Market research in U.S. - Statistics & Facts

The market research industry includes any organized activity to gather information about a specific target market or group of customers. It includes traditional methods of information gathering such as surveys, as well as newer methods of data analytics that have emerged with the increasing digitization of society. Over 20.7 billion U.S. dollars of revenue was generated by market research companies in the United States in 2018, almost half of the total revenue generated by the market research industry globally. Of the revenue generated, four billion U.S. dollars was from data analytics, with the remainder being from traditional research methods.

The vast majority of money spent on market research in the U.S. in 2018 was for quantitative research, which accounted for almost 80 of the market. Within the quantitative segment, online research and phone interviews were the most dominant research methods, while face-to-face interviews accounted for only two percent of spending. Audience measurement was the main type of project conducted in 2017, constituting around a third of revenue received by market research companies. The next largest source of revenue was custom and syndicated research, which combined accounted for another third of revenue.

Within the U.S., the market leader was Nielson Holdings, who reported 3.7 billion U.S. dollars in domestic revenue for 2017. There is a significant difference in revenue to the next largest company in the U.S. market, IQVIA, who reported just over 1.4 billion in U.S. revenue for the same period. However, this gap is not surprising given IQVIA specializes in research for the healthcare sector, while Nielson provide services regarding goods, consumers and the media across a broad range of sectors. Rounding out the top five companies in the U.S. market are Kantar, Information Resources Inc, and Ipsos, each of which generated under one billion of U.S. revenue in that year.

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Market research in the U.S.

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U.S. market leaders

Market research methods

Market researchers

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