Key Findings

In 2018, Dalia decided to look into the state of the Market Research industry and survey our colleagues across a portfolio of organisations globally.

This report examines the current state of market research by gathering the opinions from over 150 account, project, and procurement managers in the industry. The goal of the report is to identify shared struggles within the industry at large, learn from each other and work together to promote effective solutions.

The data in this report was collected by Dalia Research from June 20th, 2018 through July 30th, 2018.

34% of our respondents already automate the fieldwork monitoring process.

Flag of Australia

Australia is the country where more coverage is needed the most.


Data Quality is the most important factor for sample providers.

Research Project Process

Project managers find their main task of pricing and feasibility to be the most enjoyable part of their job. Survey testing and invoicing remain the sore points for those working in the sampling industry.

Most Common Tasks

  • Pricing and Feasibility (74%)
  • Client Updates (66%)
  • Fieldwork Monitoring (64%)

Most Enjoyable Tasks

  • Pricing & Feasibility (36%)
  • Fieldwork Monitoring (12%)

Least Enjoyable Tasks

  • Nothing! (29%)
  • Survey Testing (18%)
  • Invoicing (15%)


Those working in the sampling industry see room for further automation across many tasks. However, personalised communication is still valued when it comes to coordination, client interactions and survey design.

Tasks Most Likely To Be Automated

  • Fieldwork monitoring (34%)
  • Pricing and feasibility (32%)

Tasks Least Likely To Be Automated

  • Client updates (13%)
  • Coordination with sample providers (15%)
  • Survey design (15%)

Desire for Further Automation

  • Pricing & Feasibility (35%)
  • Cost Confirmation & Invoicing (32%)
  • Monitoring the Fieldwork (32%)
Groups of People Waiting

Target Groups

Certain target groups are more difficult to reach. Here are the most sought after target groups.

Business Decision Makers


High-income Respondents






Sample Providers

When choosing an external sample provider, the industry members are most likely to go with a provider who…

is proven to have good data quality 60%
estimates feasibility more accurately 40%
has the lowest prices 39%
has the highest feasibility 25%
has worked with your team before 25%
has the fastest estimated field time 19%
is able to reach granular target groups 16%
is willing to try complicated studies 16%
is transparent with data collection methods 15%
can provide a national representative sample 14%
is well-known in the industry 13%
covers the most number of countries 10%
answers the request for pricing first 7%

Mobile Optimisation


of surveys are mobile optimized


Average Sampling Setup

US  ~  N = 1,000  ~  50% on gen-pop  ~  Survey length: 15 mins

Cost per interview

$ 4.6


$ 2.8


Field time average

5.0 days


5.9 days


Country Coverage

Only 6% of respondents said it easy for them to cover Australia, and 22% said they would like better coverage in Australia.

Sampling Countries Easiest to Cover
Countries that are the easiest to cover. Darker the colour, easier the respondents find it to cover.
Sampling Countries Hardest to Cover
Countries that are the hardest to cover. Darker the colour, more difficult the respondents find it to cover.

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Using insights to shape a better future for the market research industry.

Special thanks goes to our peers who were keen to offer their insights about their work processes, needs, and their perception of other players in the industry. Thanks to their participation, we can all gain a deeper understanding of market research practitioners’ operations, joys, and pain points.

We hope that in turn this information can help us all make better business decisions on an individual level, and collectively as an industry.

Finally, we’d love to hear your thoughts. How can we do better in the future and which areas are you interested in exploring further?