Agencies and their clients are making more use of freelance market
researchers and planners to avoid the rocketing fees being charged by
large qualitative research companies, it was claimed last week.
The rising charges are the result of the massive increases in the wages
research companies are forced to pay junior staff, now in short supply
because of a recruitment clampdown during the recession.
The Association of Qualitative Research Practitioners estimates that
salaries of junior researchers with two or three years’ experience has
risen by 25 per cent in the past six months.
’The shortage of young talent is so desperate that we’re almost reduced
to pulling it in off the streets,’ one research company boss
Forced to pass on the rises to their clients, research companies are
facing heavier competition as agencies look to independent market
researchers or invest in their own research departments.
Roddy Glen, founder of the SRG qualitative research agency, told the
AQRP’s annual conference: ’The freelance market is now more mature than
Freelance researchers, many of them former agency planners forced out
during the recession, were enjoying greater success because of their
more competitive and sophisticated approach to business, Glen said. This
often led them to combine as a team to present for a particular job.
Glen, a former staffer at Collett Dickenson Pearce and BMP DDB, said:
’I’m not predicting the death of large research companies because
there’s plenty of work to go round. But, as an industry, we’re paying a
price for our lack of managerial vision.’