The current data for 2007 from the Esomar "Global Market Research 2008” industry report shows that the market research sector demonstrated its dynamic upward trend again in that year. Sales were up year-on-year by 3.9%.
In principle, it is to be assumed that the demand for information on consumers and related interpretation and advisory services will remain strong in the future. However, in difficult economic times, other issues, and therefore other areas of research, come to the fore. For example, since the dramatic rise in commodity prices, an increasing number of studies have been carried out in the food sector to determine the optimum selling price. Market research enables clients to respond optimally to changes in market conditions.
In addition, it is to be assumed that there will be an above-average increase in market research budgets in countries with a booming economy. For example, market research budgets have seen large increases in the regions Rest of Europe, EU accession countries and Middle East/Africa.
With market research sales of USD 270 million, Russia is the biggest and most important market in the Rest of Europe region and adjusted for inflation, budgets are up by 10.7%. The fastest growth was again achieved in Turkey with 22.0%, whereby at USD 132 million, sales in the country are half those of Russia.
Of the EU accession countries, Poland has the largest market research market with USD 209 million. Growth in the market amounted to 8.8%.The most attractive market in the Middle East/Africa region is South Africa, with sales of USD 208 million and growth of 25.2%.
However, Asia is still the region driving global growth. Japan is the undisputed leader at USD 1,518 million, followed by the People’s Republic of China at USD 712 million and Australia at USD 623 million.
Of the top 10 countries accounting for almost 78% of sector sales, China’s market has the strongest sales growth.
Despite fast growth in market research in China, it should be noted that rate of expansion equates to one and a half percent of the US market. The USA is the main sales market for the industry, followed by the UK, Germany and France. Together these account for around 60% of global market research sales.
From a global perspective, the growth drivers differ between the developed regions in uncertain economic times and in emerging countries, particularly China. While the need for explanations for consumer behavior and maintaining market position is becoming increasingly important in Western industrialized nations where there is fierce competition, for producers in emerging countries, the spotlight is on developing new markets. In both cases, the information delivered by market research is often indispensible.
To meet these requirements better, there were more mergers and acquisitions again in 2007. As a result of this process of concentration, the top 10 market research companies now account for 55% of total sector sales. In its "Global Market Research 2008” report, Esomar expects the process of consolidation to continue among the 25 biggest market research organizations and online market research providers.
With its global full service network, the GfK Group is a leading global market research organization. In 2007, the GfK Group ranked fourth out of the top 10 companies in the market research sector and also maintained this position in 2008.