The Key Characteristics of Successful Market Research Firms

Jitesh Marlecha, Assistant Vice President, Ugam,

The rise of the digital consumer has been a disruptive force across all industries, with market research getting hit especially hard. A high-level global growth rate for the market research industry has remained flat at 2%, which can be attributed to inflation alone. Thus, market research is on a downward shift and it’s quite evident that traditional leaders in this space are struggling to sustain and scale.

I’ve had the opportunity to work as an advisor with numerous leading market research firms in all stages of growth throughout the world. This experience has given me a strong understanding of the characteristics of successful companies and what is missing with those that get stuck. With the advent of modern technologies, no longer do enterprise clients see the need to outsource easy to medium survey research work, for example. There are numerous technologies that allow them to do it themselves. Market research firms that realize the urgency of transformation and adopt change are able to sustain, and in many cases even showcase double-digit growth. Those slow to move are bleeding each year and their downward trend seems to be increasing at a lightning rate.

This disruption in the industry has had an indirect impact on us too, as many of our clients are insights providers and our business is highly dependent on their performance. In my work, I see both sides: companies growing rapidly and companies barely able to stay in business. So to help those that are struggling, I thought I would take this opportunity to share the characteristics I most often see with successful Market Research firms.

They are:

  1. Nimble and their workforce is highly focused on their core competency. They use trusted partners to help with everything else.
  2. Embracing new technologies and very quick to adapt to change.
  3. Unique in some way, in that they have unique data, multi-source data, technology, a global network, etc.
  4. Constantly looking at acquisitions allowing them to carry a unique value proposition.
  5. Consistently offering products and services that are highly competitive, both in price and with faster turnaround times.

I feel strongly that companies struggling in this space should spend considerable time thinking through the above five characteristics. I’m confident they will figure out why they are not growing and/or why they are losing business.

At Ugam one of our core values is “Think Customer” and keeping that in mind, we are a key contributor towards our clients’ strategy to attain the above five characteristics through our systematic approach. If you are interested in learning how we can help you, contact us today for a consultation at or visit us at


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