 8% 8% Quantitative probing via IM chat during online quant survey 5% 4% Other methods 8% 6% Q29. Base – Use Hybrid Methodologies 316 213 4. ON TO NEXT YEAR: THE FUTURE OF METHODOLOGIES Please indicate the usage you anticipate for your business in 2010 compared to 2009 for each of the following quantitative/qualitative research methods… (Q46 & Q48) Responses overwhelmingly foresee continued growth in Mobile Phone Surveys, general Online surveys, surveys within online communities and on blogs, and proprietary panels. The emphasis is on reaching out to respondents where they gather and building relationships with respondents that encourage participation in the research process. Quantitative Method Increase No Change Decrease Mobile Phone Surveys 66% 29% 5% Online surveys 63% 34% 3% Surveys Within Online Communities 63% 33% 5% Surveys On Blogs 54% 40% 6% Using panels (all kinds) for sample 52% 44% 4% Using proprietary (your own) panels for sample 51% 42% 7% Using access (external, for hire) panels for sample 37% 51% 12% Hybrids (two or more quant techniques in same study 51% 43% 6% Surveys in virtual communities (e.g., Second Life) 41% 47% 12% CAPI (Computer-Assisted Personal Interviewing) 28% 52% 20% Face- to -Face or Intercepts 27% 51% 22% IVR (Interactive Voice Response) Surveys 26% 53% 21% CATI (Computer-Assisted Telephone Interviewing) 20% 52% 28% Mail Surveys 14% 53% 34% Q46 - Base – Respondents Answering Research Industry Trends 2009 17
  • 18. In qualitative research, RIT 2009 respondents expect a continuing climb in research using online communities, blogs, and bulletin boards. They also expect to do more hybrid research. Text chat groups are slated for increased use next year by almost half. Fewer expect an increase in traditional groups or IDIs. In line with expectations for the balance of 2009, leading candidates for usage decline are traditional groups and IDIs, as well as telephone focus groups. Qualitative Method Increase No Change Decrease Interviews/Groups Using Online Communities 58% 33% 8% Hybrids (Use 2+ qualitative methods in one study) 55% 41% 4% Interviews or Monitoring Blogs 53% 40% 7% Bulletin Board Studies 52% 37% 10% Using panels (all kinds) for sample 51% 44% 6% Chat (text)-based Online Focus Groups 49% 42% 9% Ethnography 47% 47% 6% Video-based Online Focus Groups 43% 49% 8% Video-Based Online IDIs 38% 52% 10% Telephone IDIs 36% 51% 13% Chat (text) or IM Online IDIs 35% 54% 11% Traditional In-Person Focus Groups 33% 49% 18% In person IDIs 33% 51% 16% Telephone Focus Groups 24% 57% 19% Q48 - Base – Respondents Answering Research Industry Trends 2009 18
  • 19. D. OUTSOURCING 1. QUANTITATIVE OUTSOURCING: NO GROWTH SINCE 2008 Comparing 2009 to last year, do you expect to outsource a higher percentage of your quantitative research work, about the same percentage, or a lower percentage than you did in 2008? An overwhelming majority expect no change in the percentage of their quantitative work they outsource. Respondents who do expect a change are somewhat more likely to see a reduction than an increase. Expected Outsourcing vs. 2008 75% 15% 10% Lower percentage of About the same percentage as Higher percentage of outsourcing than 2008 2008 outsourcing than 2008 2. QUANTITATIVE TASKS OUTSOURCED What aspects of your quantitative research studies do you outsource more often than not? Researchers are outsourcing the same tasks in roughly the same proportions as in 2008. Field and tab functions lead the list. The two largest changes from 2008 were increased outsourcing of online survey hosting and programming. Research Industry Trends 2009 19
  • 20. Quantitative Research Tasks Outsourced CATI 56% 55% Internet survey hosting 53% 47% Online survey 50% programming 46% Data tabulation 46% 43% Coding 40% 39% Entire field/tab function 34% 33% Face-to-Face or Intercepts 26% 28% Mail survey fulfillment 19% 20% CAPI 17% 17% 15% 2009 Hybrids 15% 2008 Analysis 14% 11% Chart or slide production 13% 10% Report writing 11% 8% Questionnaire 9% development 10% IVR 9% 9% Other method 6% 4% 3. QUALITATIVE TASKS OUTSOURCED When you outsource different aspects of a qualitative study, which of the following are you likely to consider outsourcing? The outsourcing of qualitative research tasks among RIT 2009 respondents followed a very familiar industry pattern. The qualitative research functions outsourced most often were recruiting for focus groups and facilities for groups and interviews. RIT 2009 respondents are more likely than RIT 2008 respondents to outsource video reports, moderating bulletin board and online groups. Since the base is all respondents who Research Industry Trends 2009 20
  • 21. outsource any aspect of their qualitative research, it seems likely the increases merely reflect increased use of the techniques and services. Qualitative Research Tasks Outsourced - Q41 Recruiting for Groups or Interviews 82% 85% Facilities for Groups or Interviews 80% 77% Supervising Field Work / Recruiting Process 47% 48% Moderating Traditional Focus Groups 47% 43% Video Recording 45% 42% Interviewing for IDIs 32% 27% Report Writing 26% 22% Discussion/Interview Guide Development 22% 21% Ethnography Studies 22% 2009 20% 2008 Video Reports & Presentations 19% 10% Moderating Chat-Based Online Focus Groups 18% 10% Moderating Bulletin Board Studies 18% 7% Chart or Slide Production 15% 11% Moderating Video-based Online Focus… 14% 7% Moderating & Monitoring Online… 14% 10% Moderating/Monitoring Blogs 11% 5% Other 6% 6% 4. INTERNATIONAL Please indicate the activity you expect in 2009 by comparison to 2008 in your collection of research data from respondents in each of the following markets. Top 2 boxes: “Somewhat more/Much more” than in 2008 Bottom 2 boxes: “Somewhat less/Much less” than in 2008 The fact that RIT 2009 had a respondent mix with a large percentage of non-US residents and non-US organizations may partially account for the dramatic differences between this year’s data and last year’s. It may also be true that the center of business gravity has shifted toward the East. Research Industry Trends 2009 21
  • 22. In RIT 2008, respondents expected that their strongest growth markets would be Western and Eastern Europe. China and India followed. For 2009, however, expectations for growth in India and China far outstrip growth expectations for the US and Western Europe, which has fallen from 1 st to 6th place. Growth Expectations for Global Markets - Top 2 Box - Q35 South Asia/India 57% China 57% Other SE Asia or Pacific Rim 49% Eastern Europe including Russia 43% United States 40% Western Europe 39% Other Latin America or Caribbean 38% North Africa and Middle East 37% UK or Ireland 36% Mexico 33% Canada 30% Central and Southern Africa 28% Australia or New Zealand 24% Research Industry Trends 2009 22
  • 23. E. MISSION CRITICAL ISSUES 1. ECONOMIC UNCERTAINTY When data collection was completed for RIT 2008, two-thirds of respondents were optimistic that the economic “turbulence” (as we described it) might leave the research industry unscathed or could even bring in new business as companies sought more effective marketing strategies. Things did not work out as they hoped.  Impact on Organization’s 2009 Revenues Please check the statement that best describes your organization’s situation. At the time of RIT 2008 data collection most respondents were not concerned about the immediate impact of the economic turbulence on their organizations’ revenues. Two-thirds indicated their revenues had increased or were unchanged since the collapse of Lehman Brothers. And, only 20% said the economic turbulence was the direct cause of projects being scaled down or canceled. For RIT 2009, however, more than half of the responding researchers reported declining revenue since the collapse of Lehman Brothers in the Fall of 2008. One fourth reported significant or severe revenue challenges, and we would expect under-reporting on such an issue. Recession’s Impact on 2009 Revenue Stable or Increased Revenue (Net) 43% If anything, our revenue/spending has increased since Autumn 2008 22% Our revenue/spending is relatively unchanged since Autumn 2008 21% Falling Revenue (Net) 57% We have seen some reduced spending or down-scaled projects since Autumn 2008 31% We have seen significant falling off in revenue since Autumn 2008 15% Negative impact of the economy since Autumn 2008 has been severe and 11% has caused major adjustments Q6 - BASE – Total Respondents 512 Research Industry Trends 2009 23
  • 24.  Heavily Qualified and Guarded Optimism for 2010 Please select the statement that best describes your expectations. When RIT 2009 data was being collected, 70% of respondents expected some degree of recovery to begin soon or were already seeing an uptick in business and revenue. Only 6%, however, said they had been pleasantly surprised by a stronger recovery than expected. The predominant attitude was a highly cautious optimism that at least the worst was over. A little less than half of respondents expected recovery but had not experienced any. Projected Effect of Economic Turbulence On 2009 Revenues % We expect a further decline in levels of research revenue/spending in 8% the coming months. We expect current depressed levels of research revenue/spending to 21% continue for some time to come. We believe that we may see increasing volume and research revenue/spending later in the year, but we have not yet seen 44% improvement We believe that the worst is over for our business and expect 21% increasing volume and research revenue/spending We are already experiencing stronger research revenue/spending recently and are more optimistic about the future than we expected to 6% be. Q7 - BASE – Total Respondents 284 2. OVERALL ISSUES FACING THE INDUSTRY Please indicate whether you are aware of the following as an issue and what impact it has had on your job. Top 2 boxes: “A little problematic/A major problem” Bottom 2 boxes: “Not much of a problem/ Not a problem at all” A similar question was asked in RIT 2008, but only a single response was allowed and direct comparisons are not possible. Economic pressures topped the list as expected, but other challenges seem to be pervasive as well. Commoditization of research, pressures to be faster in delivering results, and overly long surveys were all validated as issues by more than two-thirds of the researchers in the study. Research Industry Trends 2009 24
  • 25. The next tier of issues touched on diminishing respect for the research function among managers who feel they can do their own research on the internet and continued concerns about professional respondents. Top 2 Issues for 2009 Box* Price or budget pressure from current economic conditions 86% Research treated as a commodity, with less willingness to pay for high quality 73% Demands from clients for shorter timelines and faster delivery of findings 70% Surveys that are too long 68% Non-research managers doing their own surveys on the internet 63% Concerns about proliferation of professional respondents 53% Reduction in demand for primary research because non-research managers 45% learn what they need from the web RFPs generated by purchasing managers with criteria more appropriate for hard goods than for research 44% Difficulty in obtaining sufficient sample from access panels 43% Price pressure because of competition with off-shore research providers 42% Difficulty in finding well-qualified staff 40% Demands for more visually arresting reports 31% Less demand for consulting on research projects, more interest in data 27% collection than in analysis Having to devote more time to training new employees than in the past 23% Research reports seem to have more mistakes than they used to 21% Q49 - Base – Total Respondents (*multiple responses) 512 Research Industry Trends 2009 25
  • 26. F. USE OF ONLINE ENHANCED LISTINGS OR ADVERTISING (Buyer) Which online sources have you ever used to locate research providers? (Supplier) On which online sources have you ever paid for advertising or enhanced listings? (Buyer) Which of these have you used or think you will use in 2009 to locate research providers? (Supplier) On which of these do you plan advertising or enhanced listings for 2009? Usage in general was slightly down overall from 2008, but usage of individual resources was up. A possible explanation is that while fewer buyers are using online sources due to cut research budgets and other factors, those who do use them are using multiple sources more often in an attempt to get the best price possible. Similarly, a smaller percentage than in 2008 plan to use enhanced listings, but projected usage of individual resources was up over 2008. This suggests slightly fewer but much more engaged advertisers and browsers who plan to advertise in a larger number of outlets this year to spread their marketing exposure. As in RIT 2008, Quirks.com and Greenbook.org (New York AMA GreenBook) topped the lists for current and projected advertising and usage. Online Sources Used to Locate Providers 2009 2008 Used Online Sources (Net) 44% 48% Quirks.com 31% 25% GreenBook.org (NY AMA GreenBook) 23% 18% MRA-net.org (Bluebook) 18% 12% Marketingpower.com (AMA M-Guide) 14% 9% Researchinfo.com 4% 3% Worldopinion.com 4% 1% AAPOR.com 3% 4% Other 8% 8% Have Not Used Online sources (Net) 56% 52% Q52 - Base – Total Respondents 512 284 Research Industry Trends 2009 26
  • 27. Use of Enhanced Listings/Advertising Online 2009 2008 Plan On Using Enhanced Listings/Ads (Net) 81% 87% Quirks.com 58% 23% GreenBook.org (NY AMA GreenBook) 52% 22% MRA-net.org (Bluebook) 36% 15% Marketingpower.com (AMA M-Guide) 32% 11% Researchinfo.com 8% 2% AAPOR.com 7% 4% Worldopinion.com 4% 1% ESOMAR 4% --- QRCA 3% --- Vue 1% --- Other 6% 10% Do Not Plan On Using Enhanced Listings/Ads (Net) 19% 13% Q53 - Base: Used Online Sources Research Industry Trends 2009 27
  • 28. G. RESPONDENT PROFILE 1. TYPE OF COMPANY – Q1 4% 4% 6% Full-service providers 8% Research consultant 43% Research client/purchaser in an enterprise 11% Quantitative provider/Data collection & tab Qualitative research provider 26% Academic/non-profit/medical researcher Advertising agency 2. YEARS OF EXPERIENCE AS A RESEARCHER – Q60 5% 3% 5% 11% 1 - 2 years 3 - 5 years 14% 6 - 10 years 16% 11 - 15 years 16 - 20 years 14% 21 - 25 years 26 - 30 years 15% 31 -35 years 17% More than 35 years Average = 18.0 years Research Industry Trends 2009 28
  • 29. 3. ANNUAL REVENUE – Q67 Less than $100,000 13% $100,000 - $249,999 10% $250,000 - $449,999 10% $450,000 - $749,999 6% $750,000 - $999,999 6% $1,000,000 - $1,999,999 11% $2,000,000 - $2,999,999 7% $3,000,000 - $3,999,999 5% $4,000,000 - $4,999,999 4% $5,000,000 - $7,499,999 5% $7,500,000 - $9,999,999 4% $10,000,000 - $14,999,999 5% $15,000,000 or more 16% 4. GEOGRAPHIC DISTRIBUTION OF RESPONDENT OFFICES - Q65 In which of the following regions do you currently have an office? RIT 2009 respondents are much more representative of the global research community than in previous RIT studies. Office Locations % United States 80% UK/Ireland 24% Western Europe 21% South Asia/India 20% Canada 19% China 17% Other Latin America/Caribbean 15% Other SE Asia/Pacific Rim 13% Eastern Europe/Russia 13% Australia/New Zealand 12% Mexico 12% North Africa/Middle East 10% Central/Southern Africa 8% Research Industry Trends 2009 29
  • 30. 5. RESPONDENT REGIONAL BREAKOUT Respondents participated from locations all over the world. While the US and Canada continue to dominate the sample, the global spread of RIT 2009 contributors is evolving to better represent the globalizing nature of the market research business. 1.80% 10.50% 2.00% USA/Canada 2.70% Western Europe 6.10% Asia Pacific South America 7.60% Eastern Europe 69.30% Africa/Middle East Answer Withheld Research Industry Trends 2009 30
  • 31. 6. RESPONDENT’S POSITION IN ORGANIZATION - Q63 2% 1% 8% Owner or sole proprietor 6% 27% Research Director Partner or part owner 7% Project Manager Department Head 8% General Manager Principal 16% Research Assistant 10% Professor/Instructor Other 15% 7. MEMBERSHIPS IN PROFESSIONAL ORGANIZATIONS – Q66 Membership Status % Belong to Professional Marketing Research Organization (Net) 80% AMA (American Marketing Association) 45% MRA (Marketing Research Association) 38% ESOMAR (European Society for Opinion and Marketing Research 32% CASRO (Council of American Survey Research Organizations) 23% QRCA (Qualitative Research Consultants Association) 15% ARF (Advertising Research Foundation) 12% AAPOR (American Association for Public Opinion Research) 10% IMRO (Interactive Marketing Research Organization) 8% Other 20% Do Not Belong to Professional Marketing Research Organization 20% (Net) Base – Total Respondents 512 Research Industry Trends 2009 31