10 Jan 2018
After Brexit – Future of Market Research


The United Kingdom may have voted to leave the European Union; yet, the country seems to be thriving.

The day after the vote, the pound plummeted, and it remains down, but to the world’s surprise the country’s economy is developing. According to Forbes, gross domestic product grew 1.8%, home prices are rising, and unemployment has come to a 42-year low at 4.3%.

In the midst of the United Kingdom voting “leave” in the polls, mal-predictions started pouring in. Many businesses were hesitant to keep their branches in the UK, with a few companies even holding off their investments while waiting to see the aftermath.

Political change as big as Brexit only makes one think deeper about the future of their company and their industry. We cannot claim with outmost certainty what could have been if Britain had voted “remain” that day, nor can we allege what the future outside of the European Union holds for our industry. We can only rely on predictions and reports until the time comes.

Brexit made us think further about the future of Field Scope International and the Market Research industry.

“It isn’t the mountains ahead to climb that wear you out; it’s the pebble in your shoe”

Yesterday it was ‘The credit crunch’ today it is ‘Brexit’, challenges in our industry appear with different masks and it is vital that we remain focused and strive through these pebbles.

Peter Chulu, Managing Director

The UK has been a leader in international research for the past decade, and we are confident this will not change anytime soon.

It ranks a tick behind USA when it comes to the Market Research industry in general, exceeding Germany, France and Japan. However, in terms of the number of international projects, UK is the leader with 36% of the projects completed on an international level (ESOMAR GMR Report 2016).

How does UK get so many international projects?

The pound remains down, however that means that buying research in the UK is now cheaper than it used to be, which could bring domestic companies a significant number of international projects. These global projects could give British companies and researchers more significant recognition among international clients, thus bringing in more work.

International clients are not coming to UK companies for projects just because of the lower price, it is the price-quality ratio that drives them.

PwC’s analysis (2016) has revealed that UK’s research sector has revenues larger than the music industry, or PR and communications sector. Market research industry in the UK is growing, with data analysis and qualitative research prominently on the rise. Furthermore, there seems to be no end to prospective job seekers taking interest in this field, already employing over 70,000 people. One of the metrics Forbes’ list used was size and education of countries workforce, and the UK ranked third among 153 countries. Our country can pride itself in the number of specialists and professionals we have in this field.

On the other hand, unfortunately, reductions in free trade could also reduce long-term consumption and economic growth, possibly weighing down the demand for consumer research as well. Still, our country has a long way to go, and since the agreement on trade has not yet been reached we can merely guess what the future holds for consumer research.

A lot of uncertainty lies before us, however, there are many developments in the world that are positively affecting market research industry. Think of automation, Big Data, AI and machine learning; all of them could become your biggest assistants, making you work faster and creating more valuable insights. These could help us get closer to understanding human behaviour, and help our clients connect with their customers on a personal level – creating a bond that will be beneficial for everyone involved.

Technology is advancing, human behaviour is changing, consumer’s insights are becoming more powerful than ever, making the current state of our industry admirable, allowing us to continue working with passion and determination. Further, we will learn to adapt to changes and thrive off them.