Archive for the ‘Market Research UK’ Category
While large companies and governments are stressing about the threat of recession, small companies just get on with it
Every day the news brings us more threats of a double dip, a currency crisis, a lending squeeze and another dose of economic pessimism. And where does all this bad news come from? It comes from big businesses. At the first hint of an economic squeeze, the large corporates cancel business travel, delay their push into new territories, and begin squeezing all the costs for what they’re worth. The government and the media pick up these loud noises and they feed them to us.
Small companies, those employing less than 50 people, account for over 99% of all businesses in any country. They are run by people who know their trade. Most of them have been in existence for more than 10 years compared to the job hoppers in large companies who switch positions like musical chairs. The owners of small businesses have seen the good times and bad times and they know how to deal with them.
At a micro level, boom times and recessions are irrelevant to the small business. Small businesses are chameleons and able to adjust quickly to change – positive or negative. Small businesses by their very nature are optimistic. No one would ever set up in business with a view to failure. This is not to say that the small business person is a risk taker. Once their business is up and running, the proprietor will look after it like a baby.
Small businesses rent properties, buy utilities, spend their money at local wholesalers, and require the services of lawyers and accountants. People selling to a small business do not need a purchase order number. The decision maker who writes the cheque is very often the person that picks up the phone. Things happen quickly and easily in small businesses.
Governments and large corporates do not understand small businesses. Their culture is completely different. Big businesses speak and sell to big customers and do not comprehend the culture and language of small businesses. They are missing a huge opportunity.
Understanding small businesses is the starting point of doing business with them. It is not enough to think about their trade and activity. Knowing whether a company supplies accounting services or makes X-ray machines is not particularly helpful. It is more useful to know if the company has plans for growth or cash flow problems, or if it is traditional or modern in its business methods. This type of segmentation will ensure that communications aimed at small businesses resonate.
If we want to do business with small companies, we have to understand them. We need to understand how they are different, what drives them, how they behave and most crucially what their needs are. Small companies are the Cinderella of the business world and if we can find a glass slipper that fits them, they make excellent partners.
Read more about this topic in our white paper, Small Businesses – An Anthropological Insight
The new ESOMAR global market research industry report for 2011 shows that the industry has now grown to US $31.2 billion in 2010.
This represents an overall growth of 5.2% and 2.8% after adjustment for inflation – a significant improvement on 2009 but in line with expectations of economic recovery.
Some of the key highlights of this report include:
For a more detailed look at the figures visit: http://www.esomar.org
ESOMAR recently published the results of its eighth annual Global Prices Study 2010, which evaluates the pricing of different types of market research around the world.
One of the interesting points highlighted by the study – which was conducted among 100 countries – was the huge variety, not only of prices, but also of research methodologies favoured or employed in different geographies. For example, online research is not available in every market; similarly, face-to-face interviewing is not conducted everywhere.
However, one of the most notable findings from the perspective of B2B International, which researches markets worldwide from its offices in the UK, USA and China, was the fact that the USA topped the rankings as the most expensive market globally in which to conduct research.
Matthew Harrison, Director of our New York office, explains why the results of the survey did not come as a surprise to him:
Harrison, however, additionally points to a slightly more unusual contributor to the high prices associated with the US:
These facts aside, Harrison is keen to point out that while the actual price of research in the States may appear on the high side, the return on investment gained from good quality market research should never, ever be underestimated.
Not every industry can boast strong growth this year. And within each industry sector, not every geography will have experienced a great 12 months. Yet we are pleased to report that the UK market research industry has this year grown by an impressive 6.2%.
According to the Market Research Society’s (MRS) annual survey, the UK market research industry – the second largest in the world – is now worth an estimated £2.16 billion (2008 figures), up from £1.8 billion in 2007. Meanwhile revenue generated from international research grew by a remarkable 12.5%.
The 6.2% increase over the past year compares extremely favourably with revenue growth of 2.3%, 2.4% and 2.5% in 2007, 2006 and 2005 respectively.
Of course, there can be no guarantees about the sector’s growth for 2009. Yet market research – which is arguably even more vital to ensuring the survival and growth of companies, across all industries, when times are hard – has, unsurprisingly, proved itself to be “relatively resilient compared with other disciplines in the marketing services sector,” during previous downturns, according to The MRS Director General.
The news that international research is experiencing such an upsurge is pleasing for us at B2B International, yet presents no real surprises. Having conducted b-to-b research across the world for many years now, we have experienced first-hand the increasing desire of many clients to compete on a global scale. With a growing presence in Asia and the Americas over the past few years, B2B International is now even better placed to serve UK clients looking to research international markets.
To find out a bit more about our international market research services, click here.