In the several years that we have conducted the reader survey that forms the core of our annual Q Report, our editorial staff has always been struck by the remarkable consistency of the data. Other than salaries and other employment-related aspects fluctuating a bit as a result of then-current economic situations, the assessments expressed are typically all within some expected ranges. For that reason, and to keep things interesting for you and for us, rather than ask the same questions each year, we’ve been on a three-year cycle of inquiring about certain parts of the marketing researcher’s job, from vendor relationships to evaluating new methods.

The Q Report work life study of corporate researchers is based on data gathered from an invite-only online survey sent to pre-qualified marketing research end-client subscribers of Quirk’s and members of ESOMAR and The Insight Management Academy. The survey was fielded from May 22 to July 1, 2019. In total we received 828 usable qualified responses. An interval (margin of error) of 3.35 at the 95 percent confidence level was achieved. (Not all respondents answered all questions.)

As we did in 2016, this year we focused on pain points, the impact of the data deluge and some assessments of MR and insights as a business discipline. (See Emily Koenig’s article on the salary and compensation side of things.)

Popular pain points circa 2019 are just what you might expect. “Too many projects for our budget” and “too many projects for our staff” again earned top combined always/often a pain point percentages. (And, as with previous Q Report surveys, the audience of researchers was not shy about expressing their, ahem, feelings about our survey. To the question about pain points, one person replied: “My biggest pain point at this moment is that you did not allow Don’t Know responses in this survey. :)”)

Our open-end seeking more thoughts on their pain points ...