It's Official: 2009 Was a Bad Year for the Market Research Industry

It’s September 2010, so the numbers are finally being tallied on 2009. The findings confirm what we all knew, 2009 was a bad year. In fact, it was the first down year for market research in the past 15 years. Here are some specifics:

ESOMAR reports that the worldwide research industry was down an inflation-adjusted 4.6% in 2009, the first decline since 1988. Still, our industry billed $28.9 billion last year. In case you are keeping track, qualitative accounted for 13% of worldwide research spending. When I do the math, qualitative research is a $3.75 billion industry worldwide. 

23 of the top 25 countries showed a decline. Every major region was down — Europe down 5.9%, North America down 3.5%, Asia/Pacific down 2.2%, Latin America down 4.6% and Middle East and Africa down 10.2%.

Similarly, the American Marketing Association released a Honomichl report detailing the performance of the top 25 research firms.  As a group they showed a revenue decline of 4.5%.

Goodbye 2009. Welcome 2010.

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