Japan Marketing Research Association

Norio Taori

Since its establishment as the Japan Marketing Research Agency Council in February 1975, JMRA has endeavored to further the development of marketing research and its penetration of public awareness, to provide training and to establish a code of ethics. We pride ourselves in having made considerable contributions to the development of marketing and marketing research in Japan. Especially since JMRA was formed officially as a non-profit corporation in July 1986, its visibility and impartiality have been strengthened and its activities intensified.

Marketing in Japan can look back on a history of more than 50 years. It is becoming increasingly necessary, having become an essential management tool for enterprises and organizations.

With the change of marketing and social environment, the environment around marketing research also changes; there is a need to the development of new styles the improvement of techniques, and the expansion of the information network through the use of electronic media.

On this background, we see great meaning in furthering the involvement of clients, scholars, researchers, research companies and others engaged in marketing and marketing research, in JMRA, in widening the scope of membership, establishing information exchange and human relations in order to enjoy the results of our study and research activities and of exchange with players at home and abroad.

In the hope that this brief introduction will be of use to potential members, we present the following details members that we present the following details on JMRA activities and membership.


The Japan Marketing Research Association was established with the aim of working towards the healthy development of marketing research, which should in turn contribute, to the growth of the Japanese economy and the improvement of the lives of the Japanese people. This is to be done through the establishment of a marketing research code of ethics. All research companies should enforce this by providing staff training and raising the overall level of professional expertise.

This mission informs all JMRA activities, which cover:
1.Establishing a marketing research code of ethics and the penetration and development of a code of conduct of marketing research

2.Providing staff training on marketing research

3.Conducting surveys and studies on marketing research

4.Raising the overall level of professional expertise and the penetration on marketing research

5.Responding to complaints concerning marketing research

6.Establishing cooperation and exchange between domestic and international players engaged in marketing research

7.Other activities that are needed to accomplish the aim of JMRA

The aim of the above activities is

To strengthen JMRA's standing

To penetrate a code of conduct of marketing research

Staff training and raising the quality of marketing research with the final goal being to foster member companies' continued growth.


How has marketing research contributed to the development of marketing in Japan?
Marketing was introduced to Japan from the USA in the 1950s and in the beginning focused on new product development and advertising based on marketing research. The further development of marketing has been propelled by the need to react to arising mew demands, such as the organization of distribution into affiliations, changes in the distribution system, product differentiation, sales promotion, area marketing, lifestyle research, development of new technologies and new products, CI strategies, corporate reform, developing new lines of business, retail support, sales by proposition, consumer satisfaction etc. and the necessity to grapple with issues in various functional areas.
Marketing research has played an important role in supporting these marketing activities. Thus, the history of marketing in Japan can be termed the history of marketing research in Japan.

How have JMRA activities contributed to the formation of the research industry and the establishment of its reputation?
Marketing research is based on a relationship of trust between the clients in need of research, the research agency conducting the research, and the survey objects who provide information in good faith. Parallel to the expansion of the social function of marketing research, the relationship between these three parties has to be maintained and strengthened.
Marketing research depends on public reliance that research is carried out fairly, and objectively. Research must be done without going into private lives and disadvantaging survey respondents. Also, it relies on spontaneous cooperation by survey respondents. This reliance has to be guaranteed by the " code of conduct of marketing research" which regulates the marketing research field.
Regrettably, however, occasional complaints are still voiced about unethical conduct of research companies such as breach of confidentiality.

On this background, the Japan Marketing Research Agency Council was established in February 1975 as a voluntary association with the aim to formulate the Japan Marketing Research Platform (presently, Marketing Research Platform), to define the position of the research companies and to respond to the needs of society. The renaming of the Council to Japan Marketing Research Association (JMRA) in 1978 reflected the insight that the research environment can only be improved when those commissioning and those conducting research reflect on its proper management within the same framework.

JMRA made a new start as Japan's only association of the marketing research industry in 1986 with its acknowledgement as a legal entity by the Ministry of Economy, Trade and Industry. Thus, beginning with its foundation as a voluntary organization, JMRA can look back on a history spanning 26 years from its beginnings as a voluntary organization to its present status as a professional association.

The History and Results of JMRA

Year Month History and activities
1975 February -established as the Japan Marketing Research Agency Council, hold a general meeting of establishment
-adopted Code of Conduct of Marketing Research for Japan
October -distribute leaflets to the respondents
November -penetration of Japan Code of Conduct of Marketing Research
1976 April -the first issue of "Marketing Researcher"
(research specialist journal, quarterly)
October -the first issue of "Research Industry Survey Results" (annual)
1977 April -the first annual 3-day intensive seminar for newly recruited researchers
August -the first fact-finding survey about providing for public reading of the resident register
October -the first biannual survey for the subjects of research
1978 June -rename of the Council to Japan Marketing Research Association
October -started to recruit supporting members
1979 March -published "Marketing Research Glossary for new researchers"
1980 March -conducted Basic Survey about "a product test"
May -the 5th anniversary lecture, published the 5th anniversary book, ratified ESOMAR International Code of Marketing and Social Research Practice, requested universities in Japan to use Code of Conduct of Marketing Research for Japan as a textbook in a class
1981 April -published the report of response bias
November -conducted a survey about research response rate
1982 February -conducted a survey about interviewer's management
March -conducted a survey about research contract
1983 April -held a conference arranged by ESOMAR, AMA, and JMRA in San Francisco
November -wrote and cooporated 'Marketing Research Industry' in "Service Industry Yearbook ('84, '86, '88, '90, '94)" edited by Ministry of International Trade and Industry
1984 January -distributed the leaflet "What is Marketing Research?" for local governments
March -made the first researchers management guideline
September -submitted "the vision of Marketing Research Industry" entrusted by "a society for study of Service Industry" of Ministry of International Trade and Industry
November -submitted to Ministry of Home Affairs administration department promotion section "Demand about providing for public reading of the resident register"
1985 February -held the 10th anniversary ceremony and a lecture
-published "Aim at 21st century-the vision of marketing research industry-"
April -started to follow the necessary procedures of being a non-profit organization
1986 May -sent to the local government counters of the resident register a document of a request about proving for public reading of the resident register
June -held an extraordinary general meeting of Japan Marketing Research Association and an establishment general meeting of Japan Marketing Research Association as a non-profit organization
-renamed "Code of Conduct of Marketing Research for Japan" to "Code of Conduct of Marketing Research"
July -formed officially as a non-profit organization by a permission from Minister of International Trade and Industry
-held an establishment anniversary ceremony
-published "Establishment Anniversary Booklet"
1987 March -made ID card for researchers
-held an informal gathering for discussion about sales tax
November -accepted "marketing research" as an item of a survey about "information service industry" in particular service industry survey
1988 January -participated in a new years exchange greetings party in advertising held with 19 organizations related to marketing
September -sent the first group of inspectors to search for the trend of new business in the U.S. and Canada (annual)
1989 January -held an informal gathering for discussion about consumption tax
February -reported the Fair Trade Commission on cooperative behavior how to shift to and show consumption tax
1990 July -held the 15th anniversary ceremony
-made a public recognition of people of merit and a paper for a prize contest
-first publish in Japan "White Book on Market Research" and "the Beginnings of Market Research"
-distributed of a leaflet for research cooperators "What is marketing research?"
September -held the 1st meeting of "Researchers in Osaka" (annual)
1991 March -an action plan VIP concept in shape about "ideal situation of JMRA"
1992 April -renewed JMRA logo
October -held a joint conference with MRSA in Sydney
1993 May -published a report of the recruitment situation in marketing research industry and survey results for younger researchers
July -published a report of asking the roles and the problems of marketing research toward the 21st century
September -published "JMRA Handbook" for foreign countries
1995 January -assigned member's number to full members to increase their trust
February -survey of influence to research activities by the Great Hanshin Earthquake
-donation for the victims
April -assisted to join accident insurance for interviewer's and PL insurance accompanied with taking effect of Product Liability July 1.
May -published "Marketing Research Dictionary"(by Doyukan)
June -held the 20th anniversary ceremony in Japan Federation of Economic Organizations Hall
1996 May -revised "the articles of association" and "Code of Conduct of Marketing Research"
July -published "JMRA NEWS" (every other month)
1997 March -submitted the report of study and research for the revised Code of Conduct of Marketing Research, subsidized by the Foundation of Industry Research Institute
July -send a delegate to the Committee of Granting Marks of Confidence for Privacy Protection by MITI's Guidelines concerning the protection of personal date
1998 June -made the Guidelines concerning the Central Location Test
July -acquired the JMRA's original domainMade the Guideline concerning the management of Marketing Research
September -revised drastically and published "Marketing Research Dictionary"
1999 February -designated as the second designated organization in the marketing research industry. JMRA is responsible for accepting and examining an application for privacy mark certification.
March -held a 1st Privacy Mark Jury. 5 applicant companies are based on JIS Q 15001, a compliance program regarding examing, certifying and privacy protection law.
June -published a report of "An existing condition and problems about Internet Research in Japan"
2000 January -held a annual meeting for publicity of Code of Conduct Marketing Research at Tokyo and Osaka.
February -held meeting for explain JMRA Quality Standard atTokyo and Osaka.
July -revicesed "Marketing Research Indusry, Privacy Protection Guideline" and "Regulations of Privacy Mark System and Examination Procedure".
October -held the 25th anniversary ceremony and a lecture.
-published 25th anniversary journal.
2001 January -delegated to the 1st ESOMAR Research Leaders Summit (Releas) at Geneva, Switzerland.
September -held a seminar under the auspices with Japanese Group Dynamics Association
-conducted a survey about "Problems confronting Japan Marketing Research Industry" for representative of full member companies.
2002 April -forced "JMRA Quality Standard (JMRQS)"
2003 April -established ISO/TC225 national committee, and held 1st meeting.
-submitted a public comments for "becoming trusted companies by consumers -guidelines for self reguration of conduct-"
May -passed and issued Privacy protection Law in Japan
July -published "MR Judical Handbook -Q&A classified by research steps"
-published "Report regarding Internet Marketing Research and Statistical Sampling Research"
-attended ISO/TC225 1st meeting at Madrid, Spain