Off-The-Shelf Market Research

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New York – While the vast majority of market research firms provide their clients with custom survey solutions, a handful of companies have successfully built off-the-shelf market research libraries. Some of these companies also offer bespoke market research services, but their principal business is conducting syndicated studies that combine primary market research with industry analysis. They often sell reports either on a one-off basis—usually for hundreds or thousands of dollars—or as part of a consulting package that gives clients access to a broad suite of reports and datasets, as well as analyst access and special projects.

Datamonitor is one of the larger and better known providers of off-the-shelf market research. The firm offers a vast library of off-the-shelf reports, databases, and models, as well as consulting and advisory services. The firm also performs custom survey work for its clients, employing a team of 50 full-time researchers covering 15 languages. It appears, however, that custom survey work is not its principal business, but merely a part of a broader suite of consulting and publishing services.

Datamonitor’s business model—wherein high-touch consulting and advisory services are supported by a library of off-the-shelf research—has been vastly successful in recent years. After launching an IPO on the LSE in 2000, the firm acquired Computerwire in 2002, MIS and eBenchmarks Limited in 2004, Butler Research and Verdict Research Limited in 2005, and Life Science Analytics (Med TRACK) in 2006. On May 18, 2007, Informa, a publisher of Lloyd’s List maritime newspaper, agreed to purchase Datamonitor for $994 million.

Other noteworthy market research firms that specialize in off-the-shelf business intelligence are Euromonitor and Global Industry Analysts, which are similar to Datamonitor in that they perform large-scale market research surveys and combine these surveys with secondary research to produce business intelligence reports.

It should be noted that not all providers of off-the-shelf business intelligence are market research firms, according to Integrity’s definition of the term. Integrity views a firm as a market research provider if and only if it conducts surveys of end user communities to determine product penetration and/or customer attitudes. There are many firms that produce industry studies, but which do not include market research surveys as a regular input to their analysis. Our database segments these firms very precisely in order to help clients find research firms that meet specific research requirements.  

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