This post is contributed by Burtch Works’ marketing research and consumer insights recruiting team.

Now that we’ve examined job change and tenure data for the marketing research and consumer insights talent pool in our Attrition & Tenure study, we decided to ask hiring managers about their personnel strategy for this first half of 2018 to see what else we could uncover about the market!

Periodically we send out “flash surveys” to our network, so we reached out to our network of research & insights hiring authorities to gauge staffing plans for this upcoming year. For more information about the survey categories, see note below.




We found that suppliers-side teams are currently showing more hiring activity than those on the client side. As you can see from the results above, 70.3% of suppliers and 50.0% of client side teams are planning to hire in some capacity (this includes those adding to headcount, those only backfilling vacant roles, and teams who are doing a combination of both).

We also took a look at how many marketing research and consumer insights teams are expanding, meaning they’re actively trying to add headcount, and 62.9% of supplier side teams are growing compared to 32.5% of client side teams (this includes those that are ‘adding only’ plus those that are ‘adding & backfilling’).


We also looked specifically at client side Retail/Consumer Packaged Goods firms and found that the results seem to support a trend we’ve been reporting in our marketing research Burtch Works Studies: that the CPG industry is not growing as much as it once was. Indeed, only one in four CPG teams are growing and 43.8% have no plans to hire at all.

Even though this data shows only 50% of client-side teams are hiring in the first half of 2018, we can attest that we have been kept plenty busy filling roles on both the client and supplier side! It’s always interesting for us to track current hiring trends and see how they impact our hiring market and compensation research, so stay tuned for more updates!




Since the survey refers only to the first half of 2018, the “adding” category refers to teams who don’t anticipate turnover during the next couple months, resulting in overall growth of the team. If the team was hiring because they are both adding to headcount AND contending with attrition, then they fall under “adding and backfilling”.


We hope this information was interesting! Let us know what you think in the comments, and be sure to connect with us.


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You can also check out our 2020 research & insights salary webinar below, where we shared highlights from our latest research, COVID-19 impacts on the hiring market, and other developing trends for 2021 and beyond.

4 Responses to “2018 Marketing Research & Consumer Insights Hiring Survey Results”

  1. Paul Bremner

    Thanks, that’s very interesting info. A couple of questions for you. First, does this represent a change from previous six-month periods (for either MR suppliers or client side)? Second, you’ve talked about the slowing hiring in CPG. How much of your survey sample is CPG and do you think these numbers are representative of non-CPG firms? Also, one interpretation of the numbers might be that Market Research is increasingly being outsourced. Do you think that’s happening?

    It’s interesting that we’re at full employment, the economy is growing relatively well, and yet hiring for MR seems to be slacking off amongst firms. You’d think the opposite would be occurring. Perhaps there is some sort of tectonic shift from “pure MR-related jobs” towards some of the other functions you cover such as Data Scientists or, more broadly, Predictive Analytics Professionals such that the DSs/PSPs are now expected to also be doing MR-related work?

    • sbosowski

      Hi Paul,
      Glad you enjoyed the post! This is the first time we’ve collected this data specifically for marketing research hiring, so unfortunately we can’t verify whether this is a shift from previous periods. In our sample, CPG firms represent about 16% of the firms who responded.

      As for the outsourcing and data science/analytics question, some clients are increasingly looking for a hybrid analytics/MR background, but those people are incredibly rare so that’s not a widespread trend yet. These are all interesting questions though, so as we notice shifts in the market we’ll be sure to post updates!




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