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The traditional market research sector has grown slightly between 2017 and 2018 and its now valued at more than $47bn, according to Esomar’s global market research report.

The report still separates traditionally defined market research and data analytics and in 2017 traditional market research was valued at $46bn. The rate of growth has fallen in the traditionally defined areas of the industry while data analytics is growing at about 10%.

When traditional market research and data analytics was combined the sector was worth $80bn in 2018, up from $76bn in 2017.

However, the sector faces challenges and all regions, except for the Asia Pacific, showing a decline in traditional market research. The Asia Pacific was boosted by China which grew 11.9%.

Read:  The Top 10 Challenges in the Market Research Industry

North America remained stable at +0.1%, while the Middle East dropped at -9.2%, followed by Latin America at -2.7%.

The US accounts for 44% of the global market, followed by the UK at 14%, Germany with 6% and France and China account for 5% each.

Globally, the turnover devoted to quantitative research methods decreased from 81% in 2017 to 78% in 2018; while the share of qualitative research stayed at 14%, the same as in 2017.


The top 10 research companies in 2018 account for more than 50% of the world’s market research turnover (compared to 49.6% in 2017 ). Nielsen tops the list with $6.5bn turnover followed by IQVIA ($3.9bn), Gartner ($3.5bn), Kantar ($3.5bn) and Ipsos ($2.1bn).

Read:  Elumelu Challenges Japan – “Partner With Us In Empowering African Entrepreneurs”

Finn Raben, director-general of Esomar said: “Despite forecasts that the research profession is in decline, this year’s global market research report shows that our industry continued to grow in 2018, albeit a little more slowly. Promisingly, we see growth both from within the traditionally defined research sector, but also from the newer, expanded definition of our industry – continued evidence that the demand for actionable, evidence-based data and insight remains strong.”



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