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Articles and Analysis

 

The Business of Polling and Opinion/Market Research


Political polling is a subset of the opinion and market research industry. And it is a big business.

But how is this business doing?

Political polling (which drives the majority of the visitors to this site) is a fairly predictable business driven by the electoral calendar and not by the business cycle. The business of political polling is facing several large (but manageable) challenges. One is cooperation rates and the other is the decline of the landline. But, this business seems to be humming along at its usual clip, relatively immune to the great recession.

However, many political polling firms also have large commercial research businesses. These commercial research businesses are frequently dominated by public affairs and corporate messaging research practices, but have branched out into traditional market research work as well.

And how is this part of the industry doing?

It's been a tough year.

The Research Industry Trends 2009 Survey polled 512 individuals in the market research industry, including those on the supplier and client (inside a corporation) side. The results are unpleasant for anyone in the industry:

1. 57% reported a decline in revenue.
2. Only 42% of US based researchers expect a growth year.
3. 73% agreed that research is becoming commoditized with clients less willing to pay for quality.
4. 70% agree that clients are demanding shorter timelines and faster delivery of results.

To see the full report, here or here

At a broader level, this data tracks closely with my assessment of the industry and where it is headed.

For a lengthier read on where I think the market research industry is going, click here


 

MAP - US, AL, AK, AZ, AR, CA, CO, CT, DE, FL, GA, HI, ID, IL, IN, IA, KS, KY, LA, ME, MD, MA, MI, MN, MS, MO, MT, NE, NV, NH, NJ, NM, NY, NC, ND, OH, OK, OR, PA, RI, SC, SD, TN, TX, UT, VT, VA, WA, WV, WI, WY, PR