MRA just released its Research Industry Index for 1st Quarter, 2009. The index is at its lowest point since the Index was first calculated in 4th quarter, 2007. Staffing levels, booked revenue and RFPs began their decline in the 1st quarter, 2008 and have continued through this past quarter.
The report suggests that signs point to a bottoming out for the industry. Presumably this conclusion is drawn from the optimism about new business prospects by the research firms reporting. The indices for “We have more new clients this year” and “Our business prospects look good” were both relatively flat and were the only statements that did not show a decline in optimism.
Somewhat surprisingly, survey participants said that 10% of their qualitative projects were online. This is higher than our previous estimates that online is about 5% of the qualitative projects being completed. However, it does reflect the enormous activity and interest we see in online qualitative at every level. Qualitative methodology breakout in the report was:
- Focus Groups – 41%
- IDI – 17%
- Phone 15%
- Online 10%
- Mixed – 5%
- Other – 12%