Market research is the collection and analysis of information about consumers, competitors or the environment. The annual Honomichl report published by the American Marketing Association lists the top 50 market research companies in the world. The ranking is based on information compiled from 196 for-profit research organisations. The top five marketing firms in 2009 are Nielsen, Kantar Group (which includes Taylor Nelson Sofres [TNS]), Intercontinental Medical Statistics (IMS) Health Inc., Westat Inc. and Information Resources Inc. (IRI).
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The Nielsen Company
Nielsen is a global information and media firm that had revenue earnings of £3.3 billion in 2008. Its services include marketing, consumer, TV, online, mobile, trade-show and business-publication research and measurement. Nielsen is privately owned, employs more than 34,000 people in about 100 countries and is headquartered in New York City.
Kantar Group, a division of the WPP Group Inc. that was founded in 1993, is based in London and Fairfield, Conn. It consists of a spectrum of companies that offer research services that allow business to better understand their consumers. The company has a workforce of roughly 26,500 employees in 80 countries, and its services are used by Fortune 500 companies. Kantar Group underwent restructuring after acquiring the research firm TNS in 2008. TNS was ranked the third largest market research company in the previous year.
IMS Health Inc.
IMS Health Inc. was founded in 1954 and is currently a publicly traded company specialising in global health care intelligence. Its offerings are used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as government agencies, researchers and financial analysts. Following acquisitions in 2007 and 2008, IMS Health Inc. provides information, analysis and consulting services in more than 100 countries. With headquarters in Norwalk, Conn. It has 1,950 employees in the United States.
Westat Inc. is an employee-owned contract research organisation serving federal, state and local governments and agencies in the United States. Based in Maryland, the company employs approximately 2,000 full-time employees, along with 1,700 home-based telephone interviewers, field interviewers and data-editing staff. Its services include data collection and analysis, scientific and clinical research as well as computer systems development.
IRI, a publicly traded company acquired in 2003 by the private Symphony Technology Group LLC, provides insight into the consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and health care markets. It also offers information and analysis services as well as technology and domain expertise. IRI operates in 58 countries and has 3,600 employees worldwide.
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