The UK's Market Research Society (MRS) has published its Annual League Table ranking the 81 provider companies with the largest UK turnover. Like-for-like growth of 0.12% is seen as a sign of general recovery - but which firm grew 63% and which shrank by a third?
As befits a champion of research standards, the Society has worked to make sure results are representative and comparisons are appropriate, adjusting for the impact of acquisitions and for companies arriving and leaving the listing, before reaching the overall figure: it adds that continuing signs of growth in 2013 along with 'other positive business indicators' leave the industry apparently in good shape.
In 2012 the MRS published a report, The Business of Evidence, for the first time looking to officially include an array of new techniques and specialisms growing around the edge of traditional MR. The organisation's CEO Jane Frost notes that the assessment now 'includes everything from social and data analytics to ethnography and gamification.' The 2012 report estimated that the 'research and evidence market' is worth at least £3bn a year of gross value added (GVA), contributing more than £1bn of export sales.
The UK is the world's second largest research market, and there are no fewer than twelve UK-based firms in the top twenty, along with six with US parents. German-based GfK stays in 3rd place, while French-based Ipsos (IpsosMORI in the UK) - now including Synovate - leapfrogs it to take 2nd and UK-based retail data giant dunnhumby goes the other way with a 14.7% drop in recorded revenue. In top spot, Kantar remains as big as the next two firms put together, although with slower growth - in 2010 it was bigger than no.s 2, 3 and 4 put together.
Growing fast near the top of the table are energy and metals specialist Wood Mackenzie Research & Consulting, up from £51m to £76m in two years, and tenth placed Euromonitor, up from £43.5m to £65m in the same period. Health specialist Double Helix also continues its rise, gaining 17th place with revenue of £23.4m. Customer Intelligence company Market Force Information tops the new growth ranking with a 63.3% rise to £12.0m, while Harris Interactive's last appearance in the rankings (assuming its acquisition by Nielsen goes ahead) sees it down 33.6% to £9.8m of UK revenue.
The full table should be online at www.mrs.org.uk/leaguetable - but this was giving us a 'Page Not Found' earlier - if you can't reach it and want a look, email us on firstname.lastname@example.org and we'll try and get you a copy :)
All articles 2006-19 written and edited by Mel Crowther and/or Nick Thomas.