Archive for the ‘Economic Recovery’ Category
Market research revenues in Germany fell by 5% last year, according to figures provided by 151 German agencies to industry publication Context – the total revenue of those taking part amounting to €2.08 billion.
According to Context, fewer agencies agreed to provide figures for 2009 than did for 2008, probably because of disappointing results. Of the agencies that did take part, 54% reported a fall in revenue and 17% saw a rise.
In spite of staff cuts at many agencies, the total number of permanent employees in the German market research industry was actually up overall – yet revenue per employee was down for the third year running.
Meanwhile, in the Czech Republic, market research revenues were estimated to be down 4% last year, according to industry association Simar. Based on preliminary figures from 22 research agencies in the country, 2009 total revenue was put at Kc2.2 billion (£73.2 million).
Brighter news for 2010, though, with predictions that the industry will return to 2008 levels (Kc2.3 billion or £76.6 million). Most agencies surveyed expect their revenues this year to be the same or higher than they were in 2009.
A new survey carried out by the Chartered Institute of Marketing (CIM) has found UK marketers to be ‘quietly confident’ about the UK economy and their companies’ prospects over the next year.
The survey of 1,200 marketers discovered that 51% of respondents think business will improve over the next 12 months; just 16% expect conditions to deteriorate.
In terms of the marketing activities felt to offer the greatest return on investment, CRM topped the pile with 21% of marketers feeling it delivers the best return. 12% opted for online advertising, 11% chose email marketing, and a further 11% felt public relations offered the greatest ROI. Advertising (excluding online) was considered to offer the least return on marketing investment.
36% of the respondents said that the economic downturn had created new business opportunities for their company – a figure which rises from 28% in the previous study six months ago.
All in all, sales performances and marketing spend appear to be on the up, with redundancies going down, all of which is positive news. However, a word of caution – there’s still a good way to go before the figures return to the levels of before the economic crisis began.
Hot on the heels of the ESOMAR Global Market Research report, the Market Research Society’s most recent survey of the profession reveals that the UK industry fared comparatively well in 2008. However, 2009 has brought its own challenges that may compromise industry growth this year.
In the face of a grim global economic outlook, total UK market research agency revenue grew by 6.2% in 2008 according to the MRS, as compared with global growth of just 4.5% (reported here). This was driven, in large part, by international growth with international revenues jumping by 12.5% compared to 2007.
In Marketing Magazine’s latest market research league table, B2B International’s performance has outstripped this industry average, with a 24% rise in year-on-year turnover seen in 2008.
In their analysis of the results, Marketing magazine point to 2009 being the year when the recession truly begins to bite for the market research industry. Curtailed client budgets, increased consolidation within the sector, rising research demands and downward cost pressure are all cited as key challenges that agencies must address if they are to truly weather the ongoing storm.
Client-side, anecdotal evidence appears to suggest that the most pressing need from research partners is data that can truly influence, rather than merely support, business decisions. At B2B International, we’d like to think that this overarching aim is central to our ethos – To deliver “market research with intelligence”.
To learn more about B2B International’s range of market research and consultancy services, please click here.
With so many people interested in the state of the economy, Alaric Fairbanks this week takes a look at some of the more unusual indicators which may tell us whether prospects are looking up.
Even – perhaps especially – here in Beijing, as elsewhere, not a day goes by without mention of the economy and how quickly it will recover or not. Supplementary to this are the business confidence or climate surveys and their subsequent reports of optimism and pessimism.
These are all very well, and may be a good source of column inches or publicity for a research company. This is all OK with me but, even if reflective of whatever business community or industry sector’s level of confidence, it is perhaps worth thinking about which sources of information are behind, say, agreement with a statement expecting an increase in profit, revenue, headcount, etc.
From examples I have seen, including, I confess, a climate survey we conducted, there is little attention paid to the sources of information upon which these feelings are based. When it does appear, it is usually a choice of ‘respectable’ sources, such as newspapers, journals, or official statistics. Less expected or rational influences are often overlooked and, even if included in the question set, a respondent may not admit to having been influenced by an alternative or informal source.
Of course, it would be great for our business if businesspeople took tailored market research as their main source of guidance for decisions and even opinions, but as this is not always the case, I was curious as to what observations people were making to inform their levels of confidence.
To this end we spoke informally to contacts in the Western business community about any indicators used to reflect on their business prospects. A common theme emerged around indicators being derived from the physical environment, especially through observation. A simple example of an informal indicator was counting or estimating the number of new building sites passed on the way to work – the more new sites, the stronger the economic prospects.
These conversations suggested that observations were aimed at levels of activity. They tended be a mixture of fairly Beijing-specific and the more general. Observed indicators from work and life in Beijing with a perceived positive correlation included:
And with a perceived negative correlation:
Interestingly, although not all of these are anecdotally based, they all appear to have some underlying rationale. It would be interesting, at least to me, to look into how effective these indicators really are… but things are fairly hectic here at the moment, what with projects, proposals, etc – another way of showing how things are going right now!