List of the main market research companies

Market research is the collection and analysis of information about consumers, competitors or the environment. The Honomichl annual report, published by the American Marketing Association shows the top 50 market research companies in the world. The ranking is based on information collected by 196 nonprofit research organizations. The top five marketing companies in 2009 are Nielsen, Kantar Group (which includes Taylor Nelson Sofres [TNS]), Intercontinental Medical Statistics (IMS), Health Inc., Westat Inc. and Information Resources Inc. (IRI).

The Nielsen Company

Nielsen is a global information and media company that made a profit of five billion dollars in 2008. Its services include marketing, marketing and consumption, television, Internet, cell phone, trade fairs and research and business measurement publications. Nielsen is a private company, employs more than 34,000 people in about 100 countries and is based in New York City.

Kantar Group

Kantar is a division of WPP Group Inc. that was founded in 1993 and is based in London and Fairfield, Connecticut. It is made up of a broad spectrum of companies that offer research services that allow companies to better understand their consumers. The company has a workforce of approximately 26,500 employees in 80 countries and its services are used by 500 companies listed in Fortune. Kantar underwent a restructuring following the acquisition of the TNS research firm in 2008. TNS was ranked as the third-largest market research company in the previous year.

IMS Health Inc.

IMS Health Inc. (Health IMS Inc.) was founded in 1954 and is currently a publicly-traded company specializing in global health intelligence. Its services are used by pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, as well as government agencies, researchers and financial analysts. Following the acquisitions in 2007 and 2008, IMS Health Inc. (Health IMS Inc.) provides information, analysis and consulting in more than 100 countries. Based in Norwalk, Connecticut, it has 1950 employees in the United States.

Westat Inc.

Westat Inc. is a contract research organization, owned by employees, at the service of federal, state and local governments and government agencies in the United States. Based in Maryland, the company employs about 2000 full-time employees, in addition to 1700 telephone interviewers, field interviewers and editing staff. Its services include information gathering and analysis, scientific and medical research, as well as the development of computer systems.


IRI, a publicly-traded company, acquired in 2003 by the private group Symphony Technology Group LLC, provides information on packaged consumer products (CPG), retail trade and health markets. It also offers information and analysis services, as well as experience in technology and domains. IRI operates in 58 countries and has 3600 employees worldwide.