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