Syndicated research services originated when a group of manufacturers all interested in data on a particular market formed a syndicate to buy a research survey jointly providing that data on a continuous basis. Alternatively, a research agency might suggest the idea to a number of companies with common data needs. No single manufacturer could afford the costs of the research survey, but by clubbing together, research costs are shared and information is available to all members of the syndicate. Over time, the original services have proved useful to a wider number of manufacturers than those forming the original syndicate and, because the surveys have been continuous, they have become the property of the research agencies that provide them. In this sense, the term 'syndicated' is a hangover from the origins of these services, rather than a description of their current ownership.
In practice nowadays, most syndicated research services are owned by the research companies that run them. An association of users of a service may meet to ensure that user interests are expressed in the method of collection and presentation of the data. Most syndicated research surveys are continuous panels and the advantages of these as a method of data collection are discussed in Chapter 6. (Where this is not the method used, then this is indicated for the services listed below.)
The main problem for the intending user of syndicated research services is to identify what services are available and which companies provide them. The MRS website contains a searchable directory of organizations providing marketing research services in Great Britain. This is also available in The Research Buyer's Guide. Not all marketing research organizations supply syndicated services and so the following index and list of suppliers of syndicated research services was compiled from The Research Buyer's Guide and other sources to give an idea of the range available. The index lists sectors covered. Full details of the services offered, the method by which data is collected and costs of the services can be obtained from the organizations named, for which telephone numbers are given.
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