Feature

Market Research: Research leagues Top 65

Research can bring valuable returns for clients, and 2003 saw it consolidate its position within the marketing mix, says Drew Barrand

Market research's underlying status as a measurement technique that offers tangible results sits in stark contrast to many other marketing disciplines, which find it more difficult to quantify their effect on the bottom line. As proof of return on investment remains paramount to clients, this means market research agencies have plenty going for them.

But while agencies in this sector may be slightly more recession-proof than their counterparts in other disciplines, this should not be misread as an indication that they did not have to work hard to maintain their turnover levels in 2003. The start of last year proved tough due to intense client budget pressures, though as 2003 went on, the industry became increasingly lively as it emerged from this economic stranglehold.

'Since October 2003, business has been extremely buoyant and looks set to continue,' says Wendy Mitchell, managing director of RDSi. 'We are getting bookings three months in advance and the market is very active, which is highly encouraging. Fees are keeping pace with inflation, but client demand for added value is still there.'

Excluding the agencies affected by the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act, which makes their financial performance difficult to judge (see box, page 39), the majority of agencies produced a positive percentage change in terms of turnover. ESA, 2cv:research, Nunwood Consulting, Grass Roots Group, Strategic Research and Heawood Research were among the standout agencies which reported significant turnover growth in 2003 (see tables, page 46).

The most noticeable rises came in the middle tier of the table, but it is important to bear in mind that as these firms start from a much lower point than bigger agencies, any comparative upturn will inevitably produce a higher percentage change. The upshot of these gains could make the companies concerned prime acquisition targets for bigger network agencies.

As with most agency sectors there has already been consolidation among market research firms, with the most high-profile being the acquisition of NFO Worldgroup by Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) midway through last year. The addition of NFO Worldgroup, now rebranded as TNS NFO, is sure to propel its new owner even further ahead at the top of the league table next year and is symptomatic of the company's financial muscle. Other successful smaller agencies may well come under the microscope of TNS and its immediate rivals within the coming months, with many industry figures predicting that the sector will undergo further consolidation.

Though acquisition pressure will undoubtedly come to bear on the middle tier independent agencies, there is still an argument for them to resist, according to David Penn, managing director of Conquest.

'People have been saying for years there is no way the medium-sized independents can survive, but our continued growth contradicts this,' he says. 'We have benefited from two trends in the market, which have left us well placed to deliver what clients want: consolidation of agencies into bigger entities and the disappearance of other medium-sized independents; and clients' need for flexibility and added value as research departments shrink and demands accelerate.

'These trends are starting to collide head-on, because the drive for consolidation has nothing to do with giving clients better service, and everything to do with increasing profit,' he adds. 'The truth is that there are few, if any, economies of scale to be had from sticking two research companies together. The only way to save cost is to rationalise; in other words, sack people - usually the expensive senior account handlers whom the clients value most.'

Creative hook

The idea that clients buy into the creativity of agency staff as opposed to the size of the operation is something Penn vociferously defends. He believes this approach is an increasingly important issue, since it is where the added value is achieved for the client and is a way for agencies to differentiate themselves from the competition.

'Do clients care about size? Surely what they really want is an agency that's big enough to do the job, but small enough to care. They want experienced, creative directors running their accounts. Working with bigger agencies, clients often have difficulty getting access to experienced professionals, whereas we are a lot closer to our clients. I find it astonishing that some big agencies have managers with just a few years' experience heading up important accounts,' says Penn.

Given the fact that very few clients employ in-house staff with market research experience, the industry has found itself taking a more central role as brands have become ever more familiar with exactly what the discipline can deliver. Gone are the days of research agencies handing the client lengthy documents of unfathomable data, replaced by an increased accountability on the part of the agency in clarifying the end product and proving its value to the bottom line of the business.

'The market research industry is doing very well at the moment,' says Sanjay Nazerali, managing director of The Depot. 'Business at its most obvious level is about supply and demand and brands are realising that the latter part of this equation is the realm of market research. We are closer to the buyer than management consultants and can deliver the insight necessary for the business to move forward. Holding this power to change the way the client works means market researchers increasingly need to be business people and there's still work for the industry to do here. We need to be more qualified. There are still not enough business people around and consequently there's still a lack of wise investment in research.'

The need for market researchers to understand the businesses with which they work from a strategic viewpoint is driving a trend toward sector specialisation among agencies. 'Having sector specialisms is very important to us,' says Anne-Marie McDermott, managing director of Quaestor Research and Marketing. 'It's better from a credibility standpoint to be known for something and have leadership in a niche or sector. As specialists it also gives us the experience to take a much more strategic role in our client relationships, which in turn means we can do a better job in terms of proving value and delivering.'

Relationship-building

One of the main areas in which Quaestor specialises is media, principally through its long-term association with Channel 4. The contract, which initially started as project work on the first series of Big Brother, has evolved into a much deeper relationship, with Quaestor monitoring all of the broadcaster's programming and examining issues such as impact and audience loyalty. These findings are then fed back to Channel 4 to maximise branding opportunities on a monthly basis. 'When the deal with Channel 4 first started, it was very much a question of a few bits of qualitative work and the odd focus group around Big Brother,' explains McDermott. 'A combination of our experience in the sector and the enthusiasm the staff had for the project led to us being retained in a more permanent capacity. We are now using a whole host of channels and techniques on Channel 4's programming through monthly tracking. It's a major contract for us and proves the benefit of specialisation and knowing your market.'

FMCG differentiation

In the retail and FMCG sectors, market research has become a central voice as client's budgets come under greater scrutiny.

Research techniques have been identified as the best way to monitor elements such as customer service and staff performance - areas where true differentiation is difficult to achieve, but ones that can have a noticeable effect on the company's bottom line.

'In the retail and trade sector there has been a major increase in operational demands such as performance and availability of product,' says ESA marketing and client development director Guy Palmer. 'Consequently, techniques such as mystery shopping, in-store audits and price-checking have become more widely used than traditional market research methods.

'You can learn relatively simple action points at the heart of the organisation of major high-street retailers and manufacturers if this research is done well, which is where being a specialist in the area gives us differentiation as an agency. The trick is to provide the information in a highly visible way at all levels of the company, from the chief executive and directors to the stores and the employees.'

While pinning down an industry sector offers obvious advantages, particularly for the middle- to small-sized agencies, there is still an argument for spreading the net a little wider, according to Phyllis Macfarlane, chief executive Europe, NOP World - the unified brand for the NOP Research Group.

'Having specialist areas is all very well, but there is an increasing demand from clients to know what is going on in other sectors,' she explains. 'The realisation is that you can learn from what's going on around you, which has seen a clear breaking down of the barriers that previously existed between industry sectors. Consumer attitudes toward one sector can be insightful in learning how they behave toward another. There is a client need for a wide scope of knowledge.'

Macfarlane points to social and political research as the star sectors at the moment, buoyed by an increasing amount of government-commissioned work. This has been countered by some consolidation in NOP's healthcare business, while the automotive sector has been a tough sell of late.

Progressive techniques

Whatever the sector, market research agencies are adapting their techniques to get closer to the target audience. Agencies have a tendency to be proprietary about their methods, but with so much information around given the lengthy evolution of the discipline, major cut-through in ground-breaking techniques is understandably limited. What has changed, however, is an increasing use of technology and additional channels through which the research is performed.

Nunwood Consulting, for example, which enjoyed a successful year picking up contracts for Npower, HBOS and M&S Money, is phasing out paper questionnaires in favour of PDAs. In embracing technological advances - and Nunwood is not the only agency to do this - the research processes have become more efficient in both cost- and time-saving.

Online panels is another area which has seen major growth. HI Europe has the biggest internet panel in Europe, comprising more than 1.7m members who have participated in online panels two or more times, and defends its major adoption of this methodology by pointing to Inside Research figures, which suggest that the European internet-based market research industry will swell to $132m (£72m) in revenue by the end of 2004.

John Leston, chief executive of the RS Consulting Group, cites improvement in online panels as a fast-developing area. 'We have seen a big improvement in the past year; now we are getting a great service from online panels, allowing us to work more creatively and better meet our clients needs,' he says.

'US online panels are still ahead of their European counterparts, although the gap is closing. B2B online panels, however, are still a problem area, and the majority of successful online panels are still consumer-only. But it is only a matter of time, and I believe B2B panels will make great strides this year,' Leston adds.

From an agency standpoint, such advances in technology and techniques make for interesting discussion, but there is a general feeling that clients are more concerned with the results at the end of the process, rather than the process itself.

'Techniques are not necessarily so vital to clients,' says David Iddiols, managing director of HPI Research Group. 'They are keen to know the research has been done properly, but this is increasingly a given in any agency relationship. The real interest lies in the delivery. With so much information out there, the chances are that 80% of the results of any research are actually reaffirming data the client already knew. This has value in that it reassures the brand it knows its target audience, but the real benefit is in the 20% that is unknown. This is where you achieve cut-through for the client and make a difference.'

There is a definite feeling that market research has finally emerged from the corner and swept into the mainstream as an accepted part of the marketing mix. It may have been recognised as a contributor to the success of an overall commercial strategy in the past, but 2003 seems to have been the year when it's importance was truly recognised.

THE SARBANES-OXLEY EFFECT

For companies affected by the US Sarbanes-Oxley Act, designed to clamp down on financial misinformation, we have used Companies House data provided by Willott Kingston Smith. In most cases, the latest data available has been for the 2002 financial year, although there were some affected agencies for which 2003 information had been filed, namely Millward Brown UK, BMRB International, HI Europe, Added Value and Banner Corporation.

All Sarbanes-Oxley-affected companies are listed under their group names and figures as opposed to individually by their constituting subsidiaries.

It is important to consider this when viewing the leagues, as for some companies it has been impossible to separate their UK turnover from their global figures. Consequently the turnover figures for a handful of firms are slightly inflated above their true UK financials. No financial data could be found in Companies House for Sadek Wynberg Millward Brown, HPI Research Group, ACNielsen or IRI.

TOP RESEARCH AGENCIES

Agency T'over 2003 T'over 2002 % Staff Int'l

(pounds) (pounds) chg work

(%)

1 Taylor Nelson Sofres 159,494,000 160,197,000 0 2200 21

2 Millward Brown UK* 79,430,000 71,249,000 11 510 n/a

3 NOP Research Group* n/a 71,700,000 n/a 639 n/a

4 Research International* n/a 61,639,000 n/a 445 n/a

5 Ipsos UK 47,000,000 44,100,000 7 360 20

6 Synovate 46,900,000 n/a n/a 420 35

7 NFO Worldgroup* n/a 46,183,000 n/a 1009 n/a

8 BMRB International* 40,459,000 42,416,000 -5 382 n/a

9 MORI Group 39,432,000 35,830,000 10 391 12

10 Mintel 25,590,000 19,439,000 32 360 50

11 Incepta Marketing 19,600,000 16,960,000 16 146 40

Intelligence

12 Martin Hamblin GfK 18,340,000 19,763,000 -7 130 55

13 Banner Corporation* 15,718,000 19,769,000 -20 56 n/a

14 HI Europe* 14,763,000 13,595,000 9 149 62

15 ORC International* n/a 12,619,000 n/a 140 n/a

16 Promar International* n/a 11,618,000 n/a 222 n/a

17 Maritz Research 11,600,000 n/a n/a 88 23

18 Added Value* 11,394,000 12,054,000 -5 72 n/a

19 Hall and Partners n/a 9,614,000 n/a 78 n/a

Europe*

20 Business Planning 7,352,000 6,038,000 22 47 n/a

and Research*

21 Marketing Sciences 7,330,000 6,531,000 12 44 32

22 BMG Research 6,226,281 6,211,329 0 110 3

23 RS Consulting 6,093,000 5,405,000 13 38 90

24 ESA 6,033,000 4,454,000 35 64 3

25 FDS International 6,009,000 5,538,000 9 33 2

26 Quaestor Research 5,340,000 4,685,000 14 72 2

27 BDRC Group 5,288,000 4,811,000 10 31 34

28 Ronin Corporation 4,977,000 4,595,000 8 42 94

29 Business Research Group 4,670,000 4,502,000 4 70 80

30 RDSi 4,282,000 4,572,000 -6 37 19

31 Conquest Research 4,260,000 3,408,000 25 30 25

32 Morpace International* n/a 3,917,000 n/a 80 n/a

33 2cv:research 3,517,000 2,627,000 34 22 25

34= Nunwood Consulting 3,400,000 2,500,000 36 55 2

34= MVA 3,400,000 4,000,000 -15 29 0

36 Echo Research 3,304,634 4,304,394 -23 36 40

37 Maven Management 3,210,000 3,527,000 -9 105 1

38 Leapfrog Research 3,200,000 3,094,000 3 23 10

& Planning

39 Grass Roots Group 2,905,000 1,956,000 49 267 3

40 React Surveys 2,732,000 2,256,000 21 34 54

41 Accent Marketing 2,628,000 2,693,000 -2 30 10

& Research

42 ABA Quality Monitoring 2,476,228 1,926,243 29 38 5

43 Firefish 2,205,795 1,480,627 49 10 35

44 Outlook Research 2,058,298 1,734,599 19 12 10

45 Millward Brown Ulster* n/a 2,055,000 n/a 22 0

46 Jones Rhodes Associates 1,984,000 2,220,000 -11 15 0

47 Market Measures 1,828,000 2,155,000 -15 18 7

48 Consensus Research 1,792,000 1,700,000 5 16 75

49 Kudos Research 1,763,000 1,823,000 -3 19 85

50 Strategic Research 1,667,000 1,099,000 52 24 0

51 Kadence 1,510,000 1,335,000 13 14 60

52 B2B International 1,245,898 1,252,702 -1 20 20

53 Albermarle Marketing n/a 1,084,000 n/a 9 n/a

Research*

54 20/20 Research 912,541 778,021 17 20 0

55 DataBuild 856,076 704,703 21 45 0

56 Quality Fieldwork & 774,000 725,000 7 8 0

Research Services

57 The Cog 768,000 691,000 11 5 0

58 RCU 625,488 610,446 2 17 0

59 Research Quorum 619,000 580,000 7 4 16

60 Vivid Interface 600,000 470,840 27 10 10

61 Brahm Research 589,000 548,000 7 6 0

62 The Depot 425,000 350,000 21 4 75

63 Heawood Research 365,000 211,000 73 6 0

64 In-House Research 327,554 302,810 8 2 0

65 Survey Solutions 268,138 250,301 7 8 20

Agency

1 Taylor Nelson Sofres

Founded 1960. Subsidiary TNS. Chairman Tony Cowling. Consumer

(61%), B2B (39%). Quantitative (58%), qualitative (7%),

continuous/syndicated (33%), mystery shopping (2%). Telecoms,

healthcare, IT. www.tns-global.com

2 Millward Brown UK*

Founded 1973. Subsidiary WPP. MDs Sharon Potter, Sue Gardiner. No

work breakdown given. Food & drink, telecoms, financial.

www.millwardbrown.co.uk

3 NOP Research Group*

Founded 1957. Subsidiary United Business Media. Chairman Malcolm

Wall. No work breakdown given. No specialisms given.

www.nopworld.com

4 Research International*

Founded 1944. Subsidiary WPP. Chairman/chief executive Colin

Buckingham. No work breakdown given. No specialisms given.

www.research-int.com

5 Ipsos UK

Founded 1946. Subsidiary Ipsos SA. Chairman Jean-Michel Carlo.

Consumer (88%), B2B (12%). Quantitative (60%), qualitative (5%),

continuous/syndicated (35%). No specialisms given. www.ipsos-uk.com

6 Synovate

Founded 2003 (formerly Aegis Research). Subsidiary Aegis Group.

Chairman Bill Pegram. Quantitative (48%), qualitative (32%),

continuous/syndicated (20%). No specialisms given. www.synovate.com

7 NFO Worldgroup*

Founded 1945. Subsidiary Interpublic. Chairman Nigel Spackman. No

work breakdown given. No specialisms given. www.nfow.com

8 BMRB International*

Founded 1933. Subsidiary Walker Information Global Network. Chief

executive Andy Brown. No work breakdown given. No specialisms

given. www.bmrb.co.uk

9 MORI Group

Founded 1969. Privately owned. Chairman Professor Bob Worcester.

Quantitative (73%), qualitative (13%), continuous/syndicated (14%).

No specialisms given. www.mori.com

10 Mintel

Founded 1972. Privately owned. MD John Weeks. No work breakdown

given. Consumer, retail, leisure. www.mintel.com

11 Incepta Marketing Intelligence

Founded 2002. Subsidiary Incepta Group. Chairman Dr David Smith.

Consumer (75%), B2B (25%). Quantitative (51%), qualitative (43%),

continuous/syndicated (6%). No specialisms given.

www.incepta-mi.com

12 Martin Hamblin GfK

Founded 1969. Subsidiary GfK. MDs Steve Grundy, Karen Wise.

Consumer (62%), B2B (38%). Quantitative (83%), qualitative (17%).

FMCG, food & drink, healthcare. www.martinhamblin-gfk.com

13 Banner Corporation*

Founded 1985. Subsidiary WPP. MD Paul Gordon. No work breakdown

given. Technology. www.b1.com

14 HI Europe*

Founded 1984. Subsidiary Harris Interactive. President George

Terhanian. No work breakdown given. No specialisms given.

www.hieurope.com

15 ORC International*

Founded 1969. Subsidiary ORC International. MD Richard Cornelius.

No work breakdown given. Retail, telecoms, finance. www.orc.co.uk

16 Promar International*

Founded 1977. Subsidiary Genus. Director Tom Sewell. No work

breakdown given. Agriculture, food & drink.

www.promar-international.com

17 Maritz Research

Founded 1991. Privately owned. MD David Jamieson. Consumer (92%),

B2B (8%). Quantitative (30%), qualitative (2%),

continuous/syndicated (42%), mystery shopping (26%). Automotive,

government, retail. www.maritz.co.uk

18 Added Value*

Founded 1988. Subsidiary WPP. MD Paul McGowan. No work breakdown

given. No specialisms given. www.added-value.com

19 Hall and Partners Europe*

Founded 1992. Subsidiary Diversified Advertising Services.

Chairman/MD Mike Hall. No work breakdown given. FMCG, healthcare,

finance. www.hall-and-partners.com

20 Business Planning and Research*

Founded 1986. Subsidiary WPP. Chairman Jonathan Shingleton. No work

breakdown given. Travel, finance, telecoms. www.bprigroup.com

21 Marketing Sciences

Founded 1977. Subsidiary Creston. MD Keith Bates. Consumer (95%),

B2B (5%). Quantitative (91%), qualitative (8%), mystery shopping

(1%). Healthcare, food & drink, retail. www.marketing-sciences.com

22 BMG Research

Founded 1986. Privately owned. Chairman/MD Jonathan Bostock.

Consumer (82%), B2B (18%). Quantitative (83%), qualitative (16%),

mystery shopping (1%). Government, industry. www.bmgresearch.co.uk

23 RS Consulting

Founded 1984. Privately owned. Chairman John Leston. Consumer

(10%), B2B (90%). Quantitative (50%), qualitative (30%),

continuous/syndicated (20%). No specialisms given.

www.rsconsulting.com

24 ESA

Founded 1979. Privately owned. CEO Tony Keen. Quantitative (74%),

qualitative (1%), mystery shopping (25%). Retail, FMCG, leisure.

www.esa.co.uk

25 FDS International

Founded 1972. Privately owned. Chairman/MD Janet Weitz. Consumer

(74%), B2B (26%). Quantitative (38%), qualitative (9%),

continuous/syndicated (47%), mystery shopping (6%). Telecoms,

transport, government. www.fds.co.uk

26 Quaestor Research

Founded 1986. Subsidiary EQ Group. Chairman Bob Bond. Consumer

(85%), B2B (15%). Quantitative (46%), qualitative (51%),

continuous/syndicated (3%). Media, finance, retail.

www.quaestor.co.uk

27 BDRC Group

Founded 1991. Privately owned. Chairman Cris Tarrant. Consumer

(73%), B2B (27%). Quantitative (34%), qualitative (20%),

continuous/syndicated (42%), mystery shopping (4%). Finance,

travel, retail. www.bdrc.co.uk

28 Ronin Corporation

Founded 1986. Privately owned. Chairman Harry Bunn. Consumer (11%),

B2B (89%). Quantitative (97%), qualitative (3%). IT,

pharmaceutical. www.ronin.com

29 Business Research Group

Founded 1991. Privately owned. Chairman Dan Wildey. B2B (100%).

Quantitative (40%), qualitative (58%), mystery shopping (2%). No

specialisms given. www.brg.co.uk

30 RDSi

Founded 1984. Privately owned. MD Wendy Mitchell. Consumer (95%),

B2B (5%). Quantitative (18%), qualitative (77%),

continuous/syndicated (5%). FMCG, finance, retail.

www.rdsiresearch.com

31 Conquest Research

Founded 1989. Privately owned. MD David Penn. Consumer (100%).

Quantitative (100%). Food & drink, retail, tourism.

www.conquestuk.com

32 Morpace International*

Founded 1997. Subsidiary Morpace International. MD Mick Nagle. No

work breakdown given. No specialisms given. www.morpace.co.uk

33 2cv:research

Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chairman Vincent Nolan. Consumer

(83%), B2B (17%). Quantitative (25%), qualitative (70%), fieldwork

(5%). No specialisms given. www.2cv.co.uk

34= Nunwood Consulting

Founded 1996. Privately owned. MD Clare Bruce. Consumer (84%), B2B

(16%). Quantitative (23%), qualitative (34%), continuous/syndicated

(40%), mystery shopping (3%). Retail, FMCG, finance.

www.nunwood.com

34= MVA

Founded 1968. Privately owned. Chairman Alain Esteve. Consumer

(65%), B2B (35%). Quantitative (60%), qualitative (20%),

continuous/syndicated (10%), mystery shopping (10%). Transport,

government, education. www.mva-research.com

36 Echo Research

Founded 1989. Privately owned. Chairman Sandra Macleod. Consumer

(40%), B2B (60%). Quantitative (19%), qualitative (10%), desk

research (71%). Finance, FMCG, IT. www.echoresearch.com

37 Maven Management

Founded 1989. Privately owned. MD Iain Livingston. Consumer (75%),

B2B (25%). Qualitative (100%). Automotive, retail, public services.

www.maven.co.uk

38 Leapfrog Research & Planning

Founded 1994. Privately owned. CEOs Andrea Berlowitz, Judy Taylor.

Consumer (100%). Quantitative (18%), qualitative (82%). No

specialisms given. www.leapfrogresearch.co.uk

39 Grass Roots Group

Founded 1980. Privately owned. Chairman David Evans. Consumer

(100%). Quantitative (33%), mystery shopping (67%). Automotive,

finance. www.grg.com

40 React Surveys

Founded 1994. Privately owned. Chairman John Lowe. Consumer (100%).

Mystery shopping (100%). No specialisms given. www.reactsurveys.com

41 Accent Marketing & Research

Founded 1988. Privately owned. Chairman/MD Rob Sheldon. Consumer

(53%), B2B (47%). Quantitative (52%), qualitative (29%),

continuous/syndicated (15%), mystery shopping (4%). Utilities,

transport, healthcare. www.accent-mr.com

42 ABA Quality Monitoring

Founded 1990. Privately owned. Chairman Alan Butterworth. Consumer

(100%). Mystery shopping (100%). No specialisms given.

www.aba.co.uk

43 Firefish

Founded 2000. Privately owned. MDs Jem Fawcus, Alison Fydler.

Consumer (100%). Quantitative (2%), qualitative (98%). Consumer,

events, sponsorship. www.firefish.ltd.uk

44 Outlook Research

Founded 1996. Privately owned. Chairman/MD Diane Allard. Consumer

(87%), B2B (13%). Quantitative (35%), qualitative (60%),

continuous/syndicated (5%). Transport, telecoms, media.

www.outlookresearch.co.uk

45 Millward Brown Ulster*

Founded 1965. Subsidiary WPP. MD Richard Moore. No work breakdown

given. No specialisms given. www.millwardbrown.co.uk

46 Jones Rhodes Associates

Founded 1978. Privately owned. Chairman Terry Wagstaff. Consumer

(100%). Quantitative (80%), qualitative (20%). Food & drink,

healthcare, tourism. www.jraresearch.com

47 Market Measures

Founded 1986. Privately owned. Chairman/MD Phil Gurd. Consumer

(100%). Quantitative (97%), continuous/syndicated (3%). FMCG,

utilities, restaurants. www.marketmeasures.co.uk

48 Consensus Research

Founded 1983. Privately owned. Chairman John Leston. B2B (100%).

Quantitative (35%), qualitative (35%), continuous/syndicated (30%).

Finance, public sector. www.consensus-research.com

49 Kudos Research

Founded 1986. Privately owned. MD Rebecca Candy. Consumer (15%),

B2B (85%). Quantitative (97%), qualitative (3%). IT, telecoms,

finance. www.kudosresearch.com

50 Strategic Research

Founded 1989. Privately owned. MD Steve Wills. Consumer (75%), B2B

(25%). Quantitative (24%), qualitative (19%), continuous/syndicated

(57%). Finance, telecoms, energy. www.strategic-research.co.uk

51 Kadence

Founded 1991. Privately owned. Chairman Simon Everard. B2B (100%).

Quantitative (70%), qualitative (30%). Professional services,

telecoms, IT. www.kadence.com

52 B2B International

Founded 1998. Privately owned. Chairman Paul Hague. B2B (100%).

Quantitative (70%), qualitative (25%), continuous/syndicated (5%).

Education, chemicals, food & drink. www.b2binternational.com

53 Albermarle Marketing Research*

Founded 1968. Subsidiary Saatchi & Saatchi. Chairman/MD Richard

Lowe. No work breakdown given. FMCG, professional services.

www.a-m-r.co.uk

54 20/20 Research

Founded 1996. Privately owned. MD Bob Peters. Consumer (67%), B2B

(33%). Quantitative (70%), qualitative (5%), continuous/syndicated

(25%). Retail, finance, publishing. www.2020research.co.uk

55 DataBuild

Founded 1984. Privately owned. Chairman Katherine Netherwood. B2B

(100%). Quantitative (80%), qualitative (20%). Government, public

sector. www.data-build.co.uk

56 Quality Fieldwork & Research Services

Founded 1986. Privately owned. Chairman Trudy Walsh. Consumer

(98%), B2B (2%). Quantitative (96%), qualitative (3%), mystery

shopping (1%). Public sector.

57 The Cog

Founded 1997. Privately owned. MD Michael Armstrong. Consumer

(87%), B2B (13%). Quantitative (20%), qualitative (60%),

consultancy (20%). Food & drink, retail. www.thecog.co.uk

58 RCU

Founded 1993. Privately owned. Chairman John Gracie. Consumer

(80%), B2B (20%). Quantitative (50%), qualitative (45%), mystery

shopping (5%). Education, training. www.rcu.co.uk

59 Research Quorum

Founded 1987. Privately owned. Chairman Gerard Stacey. Consumer

(20%), B2B (80%). Quantitative (38%), qualitative (60%), mystery

shopping (2%). Healthcare, pharmaceutical. www.quorum.co.uk

60 Vivid Interface

Founded 1994. Privately owned. Chairman Geoffrey Dixon. No work

breakdown given. No specialisms given. www.vivid-interface.com

61 Brahm Research

Founded 1997. Privately owned. Chairman Mike Baxandall.

Quantitative (50%), qualitative (50%). Retail, finance, public

sector. www.brahm.com

62 The Depot

Founded 1997. Privately owned. MD Sanjay Nazerali. Consumer (100%).

Quantitative (20%), qualitative (80%). Media, fashion, luxury.

www.thedepot.co.uk

63 Heawood Research

Founded 1999. Privately owned. Chairman/MD Peter Knowles. Consumer

(87%), B2B (13%). Quantitative (81%), qualitative (19%). FMCG,

government, food & drink. www.heawood.com

64 In-House Research

Founded 1994. Privately owned. Principal Marianne House. B2B

(100%). Quantitative (37%), qualitative (63%). Medical.

www.inhouseresearch.co.uk

65 Survey Solutions

Founded 1995. Privately owned. MD Miles Couchman. Consumer (22%),

B2B (78%). Quantitative (90%), qualitative (10%). Sport, finance,

employee surveys. www.surveysolutions.co.uk

*Companies House financial data provided by Willott Kingston Smith on

agencies affected by the Sarbanes-Oxley Act

TOP 10 FOR GROWTH

Big agencies

Agency Turnover Turnover %

2003 (pounds) 2002 (pounds) change

1 ESA 6,033,000 4,454,000 35

2 Mintel 25,590,000 19,439,000 32

3 Conquest Research 4,260,000 3,408,000 25

4 Business Planning & Res.* 7,352,000 6,038,000 22

5 Incepta 19,600,000 16,960,000 16

6 Quaestor Research 5,340,000 4,685,000 14

7 RS Consulting 6,093,000 5,405,000 13

8 Marketing Sciences 7,330,000 6,531,000 12

9 Millward Brown UK* 79,430,000 71,249,000 11

10 MORI Group 39,432,000 35,830,000 10

*Companies House financial data provided by Willott Kingston Smith

TOP 10 FOR GROWTH

Small agencies

Agency Turnover Turnover %

2003 (pounds) 2002 (pounds) change

1 Heawood Research 365,000 211,000 73

2 Strategic Research 1,667,000 1,099,000 52

3 Grass Roots Group 2,905,000 1,956,000 49

4 Firefish 2,205,795 1,480,627 49

5 Nunwood Consulting 3,400,000 2,500,000 36

6 2cv:research 3,517,000 2,627,000 34

7 ABA Quality Monitoring 2,476,228 1,926,243 29

8 Vivid Interface 600,000 470,840 27

9 React Surveys 2,732,000 2,256,000 21

10 DataBuild 856,076 704,703 21

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