Market Research Companies – an overview

Most large to big businesses have their own market research teams. These teams not only conduct research themselves, but most often outsource the requests to specialised companies. In the UK alone there are well over 250 market research companies, some operating in small niche markets. In this blog I will focus on some of the most well known market research companies that operate across the globe.

Market Research Companies

Market Research Companies


is a global marketing research firm and part of The Nielsen Company. One of ACNielsen’s best known creations is the Nielsen ratings, which measure television, radio and newspaper audiences in their respective media markets. Another market research tool is Homescan where sample members track and report all grocery and retail purchases, allowing purchasing patterns to be related to household demographics.
One of the most common used products is Retail Measurement, a tool that provides continuous tracking of product sales to consumers, based on information gathered at the retail point-of-sale (EPOS data)
Other well known ACN Businesses are BASES, Nielsen Consumer, Nielsen Business Media and Nielsen Online.

Bazis Intelligence Group

is a Russian research agency, the first company which conducted on-line focus-group in Russia in 2005. Bazis IG covers industries like Construction, Automotive, Healthcare and Employee loyalty. It uses a range of methodologies, Qualitative and Quantitative, Competitive (SWOT analysis) and Market entry.
The main capability lies in CATI, Focus rooms and ActiveGroup

Forrester Research

is an independent technology and market research company that provides its clients with advice about technology’s impact on business and consumers.  It offers a variety of services including syndicated research on technology, quantitative market research on consumer technology adoption and business IT spending, research-based consulting and advisory services. On its website you can find a wide range of free research, options to be alerted on new conducted research as well as of the shelf surveys.


is a worldwide market research organisation providing services in five business divisions: Custom Research, Retail and Technology, Consumer Tracking, Media and Healthcare. The Custom Research sector supplies information and consulting services for operational and strategic marketing decisions. Retailer POS data is the source for the Retail and Technology sector. The sector supplies clients with information and consulting services based on retail data from continuous surveys and analyses of sales of technical consumer goods and services in the retail sector. The Media Sector delivers information services on range, intensity and nature of media usage and acceptance. The data source for the Media sector stems from the media (point of media).

Ipsos MORI

is the second largest survey research organisation in the UK. The organisation has a freely available archive of opinion polls and public attitude research from 1970 onwards, including trends on its UK website. Ipsos MORI’s Social Research Institute works extensively for UK government and public services, looking at public attitudes to key public services which formed a key part of the UK Government’s domestic agenda in 1997-2005. Social policy, and issues such as identity, social cohesion, physical capital and the impact of place on attitudes are all key themes of the Institute’s work. The company also specialises in Media, Loyalty and Marketing and Advertising Research.

Mintel International Group Ltd

is a privately owned, London-based market research firm.  Mintel databases, analysis, and forecasts are accessible only to subscribing clients and to students in participating university libraries. Some of its products are: Mintel Beauty Innovation (monitors mass media beauty introductions), Mintel Comperemedia (tracks direct mail and print advertising), Mintel Food & Drink (combines 5 products to deliver actionable market intelligence) and Mintel Menu Insights (tracks items on US restaurant menus). Mintel is mostly known for its reports, which are published online and contain consumer research and analysis.

The NPD Group, Inc.

(formerly National Purchase Diary) is a leading North American market research company founded in 1967 and provides consumer and retail information to manufacturers and retailers. Using actual sales data from retailers and distributors as well as consumer-reported purchasing behaviour, NPD offers consumer panel and retail sales tracking services, special reports, modelling and analytics, and custom research. Covered industries include apparel, appliances, automotive, beauty, consumer electronics, food and beverage, food-service, footwear, home improvement, house wares, imaging, information technology, movies, music, software, toys, video games and wireless.

SymphonyIRI Group

(formerly Information Resources, Inc.) is a market research company which provides clients with consumer, shopper, and retail market intelligence and analysis focused on the consumer packaged goods (CPG) industry. They offer services in the following areas: Market Content (Retail tracking data, convenience store tracking data and consumer panel-based data), Predictive Analytics (Decomposition of the drivers of current business trends and simulation of the effects of changes on future brand plans), Enterprise Performance Management Software (Tools to support faster analysis of market content) and Professional Services / Consulting.


is a market research firm owned by the Aegis Group. Aegis Group plc is the parent company of Aegis Media and Synovate. Aegis media has 4 media companies under the group – Carat, Isobar, Vizeum, Posterscope and SPI Advertising. It has a number of different divisions, such as Synovate Healthcare, Synovate loyalty , Synovate Censydiam and Motoresearch. They claimed themselves as the most “curious” people in the world


is is the world’s largest communications services group in terms of revenue. Kantar, based in London, was founded in 1993 as the Market Research, Information and Consultancy Division of WPP. It is a network of 13 specialist companies, including:

  • Research International specialises in qualitative and quantitative custom market research. It has experience in most major sectors, particularly consumer packaged goods, retail, new media, financial services, energy and utilities, technology, the postal sector and telecommunications.
  • Millward Brown provides qualitative, quantitative and consulting services with respect to brands, marketing communications, media and marketing effectiveness. Millward Brown works across a range of industries and categories, including brand strategy and experience, creative development and campaign evaluation, consumer needs and values, media planning and strategy, return on investment (ROI) and forecasting, and investment management, brand valuation and analytics through its MB Optimor unit. In the UK, Millward Brown currently compiles the Music and Video Charts on behalf of The Official Charts Company.
  • IMRB International‘s specialised areas are consumer markets, industrial marketing, business to business marketing, social marketing and rural marketing
  • Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) is a leading market research and market information group with focus on the areas Automotive, Consumer, Finance, Political and Social, and Technology
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