Marketing researchers spread thin, data show

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Data indicate a noticeable step-up in the workload for market research pros based at pharmaceutical firms.
The primary research spend managed per full-time employee (FTE) increased significantly over the last five years from roughly $849,000 in 2006 to nearly $1.4 million in 2010, figures from TGaS Advisors show. Data were presented at the Pharmaceutical Marketing Research Group Annual National Conference in March.
TGaS does not have a generally accepted opinion about the right workload. Heavier workloads were more a factor of manufacturers thinning out their ranks than shrinking MR budgets. “Brand managers' demand for research hasn't really changed—the same issues have to be tracked,” explained TGaS's John Kain, VP, management advisor. “Our hypothesis is that budgets are tightened and headcount is shrunk or allowed to attrition accordingly—and then brand teams come up with funds for necessary research.”
TGaS derives the metric by dividing the total external market research spend per year by the number of FTEs managing those research projects. Calculations were derived from 8-11 benchmarks per year, Kain said.
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