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Agrimarketing : May 2008
54 AgriMarketing ¦ May 2008 R ecently Forward Research of St. Louis, MO, joined with Ipsos Reid in Canada. The two com- panies offer increased benefits glob- ally to agricultural and animal health marketers. We talked with Gary Bennewies, President of Ipsos in Canada, to dis- cuss the reasons behind the merger, and why it is good news for the agri- cultural and animal health care industries. AM: What does Forward Research and Ipsos Reid offer clients? GB: Strategic custom research that impacts their business. We conduct research on pricing, segmentation, advertising, new product testing, and positioning to name just a few. And, the research is conducted by profes- sionals with the research expertise and passion for the agricultural and ani- mal health industries. Many of our researchers actually have farming backgrounds or degrees. The two companies offer remarkably similar services, a fit that we saw as crucial to the needs of our clients. AM: Why was the acquisition made? GB: It was a mix of fit and opportu- nity. Ipsos acquired Forward Research and the team immediately merged with Ipsos Reid in Canada. Both companies take pride in their responsive and client service orienta- tion. And both have in-depth knowl- edge of the agriculture and animal health industries. The fit was right. And the opportunity was right. We wanted to take advantage of a number of industry trends and bring our clients more value. Specifically, the agriculture and animal health industries are per- forming quite well and we’ve seen more demand for research services. At the same time, clients are becom- ing increasingly sophisticated in their research needs, requiring new marketing research approaches and techniques. The industry is also globalizing. That change is requiring research firms to provide consistent interna- tional services with local level sup- port and expertise. The merger of Forward Research and Ipsos Reid in effect creates a global platform that few can match. AM: How will the new organization be managed? Any changes? GB: We’ve branded the new organi- zation Ipsos Forward Research and combined our two staffs into one team. Operations will be managed on a North America basis. For our clients this means main- taining the same relationships they’ve developed over the years with the same high level of responsiveness and service. But the main reason we’ve joined forces is to improve our existing services. Specifically, clients can expect to see a larger toolbox of research techniques, expanded capa- bilities, and greater resources. They’ll have access to more and larger panels of producers, vets, and other specialty audiences to improve the efficiency of conducting their marketing research. And our clients will now have an improved ability to conduct multi- country studies. Operationally, senior manage- ment and research teams will remain the same. Key contacts include Richard Homans , Greg Deters, and Mark Golde in St. Louis, MO, Marinus Van Dijk and Susan Jones in Guelph, ON and Sandra Carpen- ter in Winnipeg, MB. AM: How will this benefit agri-marketers? GB: We realize our clients are under a lot of pressure — whether it’s eco- nomically, competitively, or globally. We strive to help our clients be more resilient and profitable. So we offer a larger toolbox and increased global capabilities than any of our competi- tors. In other words, we can leverage experience across Ipsos’ advertising, marketing, loyalty, media, and pub- lic affairs research specializations to offer clients leading-edge tools by our specialized teams from Ipsos Forward Research who have a deep understanding in the agricultural and animal health markets. Over time, we plan to expand this offer beyond North America to other key countries, with specialized agricultural and animal health mar- ket researchers in those countries. AM: Can you tell us a little more about Ipsos? GB: Ipsos is the world’s third largest survey-based research firm. We’ve seen an average 20% growth annu- ally, primarily through a strategy based on acquisitions and strong organic growth. In North America, Ipsos is the leading supplier of mar- keting research services in Canada and one of the fastest growing research firms in the U.S. At the center of Ipsos’ strategy is a focus on clients and delivering market leading services and capabilities. AM FOCUS ON: MARKET RESEARCH FORWARD RESEARCH JOINS IPSOS REID by the AgriMarketing Editors The Ipsos Forward Research management team includes (from L) Gary Bennewies, Greg Deters, Marinus Van Dijk, Mark Golde, Sandra Carpenter, Dick Homans, and Susan Jones.
May 2008 Supplement
Canadian Agribusiness Employer Guide 08