The 2015 AMA Gold Top 50 Report

Diane Bowers and Michael Brereton
Marketing News
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Key Takeaways
  • The Top 50 companies account for $9,895.6 million in U.S. research revenue, which represents 93% of the total U.S. revenues for all 192 companies combined.
  • The dominant focus is the effective measurement of the experiences and insights of customers and audiences in these major industries and sectors.
  • While there is only modest reshuffling in the top quarter of the list, several companies throughout the Top 50 rankings moved up three or more positions.

The top 10 U.S. research revenue generators continue to bring in nearly three-quarters of the Top 50 Report’s total U.S. revenue, but new players have entered the overall mix. Read on to see how the research industry fared in 2014, and what research services are in high demand.

As we publish this year’s Top 50 Report, we want to acknowledge the legacies of both Jack Honomichl and Laurence N. Gold. For more than 40 years, Jack and Larry dedicated themselves to the marketing research industry, serving both as professional researchers and as observers and reporters on the industry. We honor Jack for creating, and Larry for sustaining, these marketing research industry landmarks: the AMA Gold Top 50 Report and the AMA Gold Global Top 25 Report.  

CASRO is proud to have honored Jack Honomichl with a lifetime achievement award in 2011 at our annual conference in Palm Beach, Fla. Now, with the unexpected passing of Larry Gold in March, we mourn, yet again, the loss of a respected and innovative market researcher, and a friend to the AMA, to CASRO, and to so many research industry professionals in the U.S. and globally. We extend our condolences to Larry’s wife, Susan, and to his family and friends.

With this report, we endeavor to honor Jack and Larry by continuing their work at the highest possible quality, and finding innovative ways to carry it forward.

2014 in Detail

This iteration of the AMA Gold Top 50 Report marks the 42nd-annual analysis of U.S.-based market research industry trends, a “research on research” effort intended to provide marketers and market researchers with a sense of the health of the U.S.-based research industry, and how it factors into—and is influenced by—the broader U.S. marketplace.

With economists heralding 2014 as a breakout year in terms of recovery from the recession, the U.S. market research industry was more restrained. The 2014 data are quite similar to 2013, with the growth rate in 2014 just slightly lower.

For this report, we analyzed revenue inputs from 192 U.S.-based, for-profit research businesses: the Top 50 research companies by revenue, along with 142 full-service research firms that are members of CASRO, the national association of research organizations. The Top 50 companies were asked to submit 2014 U.S. and non-U.S. research revenues, as well as the comparable data for 2013, in order to determine the annual rate of revenue growth or decline. If a firm made an acquisition or divestiture during 2014, then adjustments were made to ensure an apples-to-apples comparison.

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Author Bio:

Diane Bowers and Michael Brereton
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.

Michael Brereton currently is a board member of CASRO and an adjunct professor at Michigan State University’s Eli Broad Graduate School of Management. In 2014, Brereton retired from the role of president and CEO of Maritz Research, a position that he served in since 2003. Brereton’s industry leadership roles have included CASRO board chair, founding chair for the CASRO Institute for Research Quality, advisory board chair for Michigan State University’s master of science in marketing research program, and advisory board member for Southern Illinois University’s master of marketing research program.

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