I have recently finished working on the 2010 ESOMAR Global Prices Study and I think it is a really useful aid to the research industry. The summary report is available in the June 2010 issue of Research World and if you are a member of ESOMAR the report and an interactive data tool is available online here.
The project was quite demanding. Trying to get consistent quotes from 604 agencies across 100 countries is a challenging task, and much of the credit for achieving this goes to Jennifer Grainger from ESOMAR who (in addition to co-leading the project) interfaced with the agencies and with the data collection agency (very ably conducted by NEBU ), thanks should also be extended to the coordinators from the large agencies who helped ensure that broadly comparable data were collected.
When this year’s project was being specified there were some market researchers who worried that this report might be turn out to be a hostage to fortune, they feared that procurement departments might use it to beat agencies down. However, my view is that the prices study actually evens things up. Clients are already free to conduct test pricing and to ask for multiple quotes for projects. The ESOMAR study allows a research agency to compare itself against others in its market, and against other countries.
I would strongly recommend that people ready the summary report to get an overview of what 2010 looks like and how it has changed since 2007. But I would also suggest that people use the ESOMAR online tool to investigate their market in greater depth.
For example, this morning opened the 2007 online tool and the 2010 online tool, and turned the currency in the both models to UK pounds and then looked at the UK to assess what had happened in the local currency between 2007 and 2010. Unlike the overall report, prices have risen considerably (in UK pounds) in the UK between 2007 and 2010. However, since the pound has lost ground against many leading currencies, this is not apparent to many companies buying from outside the UK.
In short, the summary report is the starting position for anybody who wants to understand more about prices in market research, the next step is to log in to the ESOMAR site and access the online tool. Indeed for some people this tool alone will be worth the annual membership fee!