The market research industry has returned to growth following two 'very challenging years', according to ESOMAR's Global Market Research 2011 report. Global turnover rose to US $31.2 billion in 2010, representing a total year-on-year growth of 5.2%, or 2.8% allowing for inflation.
The previous two studies had seen the market decline for the first time since the industry body began measuring the sector in 1988. This year's, which is the 23rd undertaken by ESOMAR in cooperation with KPMG advisory, covers global and regional highlights and five-year trend data, including turnover and growth data on 78 countries.
In 2010, Europe recorded the slowest recovery globally - 1.0% once adjusted for inflation - with turnover growing to US $13,143m, fuelled mainly by investment in central and eastern European markets.
The North American market recorded its first net growth (3.1%) after two consecutive years of net declines. This market, which accounts for 32% of worldwide turnover, now totals US $9,915m.
Latin America was the fastest growing region in 2010, with turnover rising to US $1,828m, reflecting a 13.9% increase after inflation, and driven primarily by an 'outstanding performance' in Brazil.
Other emerging regions, such as Asia Pacific and Africa, also reported growth against 2009, albeit not as strong as Latin America. The Middle East was the only area to record a net decline (-3.0%) in 2010.
ESOMAR Director General Finn Raben comments: 'We are delighted to see a positive growth pattern restored to our industry in 2010. While the speed at which individual companies were able to return to profitable growth varied according to their geographical distribution and commercial challenges, it is nonetheless promising to see that investment in research has returned, and that the search for increased value (from both sides of the buyer-supplier relationship) continues to drive our industry forward.'
In addition to headline results, this year's report also examines 'where the boundaries of market research should lie', as new industry sectors and web-based methodologies compete for research budgets.
More information can be found at: www.esomar.org/publications .
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.