Between the Lines: The rise of market research

Few with any knowledge of the market research industry will be surprised that WPP's Kantar Group is looking to bring in a media heavy-hitter to help grow its business (page 1). While media operators of Mark Cranmer's calibre are in demand because of their hard-nosed business acumen, they can also bring new skills to the market research field.

Kantar, and its rivals, face the unenviable challenge of grasping the impact of changes in the media landscape, such as media convergence and fragmentation of content, on their businesses.

Understanding consumer behaviour and its relationship to media consumption lies at the heart of a company such as Kantar; it's just harder now than ever to keep up with changes in this relationship.

WPP has already acted swiftly in media forecasting, bringing in ZenithOptimedia's numbers guru Adam Smith to run Group M's forecasting operation and to monitor digital and DM trends.

Market research has growth potential for WPP and its rivals. Putting media know-how at its centre is a smart move.

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