NEWS: Research boom as industry obsession with profiles grows

Soaring interest from advertisers and politicians has created a prosperous period for the qualitative research industry, according to new figures.

Soaring interest from advertisers and politicians has created a

prosperous period for the qualitative research industry, according to

new figures.



The qualitative research industry now has a turnover of pounds 125

million, or 25 per cent of the whole market research sector.

The figures come from the Association of Qualitative Research

Practitioners, which cites the increased use of market research by

political parties in the general election build-up as a major reason for

the expansion.



‘Qualitative research has become a mainstream element in any form of

business development,’ said Laura Marks, the association’s chairman and

a planning director at Abbott Mead Vickers BBDO.



The association’s survey shows the turnover to be split into almost

three equal parts - advertising, new product development and other

research, including packaging, corporate identity, brand positioning and

social and political matters.



The growth is reflected in membership of the association, which has

increased from 300 at the beginning of the 90s to its current level of

more than 700.



Half of its members work in qualitative research companies while one in

ten are in agencies, the survey reveals.



At the same time, it suggests that the concentration of researchers

within the capital is decreasing, with 65 per cent living in Greater

London compared with 75 per cent six years ago.



Salaries mirror the intensified activity, with 32 per cent of

qualitative researchers earning more than pounds 30,000 a year and 13

per cent more than pounds 50,000.



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