TRC Market Research Conducted a Survey of Market Research Users that Reveals Concerns about Benchmarking

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TRC, a marketing research company, conducted a study among market research professionals to learn about the usage of norms and benchmarks in market research. The study revealed that many researchers view benchmarks with skepticism, especially those who have worked in the research industry longer. TRC published a white paper, titled Survey of Researchers Reveals Concerns about Benchmarking, detailing the survey results and providing suggestions on what to be mindful of when making benchmarking comparisons. It provides practical advice on how to maximize the reliability of benchmarking efforts and how to address inconsistencies between primary data and external data.

Is 60% sat good? If other companies are at a 40% level, then absolutely. However, if the others are at 90%, not so much.

TRC Market Research (http://www.trchome.com ) announced today the results of a study conducted among market research professionals about the usage of norms and benchmarks. The study was conducted among 97 market research users involved in market research for their organization, 83 of them had a designated market research function. They represent various industries, with the highest concentrations in insurance, utilities, high tech, healthcare, and financial services.

Nearly all have used benchmarking data in their current job. Over half mentioned using this normative data to provide context to measure their own results. As one researcher put it,
"Is 60% sat good? If other companies are at a 40% level, then absolutely. However, if the others are at 90%, not so much." Some use these data to help set strategic goals, allocate resources or establish performance targets. Others to track changes or trends over time.

So norms serve a purpose but aren't necessarily trusted. The study revealed many researchers view benchmarks with skepticism. This is especially true among those who have worked in market research longer. Only over half of those who have been in the industry for at least 11 years are confident in making comparisons to external benchmarking data, a significantly lower number than those who have been in the industry for less than 11 years.

The white paper, titled Survey of Researchers Reveals Concerns about Benchmarking and authored by Jennifer Van de Meulebroecke and Michele Sims, details study results and offers suggestions on what to be mindful of when making benchmarking comparisons. It provides practical advice on how to maximize the reliability of benchmarking efforts and how to address inconsistencies between primary data and external data.

The white paper can be found at TRC White Paper Library along with many other market research white papers.

About TRC Market Research, a consultative custom market research firm
TRC Market Research is a full-service custom market research company dedicated to answering business questions. This market research firm specializes in satisfaction and loyalty research, linking survey data to financials, tricky new product development efforts and segmentation.

Philadelphia-based TRC Market Research is affiliated with the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) and the American Marketing Association.

For more information, call (215.641.2225) Lenka Kolar, TRC's Director of Marketing.

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Lenka Kolar
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