Case study provided by the Superbrands organisation.
Taylor Nelson Sofres (TNS) is the fourth largest market information company in the world. It announced a turnover of close to £480 million for 2000, reflecting an underlying growth of 11.5%, ahead of the market information industry as a whole. As the only constant in business today is change, multi-national corporations in particular are increasingly faced with the need to make better, more informed decisions, fast.
Coupled with the array of worldwide economies which are all individually and collectively influenced by the immediacy of global visual and electronic media, the twenty first century is a singularly competitive, yet highly diverse and complex marketplace. In this global environment where access to timely and accurate market intelligence can spell the difference between success and failure, Taylor Nelson Sofres is in the enviable position to deliver this information to help clients stay ahead of their competitors. Through mergers, acquisition and organic growth, TNS has built a network of more than 200 offices in over 50 countries in Europe, the Americas and Asia Pacific. It operates across 80 markets and counts most major multi-national corporations among its clients. The Group combines local knowledge, international and sector expertise with diverse cultures of more than 10,000 full-time employees.
TNS is committed to providing continuous, syndicated, customised research and analysis as well as specially designed branded solutions using state-of-the-art data delivery systems to global players in its key industry sectors - consumer, IT, telecoms, media, healthcare and audience measurement.
TNS frequently achieves industry recognition. In 2001, for example, the company scooped two of the most prestigious awards in the UK. It won the 2001 Grand Prix prize in the British Market Research Association's (BMRA) Award for its Communications category with a paper entitled The Scottish Radio Listener based on a definitive piece of research carried out by TNS's for Scottish Radio Holdings plc. TNS also won the B2B category in the 2001 Precision Marketing Response Awards (with its agency Dowell and Associates) for its 'evidence bag' campaign to encourage prospective customers to purchase high quality consumption data.
At the NOW2001 IT exhibition in 2001, TNS Australia became pioneers of Bluetooth technology in the use of their online surveys. This allowed TNS interviewers to carry out wireless online palm pilot surveys within a ten metre radius of an Ericsson R520 GPRS mobile phone. Whilst the surveys were being carried out on NOW2001 attendees, the results were being shown in real-time on a PC on the exhibition stand. Other achievements include success in TNS's China office. Firstly, TNS was granted 'Reputable Enterprise' status by the Beijing High Tech Development Zone Administration. Additionally, TNS was elected to standing committee member of Beijing Foreign Investment Enterprises Association. Finally, CVSC Sofres Media (CSM), a joint venture between Taylor Nelson Sofres and CVSC (Central Viewers Survey and Consulting Centre), won the 'Special Award' of the China Audience Research Association for extraordinary contribution to the industry.
Although some of the current TNS companies including Gallup A/S in Denmark, Emnid in Germany and Norsk Gallup in Norway, were formed in the 1930s and 1940s, it was during the 1960s that the majority of the Group's companies were founded. Intersearch (USA), AGB, Sofres, Frank Small and Associates (FSA, Asia Pacific) and Taylor Nelson were all established by 1965. During the 1990s, there was a great deal of consolidation in the market research industry as clients became more global and required international services. In 1997 Sofres acquired Intersearch and the following year Taylor Nelson AGB and Sofres merged to form Taylor Nelson Sofres. By the end of the 1990s, global expansion escalated as more companies joined the TNS network in Eastern Europe, Asia and South America. In addition, acquisitions continued strengthening TNS's specialist sector expertise, most notably in media monitoring and syndicated service provision through the acquisitions of CMR and Wallace Marx in the US in 2000.The company is now in an ideal position to address most key industry sectors with their marketing information needs worldwide.
TNS has focused on a combination of increasingly sophisticated product and technology developments to bring added value to its research and analysis, and thus add insight to its clients' business decisions.
TNS operates continuous household/consumer purchasing panels in over fifteen countries worldwide. Capitalising on its successes in this area, TNS is rapidly introducing panels into Asia Pacific and Latin America. Specialist panels in Europe and the US measure purchasing behaviour and consumption with much of this information being collected and distributed electronically.
In addition, a portfolio of branded research products and solutions enables TNS clients to address international marketing issues more consistently across borders and more cost effectively. For example, Miriad tracks market information across global markets; Conversion Model provides the tools to analyse customer commitment and loyalty; Needscope brings a proven psychological framework to the measurement of consumer needs and motivation, pinpointing the links between successful brands and their consumers; the Optima(tm) brand portfolio management product shows how markets work, presenting the forces and emotions which lie behind consumers' choice of brands; BuyCTest, a world leading advertising pre-testing system, enables clients to determine advertising effectiveness; and MarketWhy's TNS's new approach to brand and advertising which helps clients plan for the future by assessing brand strengths and vulnerabilities, market opportunities and communications effectiveness for greater brand share.
As one of the world's largest customized IT market information groups, Taylor Nelson Sofres' Information Technology (TNS IT) sector has more than 25 years experience in IT, and over 100 world-class employees drawn from the IT manufacturing and research industries. TNS IT offers its clients 'inside information' and specialist views of the IT and internet markets. Taylor Nelson Sofres Telecoms is a global provider of strategic and tactical business information and analysis to telecoms service providers, equipment manufacturers and government regulatory bodies. TNS Telecoms is well placed to meet most telecoms business information or market research challenges through a mix of syndicated solutions and custom capabilities.
In the area of media monitoring, TNS enjoys market leadership in the US and France; significant market share in Central and Eastern Europe; and a growing presence in Asia and Latin America. TNS media analysis experts track advertising expenditure, monitor traditional and new media advertising and evaluate and monitor broadcast, internet and print media at the local and global levels.
Taylor Nelson Sofres Healthcare is one of the world's foremost specialists in mostaspects of healthcare research. Most leading companies marketing ethical and OTC pharmaceutical products call on TNS expertise in Europe, the US and Asia to meet their international and local needs. TNS Healthcare Monitor products provide data on a growing number of therapies. The product range includes LipidMonitor, CardioMonitor and HIVMonitor.
TNS constantly adds value to the inherent benefits of its market leading expertise in the measurement and analysis of TV audiences in 26 countries. To complement the TNS Taris Peoplemeter(tm), and meet the challenges of digital, cable and satellite viewing, the company has developed a range of channel detection techniques. InfoSys TV software provides value-added audience analysis.
TNS continues to launch traditional services in new markets, and innovative services in its traditional markets. In 2000 Consumer Panels have been launched in Malaysia, followed by Philippines and Hong Kong in 2001, and piloting has started in Vietnam. Consumer panels have recently been launched in Malaysia, scanning has been introduced in Hong Kong and piloting is under way in the Philippines. AdNetTrack began to monitor over a thousand websites in the US, the UK and Europe's most advanced e-commerce countries. New InfoSysTV modules enhanced TV audience measurement and analysis and, for the first time, data delivery through the internet was extended to WAP phones. The successful launch of an online panel expanded TNS's internet market research capabilities among health professionals in the UK. Similar services are being established in Europe and the US.
TNS has consolidated its 24 acquisitions, encouraging global teamwork either in person, at regular product-based events like TNS University, or by communicating via the web.
The company uses a variety of marketing vehicles to raise its awareness and generate business opportunities for its products and services worldwide. These include advertising, public relations, direct mail and e-marketing as well as attending trade shows, delivering papers at conferences, and sponsoring or organising key industry events.
TNS uses direct mail to great effect. In June 2001 a personalised direct mailing of imitation police 'evidence bags' netted a response rate of more than 40% and an industry award.
Taylor Nelson Sofres sees its role as bringing focus to a fast moving world. The TNS brand promises value for money, consistently high quality research that delivers insight from a team of professional industry experts. Always responsive to its clients' needs and changing market conditions, TNS approaches its global business partners in an open and friendly manner that transcends borders and issues. The company encourages its employees to challenge market research preconceptions by breaking new ground and generating intelligent and practical solutions, tailored to clients' specific business demands.
TNS also places emphasis on face-to-face and web-based communications among its employees. Lateral thinkers with flair, wit and a human touch, sound common and commercial sense, form the professional foundation stones of the TNS brand personality.
Things you didn't know
© 2002 Superbrands Ltd
This article was first published on brandrepublic.com