Consolidation in Online Market Research

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New York – Investors interested in global online market research will now find an enhanced resource since e-Rewards and Research Now have joined forces. However, investors’ most pressing challenges when conducting online market research (e.g. addressing hard-to-reach populations; or receiving specialized attention to their particular investment research needs), are still in the picture.

Last October the news released the purchase of Research Now, a London-based global online market research firm, by e-Rewards Market Research, a privately-owned U.S-based online market research firm. According to Research Now’s website, the firm is now a wholly owned subsidiary of e-Rewards, and its shares are no longer listed on AIM.

Consolidation in the market research space is an ongoing trend. Despite the vast number of players in the space, we estimate that it is largely dominated by 10 to 15 firms that have become leaders after a series of mergers and acquisitions. The growth of online research has affected traditional market research methods but industry leaders such as TNS, GfK, or Synovate have kept up to date offering valuable online research tools.

The purchase of Research Now leaves e-Rewards well positioned to offer global coverage and compete in the space. Online fieldwork and online sampling services will be stronger with the joint forces of these two companies.

Will investment research professionals benefit from this acquisition? According to our own observation, market research firms’ main clientele is among the corporate world. Often, these firms lack specialized personnel, expertise and experience dealing with precise research requirements from financial institutions. A few market research leaders have dedicated internal resources to exclusively service clients from the financial sector, but the practice is still incipient and often insufficient to address these clients’ needs. Unfortunately these issues will not disappear with the e-Rewards/ResearchNow acquisition.

Investment research professionals that use market research as part of their mosaic will certainly find a more robust panel for global data collection through e-Rewards. Especially those professionals covering the consumer space will find a valuable resource in this enlarged company and its global panels.

e-Rewards and Research Now also offer business panels that include professionals from around the world. However, investors will still find it challenging to conduct research among hard-to-reach segments such as corporate high-level executives, investment peers, or industry experts. Investors interested in these areas will still have to resort to expert networks or more custom-based research offerings.

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