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The AMA Gold Report: 2016 Top 50 Market Research Firms

Diane Bowers

The market research industry, as we have known it for decades, is disappearing. It is being absorbed into a rapidly transforming collection of market intelligence sub-disciplines. 

The Broad School of Business at Michigan State University is one of several U.S. universities committed to developing the next generation of marketing leadership through internship-based Master of Marketing Research Programs. In May 2014, Michigan State University hosted the Educating the Market Researcher of Tomorrow symposium during which representatives of the industry’s universities, clients, agencies and associations met to begin mapping this evolving space and the corresponding skillsets and traits that will be required of its future leaders. Building upon this, in 2015 Michigan State University created the Research Transformed Collaborative as an academic and industry partnership to begin vetting and quantifying related points of view.

AMAnow begins to incorporate these findings, plus the perspectives of other industry sources, into the gradually expanding depiction of the market. The journey begins with this article building upon the annual examination of the survey-research market, with the additional outline of macro dimensions in its evolution. Our July/August global report will follow up with detail on the sub segments and the perspectives of the players in each.

Many business disciplines are similarly examining the development of the broad market-intelligence space. We are, however, approaching it from a “traditional survey research-out” perspective. In other words, how is this space expanding around us?

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Diane Bowers is president of CASRO, the trade association of market, social and opinion research organizations that represents and advocates for the U.S. research industry nationally and globally. Bowers currently is on the board of directors of The Roper Center for Public Opinion Research at the University of Connecticut; a past president of the Market Research Council and the Research Industry Coalition; and a long-time member of AAPOR, the AMA and ESOMAR. She is a founder and CASRO leader of the Americas Research Industry Alliance and the Global Research Business Network, which represents 38 national research associations around the world.