An Inside Look into the World of Corporate Researchers

corporate_researchers.jpgWhat are the key challenges and opportunities for market researchers today? Quirk’s Corporate Researcher Report 2016 offers a wealth of data and analysis on this topic. Based on an online work-life survey conducted in June 2016, this independent study focuses on client-side marketing research and insights professionals. 

The report tackles a variety of important issues including budgets, outsourcing, pain points, effectiveness of new methods, and more. Read on for a quick synopsis of several key findings.

Pain Points and Challenges for Corporate Researchers 

The primary pain points for MR professionals may be familiar to you:

  • Too many projects for budgets and staffing levels
  • Inability to make an impact with insights
  • Difficulty proving ROI

The report also notes that even in billion-dollar companies, marketing research tasks may be delegated to one person who is solely responsible for gathering insights. Needless to say, this person is often stretched thin and has limited time for experimentation or learning. It can also be difficult to receive mentoring if you are the only research professional on staff, and more complex tasks may be routinely outsourced to those with more specific expertise.

However, working with vendors can be another challenge. Unfortunately, not all research vendors provide good customer service, understand their client's business, or deliver a clearly written story, according to the survey participant's feedback.

Notable Reasons for Optimism

On a positive note, nearly 29 percent of participants say getting management buy-in for research is rarely a pain point. In addition, finding and keeping effective employees does not appear to be a widespread concern. In the next year, 39 percent of participants expect to hire new staff.

Budgets have also held steady. In fact, more than half of research departments have increased their budgets in 2016, and one-third have increased their outsourcing budgets as well. However, the news isn’t all positive. In responses to open-ended survey questions, lack of resources is still a common theme.

Although client-side marketing research and insights professionals face a variety of hurdles each day, 74 percent are satisfied with their job, and many report recent wins for their departments (read Quirk's study for some specific examples). In addition, three-quarters feel they are effective in identifying business problems using research, and two-thirds of participants say they have a “good” or “very good” level of influence within their company.

Quirk's report also covers job compensation and the efficacy of different research methods including mobile, qualitative, and automated research. 

What's your take on the report's findings? Does it reflect your own experience? Did the survey miss anything important? Please share your thoughts in the comment section below.

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About the Author: Sarah Schmidt is a Managing Editor at, a leading provider of global market intelligence products and services.

Topics: Market Research Strategy