May 04, 2016

Attest and Unilever describe dramatic growth & rapid change in the £4.8bn UK research market


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The Market Research Society (MRS), in partnership with PwC, reported that the UK Market Research industry has grown to £4.8 billion, 62% growth since 2012

The report also detailed major new trends including rapidly growing demand for data analytics, growth in online/mobile research, demand for increased efficiency and an overall need to empower greater use of research & insights.

73,000 FTEs are now working across the sector, 39,000 on the supply-side (e.g., research agencies) and 34,000 on the demand/analytics side (e.g., in-house researchers & buyers, specialist data analytics companies, central government).

The MRS selected a few companies to add their views to the report, includingAttest:

Jane Frost CBE, CEO of MRS: “The incredible growth we have seen since 2012 is testament to the value that organisations place on the importance of evidence-based decisions. It reflects the increasing confidence and importance of research and its practitioners to decisions being made at every level across both the public and private sectors”

Jeremy King, CEO and Founder of Attest: “We can now deliver in-the-moment engagement to satisfy different types of demands while maintaining and enhancing transparency and insight quality. The market can and should be even larger.”

Stan Sthanunathan, Senior Vice President of Consumer and Market Insights at Unilever: “So many great research agencies have been born in the UK. This is undoubtedly prompted in part by a long history of listening to people’s opinions, as well as a tradition of respecting free speech and the ballot box.”

John Gambles, Chairman at Quadrangle Group: “In the second wave of digital, whoever can integrate research and data and turn this into value for clients has tremendous, unprecedented power. It is an enormously exciting period of change for our sector. We love what is happening.”

Ben Page, chief executive of Ipsos Mori: “UK research is one of Britain’s lesser known success stories. Like the manufacture of Formula One cars, it’s one of the sectors where the UK punches well above its weight and is a global leader. London in particular – with its global status and large and varied workforce – has provided a fantastic setting for the innovative agencies running their global operations from the capital.”

The report also identified some challenges for the future, with telephone surveys expected to decline. There is also a belief that the market will face a skill shortage in the future, and a need for more confident evidence-based decision making.

You can read and download the full MRS report here:…