Survey says: Market Research in the US Industry Market Research Report from IBISWorld has Been Updated

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During the recession, companies cut research, development and marketing budgets in order to reduce costs; however, as the economy continues to recover and corporate profit improves, the industry will continue to grow. For these reasons, industry research firm IBISWorld has updated a report on the Market Research industry in its growing industry report collection.

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Higher client research budgets and corporate profit will raise demand for market research

In the past five years, growth has been slow for the Market Research industry as many businesses changed their focus from growth to survival during the recession, subsequently cutting research, development and marketing budgets to reduce costs. “Because makers and sellers of consumer goods are major users of market research, reducing investment on developing new products was particularly detrimental to industry players,” IBISWorld industry analyst Austen Sherman says. Additionally, many businesses shifted their focus to retaining existing customers rather than acquiring new ones. These factors have hampered industry revenue growth, allowing for only a marginal average annualized increase of 1.6% to $19.9 billion in the five years to 2013. IBISWorld estimates revenue will grow 3.3% in 2013, bolstered by rising corporate profit and client research budgets.

Profit margins for the Market Research industry have risen from a five-year low in 2010 as demand has grown. Nevertheless, operating margins are still down in the five-year period as firms offered their services at discounted prices to retain clients. “As profit margins declined, some firms were forced to leave the industry, while larger companies acquired declining firms,” Sherman says. Major advertising agencies have increasingly acquired market research firms as they continue to pursue value-added services in complementary industries.

Overall, industry concentration has increased in the five years to 2013, and during this time, the number of firms operating in the industry is expected to increase. According to the Honomichl 50, an annual report conducted by the American Marketing Association, eight of the 50 largest market research firms in the United States made at least one acquisition in 2008. For example, WPP's Kantar Group merged with TNS to form the second-largest player in the industry in 2008. These acquisitions caused the number of market research firms to increase only marginally in the five years to 2013. Currently, the industry’s two major players include Nielsen Holdings NV and Kantar Group.

In the five years to 2018, changes in media consumption and increased usage of social media and mobile devices will revolutionize traditional ways of conducting market research. Industry players will need to adapt services to reflect this shift to better understand the complexity of consumers' purchasing behavior. Furthermore, major players will continue to expand internationally to offer valued-added services to a larger client base. As consumer spending and corporate profit increase, businesses will start investing in market research again, allowing industry players to increase prices for their services, promoting profit growth. Altogether, IBISWorld estimates these factors will provide a platform for an expected revenue increase in the five years to 2018. For more information, visit IBISWorld’s Market Research in the US industry report page.

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IBISWorld industry Report Key Topics

Firms in this industry systematically gather, record, tabulate and present marketing and public opinion data.
Industry Performance
Executive Summary
Key External Drivers
Current Performance
Industry Outlook
Industry Life Cycle
Products & Markets
Supply Chain
Products & Services
Major Markets
Globalization & Trade
Business Locations
Competitive Landscape
Market Share Concentration
Key Success Factors
Cost Structure Benchmarks
Barriers to Entry
Major Companies
Operating Conditions
Capital Intensity
Key Statistics
Industry Data
Annual Change
Key Ratios

About IBISWorld Inc.
Recognized as the nation’s most trusted independent source of industry and market research, IBISWorld offers a comprehensive database of unique information and analysis on every US industry. With an extensive online portfolio, valued for its depth and scope, the company equips clients with the insight necessary to make better business decisions. Headquartered in Los Angeles, IBISWorld serves a range of business, professional service and government organizations through more than 10 locations worldwide. For more information, visit or call 1-800-330-3772.

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Gavin Smith
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