Marketing budgets are tight (see Marketers Make Deeper Cuts). As a result, more pressure than ever is being placed on marketers to make the right business and buying decisions.
But in this economic environment, that’s not easy.
According to the “2009 Annual Survey of Market Professionals,” from MarketResearchCareers.com, market research professionals are looking forward to a brutal year. Because, as the report states, clients want “more and more deliverables for less and less money," 80% of the market researchers believe their job will be more difficult in 2009.
In fact, buyers of market research services expect this year’s budgets to decrease by 9.5% compared with 2008—reversing a 20-year trend of annual spending increases.
All sources of data—with the exception of company sales, which presumably can be had at no additional cost—are expected to be used less this year.
Nevertheless, market research professionals will still rely on surveys, syndicated research and focus groups, in that order.
When it comes to selecting suppliers to provide the research, marketers rate the quality of data as the most important attribute, followed by the ability to derive insights from the data.
In assessing the role of research, marketers prize innovation—due perhaps to the fast-changing character of the marketing environment—but since 2005 there has been a steady erosion of the marketer/research supplier relationship. Then, 80% of marketers viewed suppliers as partners, but now only 54% say the same.
Apparently, not only are research budgets declining, so is confidence in market researchers.