Cinderella finds her glass slipper

Date of publication: September 1, 1989


Outside the USA, market research industries throughout the world, including Europe, are characterised by institutes with vertically integrated structures: that is. Data Resources, (data collection; data processing; typing, graphics, printing), is part of the same organisational structure as the Research function, (survey design; data interpretation; input and recommendations to the client). Across the Atlantic, it used to be a different story. Until the beginning of the decade, large sections of the marketing research industry in the USA were horizontally segregated: Research Consultancies on the one hand; and Data Resources businesses on the other, supplying fieldwork or computing facilities. Now, just as technological progress is propelling the USA industry back towards more integrated business structures, Europeans, particularly in the UK, are beginning to move the other way, towards segmented businesses. Research Consultancies are burgeoning, together with a new breed of Data Resources enterprise, to compete with the conventional vertically integrated institutes. This paper explores the challenges and opportunities that Data Resources businesses will offer to European market researchers in the 1990's. It concludes that a renewed dynamism and entrepreneurialism will be injected into market research activities throughout the continent.

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