WPP is putting up some big pounds in pursuit of global marketing research firm Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS). Martin Sorrell’s group is in a bidding war with GfK. Though Taylor Nelson seems to be going strong today with a high stock price, I am of the mind that technology and the Internet will start to crimp the style of these global market research companies. I know, I know, it’s not just about data collection and distribution. You have to do something smart with it. Value-add, as T.N.S. likes to say. Though, with all that I hear, read and see today, marketers are becoming more facile with data collection tools and I’m thinking that a good deal of market research will be handled in-house 3-5 years from now.
Some smart marketing nerds are going to provide an open source tool that will let users tap into a variety of sales measurement, analytic and prediction schema. Mr. Sorrell, buy the company, if you must, but mine it for the best data and software people and get out in front of this. Peace!