Market Research Industry Overview

​The UK’ research market occupies a major asset in the UK, regards to both the creation of economic contribution and intellectual capital with a conservative GVA of £3bn, contributes just over 0.2% of total UK GDP with annual revenues. The market is now bigger than both the UK newspaper and market industries (MRS, 2015).

Figure 1: Sector Engaged in Market Research and Public Opinion Polling in the UK by Number of Enterprises and Turnover (number and £m), 2003-2012​

(Keynote, 2014)


  • The number of enterprises engaged in market research and public opinion polling decreased by 5.6%, falling from 3,379 to 3,191 between 2003 and 2012.

  • The turnover of the industry peaked a 10-year high in 2012 of £3.88bn, which is up by about 80% from £2.18bn in 2003.

  • The sector’s gross value added is up by 113.1%, from £1.17bn to £2.49bn.

  • Total purchases made by the sector have risen by about 35% from £1.02bn to £1.38bn between 2003 and 2012.

  • Total acquisitions are up by 29.4%, from £34m to £44m, while over the same period disposals are up by from £6m to £7m (Keynote, 2014).

It is probable that the demand for market research have been still high as significant increasing turnover, but enterprises have seen a shutting down which may point to a difficult and high competitive industry.

(MRS, 2015)

International Turnover was the main contributor to the overall net growth in 2013, which climbed by 15.8% year on year, while Domestic Turnover decreased from 3.8% in 2008 to -4.3% in 2013. It is evident that the UK Market research industry is a significant export success of services and innovations which 33% of the annual turnover of UK-based research agencies is generated internationally. A majority of Market Research agencies in the UK have paid more attention to the International market in which are high demanding and benefit for the industry, it can be an opportunity for UK companies’ expansion.

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