Market research knowledge proves critical in decision making throughout the product lifecycle. Despite their importance, however, market research teams absorbed significant resource losses during the global economic downturn. As the economy stabilizes, these groups are positioned to both grow in influence and to deliver unique decision support throughout their organizations.
Teams that succeed in these efforts build strong cross-functional ties and proactively address the needs of their internal clients. They also establish connections with senior leadership to boost autonomy and insulate themselves from potential resource cuts.
Use this report’s in-depth benchmarks for market research operations, including budgets, staffing and structural details, to improve team management and raise market research’s internal strategic profile:
Win valuable resources for market research
Adequate staffing and budgetary support are crucial to building teams that perform requested studies alongside their own proactive projects. Learn which departments fund market research teams, and benchmark phase-by-phase market research budgets. Reinforce the team using compensation, training and outsourcing data.
Empower market research to make actionable recommendations
Getting senior management to recognize market research’s full value is a significant challenge for many teams. Learn how top-performing companies elevate the profile of market research teams and integrate them with high-level strategic groups, and explore how leaders measure ROI.
Drive high-performing market research operations
Market research teams must often maximize limited resources. Allocate those resources strategically using phase-by-phase benchmarks for 15 specific market research techniques, and track the time necessary to complete 7 major market research studies. Finally, weigh the pros and cons of online activities and tools.
Chapter 1: Market Research Team Structure and Staffing
Structure market research teams to reflect portfolio needs.
Adequately staff, train and compensate your market research team.
Build strong cross-functional communication with stakeholders to avoid duplication of efforts and ensure the best use of resources.
Examine on-the-ground examples of different structures for market research teams.
Evaluate and compare the groups involved in collecting and analyzing market research.
Leverage outsourcing to optimize limited market research team resources.
54 charts focused on market research teams’ structure, funding sources and outsourcing practices. Data are often broken down by company type: small companies, large companies and large company affiliate offices.
Percentage of companies with market research as a stand-alone function
Percentage of companies with marketed products
Scope of responsibility for market research teams (brand-aligned or ad hoc)
Therapeutic areas supported by market research teams (by company type)
Market research team structure (by company type)
Age of market research teams (by company type)
Groups responsible for collecting and analyzing market research (by company type)
Market research funding methods (by company type)
Departments contributing to market research funding (by company type)
Percentage of market research budget contributed by departments (by company type)
Market research team staffing (by company type and per product)
Percentage of market research teams that use contract employees
Percentage of contract employees (at companies that use contract employees)
Annual compensation for market research analysts, managers and executives
Hours of training provided to market research analysts (newly hired, first-year and annually)
Percentage of market research teams that use preferred vendor relationships
Department managing relationships with market research vendors
Percentage of US and ex-US market research budget outsourced (by company type)
Market research activities outsourced
Chapter 2: Market Research Team Budgets and Activities
Benchmark market research team budgets to win critical resources and proactively perform research.
Make the most out of limited market research budgets.
Boost efficiency — identify which activities to conduct, and when.
Maximize market research’s ability to impact key areas, such as reimbursement and physician perception of brands.
Perform market research activities that drive product value in downstream development and marketing.
Track the funding levels and duration of 7 key market research studies.
Leverage online tools to cut costs and optimize market research capabilities.
Implement best practices from top-performing companies for measuring ROI on market research efforts.
39 charts focused on market research budgets, data collection tools and studies. Data are often broken out by company type: small companies, large companies and large company affiliate offices. Information is also frequently broken down by clinical phase: Pre-Clinical through post-launch.
Market research budgets (by company type)
Market research budget (Phase 2, Phase 3, registration and product launch, and post-launch)
Annual mature product budget (by company type)
Phase in which market research teams begin supporting products
Studies performed by market research teams (by company type)
Market research budget allocation (by clinical phase)
Percentage of companies that use online communities to gather market research
Effectiveness ratings of online communities to gather market research
Types of online tools used to gather information
Methods for measuring return on investment
Percentage of companies using specific tools and methods to gather market research (by clinical phase):
Conventions and meetings
False flag job seekers
Government, advocacy groups and payer reps
Time required to perform 7 major market research studies:
Chapter 3: Market Research Team Challenges and Trends
Ensure that market research teams have the opportunity, authority, and resources to provide independent, proactive recommendations.
Elevate market research teams’ profiles within the company to assert actionable suggestions to key stakeholders.
Clarify reporting relationships and interfunctional roles to improve cross-functional coordination.
Leverage new tools to save money and drive efficiency.
Invest in primary research for emerging markets to cull valuable insights and impact critical decisions.
Balance quantitative and qualitative studies when making decisions to lower costs and optimize market research opportunities.
11 charts focused on market research effectiveness, challenges, and budget allocation. Data are often broken out by company type: small companies, large companies and large company affiliate offices.
Self-ratings of market research effectiveness (by company type)
Most significant market research challenges (by company type)
Prevalence of systems to share past market research findings
Budget allocation for primary and secondary research
Budget allocation for qualitative and quantitative studies
The following excerpt is a key finding taken from the full report's executive summary:
Give Market Research Teams Power to Effect Change
Market research teams should not be only seen as a support function. Burying market research under another team risks stifling its ability to run wide-scale studies in a timely and cost-effective fashion. This does not mean market research teams need to be their own independent function, however. Many surveyed market research teams run effectively under marketing or other departments.
In some instances, aligning market research under another department is more effective than placing market research as its own department. Strategic alignments allow the team to be intimately familiar with the department in which it is placed. For example, a market research team that is focused on a particular brand will have access to brand-level data if it is placed under the brand team. This set-up removes a step involved with working across two distinctly different groups.
The danger, however, is when the larger group does not understand the importance of market research. Companies need to make sure that if they do place market research under another department, they are not demoting its importance. To do this, market research teams need to be given an equal voice and they need to be tied in with stakeholders. Market research teams need sufficient access to resources to be maximally effective. If given the funding to conduct research and a voice to ensure that research is considered, market research teams will improve the returns of decisions undertaken by the company.