In March/April 2012, Asia Research (the industry journal for the market research industry in Asia) conducted its fifth annual survey of corporations in Asia who undertake market research through external firms. 108 interviews were conducted with individual research buyers in various corporations across Singapore, with some of the key findings summarized below:
On average, 7.1 projects (mean figure) are commissioned each year, a figure which has not changed much in the last year. Most companies (41%) commission between 2 and 4 projects.
Referrals was the most popular way of finding out about new market research agencies, with ‘consulting colleagues within their company’ (79%) and ‘consulting personal contacts in the research industry’ (77%) by far the most widespread methods employed. Attending networking conferences and seminars (51%), formal reviews of agencies (49%), receiving sales calls (46%) and Internet searches (45%) were the next most commonly used approaches.
Of the types of research suppliers used, almost 9 out of 10 research buyers (88%) turn to large multi-national agencies, the benefits of which are seen to include their networks, proprietary tools and specialism in certain sectors. Continuing staff churn, compounded by merger and acquisition activity, is, however, causing some dissatisfaction.
Notably there has been an increase this past year in the use of online panel companies (44%), and it should also be noted that DIY research is used by more than a third of research buyers. In a similar vein, while just 19% of respondents were aware of the recent launch of Google Consumer Surveys, 60% showed some interest in using this facility.
While there is a net increase in research budgets in 2012, this is much lower than research buyers had predicted they would have available to them. Furthermore, the net increase is mainly down to FMCG clients, with many other sectors reporting a net fall in budgets.
For more information on this survey, please visit the Asia Research website, http://asia-research.net/