Primary Market Research Market Intelligence

Report Coverage

  • BREXIT–Impact on Sourcing Primary Market Research

  • Global Market Research Industry Trends

  • Industry Affecting Factors

  • Supply Trends and Insights

Market Size

Market Size North America

$20.34–20.6 Bn

Market Size Europe

$18.4–19.5 Bn

Market Size Asia Pacific

$6.6–7.5 Bn

Market Size Latin America

$1.7–2.5 Bn

Table of contents

  1. Primary Market Research Executive Summary
  2. Global MR Industry Outlook
  3. Supply Demand Trends
  4. Category Summary - Covid-19 Impact on Market Research Techniques
  5. Covid-19 Impact - Sourcing Location Watch – Supplier & Industry Watch
  1. Primary Market Research Market Analysis
  2. Global MR Market Maturity
  3. Global MR Industry Trends
  4. Regional Market Outlook
  5. Porter's Five Forces Analysis


  1. Negotiation Levers and Contract Terms
  2. Negotiation Levers
  3. Key Contract Terms in PMR
  1. Procurement Best Practices
  2. Sourcing Models Adoption
  3. Comparative Analysis
  4. Pros and Cons
  5. Key KPI and SLA Components
  1. Primary Market Research End-user Industry Update
  2. Personal Products
  3. Alcohol
  4. Food and Soft Drinks
  1. Primary Market Research Billing Rates for Market Research Services
  2. Market Research Billing Rates for US
  3. Market Research Billing Rates for UK

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Global Primary Market Research Industry 

Analysis and Global Outlook

  • The global market research industry was estimated at $44-45 Bn in 2017.
  • North America, Western Europe, and several countries in the Asia Pacific (APAC) such as China, Japan, and Australia have high market maturity.
  • The growth of APAC and the Middle East was high in 2017 against the growth of Latin America (LATAM) owing to exchange rates and inflation that affected the performance of the region. 
  • This primary market research report highlights Nielsen, Kantaripsos, GfK, and IRI as the top global service providers.
  • The key performance indicators (KPI) of the primary market research industry include cost, delivery support, partnership and innovation, quality, risk and compliance and flexibility, and ease of use.
  • Marketing research industry trends show that the industry payment period is 60–90 days and the contract period ranges from 1 to 3 years.
  • High market maturity countries: The US, Canada, The UK, Germany, France, China, and Japan.

primary market research market


Global Market Research Market Maturity

The penetration of market research is very low in Africa, parts of South America, and Asian markets where buyers spend an average of 2-4 percent of their marketing spend on market research activities, while in developed markets the share of spend is between 10–20 percent of the marketing services budgets.

Global Primary Market Research Industry Trends

Suppliers are increasing their geographic footprint as mature buyers move towards the consolidation of sourcing MR services and also widening their service portfolio to offer a wide range of client services and garner a bigger share of clients' market research spend.

Global Drivers and Constraints

Growing expansion on modern retail in the emerging markets is expected to strongly drive market research budgets in these markets, also growth in nontraditional market research studies due to the increasing adoption of technology by the consumers and by the service providers will be a major growth driver in mature markets.


Growing Penetration of Smart Devices

With the increasing penetration of smartphones and Internet-enabled devices, data collection has become much easier and is also expected to reduce delivery lead times as well. This has seen the growth of Insights & Digital Agencies offering Ad Tracking, Computer-assisted telephone interviewing (CATI), Computer-assisted personal interviewing (CAPI), consumer behavior studies, and Computer-assisted web interviewing (CAWI).

Segmented Market Research

Companies are increasingly realizing that the 'one-size fits all' approach does not work in today's market place where customers have so many options available, so market segmentation research will continue to be of great interest to marketers.

Ever-changing Consumer Preference

One of the key drivers of consumer insights study is the significant need for buyers to stay up-to-date in understanding consumers’ changing preferences in addition to understanding the cultural difference. This mainly helps the buyer to develop products and communicate better to their target audience and focus groups through different stages of the customer journey. This market research uses Awareness, Trial, Usage studies (ATU Studies), brand tracking, and other studies of consumer behavior.


Reusing Research

  • Clients are looking at opportunities to reuse previous research by slicing and dicing data and carrying out research on only those portions of data that are absolutely required, so that unnecessary marketing research need not be carried out from scratch or duplicated.

Data Reliability

The majority of buyers face this serious challenge mainly due to lack of proper research design, improper sample recruitment, unrepresentative sample selection, biased interviews, etc. This situation not only affects buyer's spend on market research but also forces them to check for alternate solutions or engage with consulting companies.

COVID-19 Pandemic

  • The COVID-19 pandemic hampered the growth of the market research industry in 2020 as governments worldwide enacted nationwide lockdowns and restricted trade activities thus limiting the need for professional services. 

  • Measures taken by the governments to contain the infection have put a dent in the global economy, negatively impacting the market research businesses throughout 2020 and into 2021. 

Market Overview

Online research and mobile surveys were adopted widely in 2018 to prepare category intelligence reports across the globe, due to their ability to provide rich insights at a shorter turnaround time. Global market research companies are strengthening their local networks in various countries by increasing their association with smaller regional players having extensive knowledge of the regional markets.

Companies are offshoring their analytics to countries like India, China, and the Philippines where low-cost yet superior quality output is available. This helps reduce the total cost of services by capitalizing on the cheap availability of labor in those regions. Access to cheap labor and the presence of numerous local market research service providers in emerging countries like India and China make service providers cut down on their profit margin to remain lucrative in these highly competitive markets. Cheaper labor increases the access to IDI (in-depth interview) via digital means replacing the Pen-and-Paper Personal Interview (PAPI) method.

Industry Outlook Opportunities

  • With the advent of do-it-yourself (DIY) technologies, online research, artificial intelligence (AI), and research automation in market research services, in-house research has gained momentum among companies, especially in the US.
  • With budgets still seriously tight, players in the market research industry will be embracing technology to help them keep up with the demand.
  • Opportunity for the regionalization of sourcing exists in several markets across LATAM where top global MR companies have a significant presence.
  • Markets with a high level of maturity enable the consolidation of sourcing activities while markets with lesser maturity can be clubbed together and examined at the regional level to effectively manage the supply base.
  • The supply market is witnessing a lot of restructuring in the form of mergers and acquisitions (M&A) and organic growth, with global suppliers set to open new research offices in this region.
  • Buyers are expected to increase their spend in market research activities, offering opportunities for market growth in the region. 


  • Lack of innovative solution in story-board format, lack of consultative approach, and demand for insights aligned to business problems are the key challenges that matured buyers are experiencing with established suppliers
  • Some countries have low supply market maturity in MR services, thereby limiting the possibilities of following a regional approach in sourcing the category. Also, higher than average inflation rates in several markets make it challenging to keep costs under control.
  • Fragmented levels of maturity in the European region make it challenging for the buyer to approach sourcing MR services using a homogenous approach.
  • The fragmented nature of the markets and the presence of regional agencies that are strong in fewer markets across the region make supply base consolidation difficult to achieve.
  • The lack of presence of global suppliers will lead to service quality inconsistency.
  • The low level of technology penetration in Africa will result in decreased service quality.

Why You Should Buy This Report

This Beroe market intelligence report starts with the primary market research definition and moves ahead with the global and regional industry outlook and supply-demand trends in the market research industry. It lists out the drivers and constraints and provides Porter’s five forces analysis of emerging and developed markets. This category intelligence report lists the key suppliers and offers SWOT analysis of major players such as Nielsen, GfK, Ipsos, and IRI. It details and compares the best sourcing and pricing models and provides the key performance indicators (KPIs) and end-use industry updates.

Frequently Asked Questions

  1. What’s the net market size captured by different regions according to the primary market research report?
  2. As per the primary market research report generated by Beroe, the highest market size is being captured by North America with the size ranging between $19.2 - $20.2 Bn. Europe falls in second place with size ranging between $18 - $19 Bn. The Asia Pacific with $6.3 - $7.3 and Latin America with $1.3 - $2.3 values have the least market size.
  1. How can Beroe’s primary market research report help you out?
  2. The report generated by Beroe Inc. not only helps you learn what is primary market research but gives you a detailed overview of the market. Apart from covering the definition of primary market research, it shares valuable insights around the market w.r.t its engagement strategies, maturity regions, and much more.
  1. What’s the average industry payment period and contract period prevalent within the primary market research?
  2. According to the market research industry trends, the average industry payment period falls within the range of 60-90 days, while the contract period is usually between 1 – 3 years.
  1. What contributed to the higher growth of APAC and the Middle East region compared to that of Latin America?
  2. The growth of APAC and the Middle East region is higher compared to that of Latin America because of two parameters namely – the exchange rates and inflation that affected the average performance of the region.
  1. Can you name the top global service providers within the primary market research as per Beroe?
  2. Following the insights shared by Beroe market research, the top global service providers include:
  1. How much do buyers usually spend for market research activities in Africa, Asian markets, and developed markets?
  2. Beroe's report on primary market research includes extensive data that highlights the average spend of buyers. As per the report, buyers in Africa, parts of South America, and Asian markets spend only 2-4 percent of their marketing spend on market research activities. On the contrary, in developed markets, the buyers easily spend 10-20 percent of their marketing services budgets.
  1. What are the major KPIs that drive the majority of primary market research methods?
  2. The major KPIs are:
    -Delivery support
    -Partnership and innovation
    -Risk and compliance
    -Flexibility and ease of use
  1. What percent share do salary and respondent cost constitute out of the total costs?
  2. As per Beroe’s report, salary and respondent costs constitute nearly 60 – 70 percent of the total costs.

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