EXCLUSIVE: Interview with Gary S. Laben, on Research Now-SSI merger

Gary S. Laben, CEO Research Now SSI, speaks to ESOMAR about the merger

EXCLUSIVE: Gary S. Laben on Research Now-SSI merger

Gary S. Laben, CEO Research Now-SSI

What prompted the merger of SSI and Research Now?

Due to our complementary capabilities and operations, a merger offered strategic benefits to allow us greater global scale, more innovative, efficient technology platforms, and an incredible first-party data platform from which to expand and grow the business.

What will the unique offering of the new entity be?

The unique offering will be the largest, most accurate and most complete first-party data asset to drive marketing services, from research to activation.

No other single market research services provider offers such deeply profiled data delivered across a comprehensive choice of delivery solutions (DIY, AR, CATI, etc.) suited to every need, price point and level of project scale and complexity.

In addition to setting the standard for delivering solutions to market researchers, we are uniquely positioned to be a pace setter beyond market research, bringing new data capabilities to the entire marketing services spectrum. Marketers and advertisers – who are struggling to deliver on the promise of big data and to deliver personalized messages and offers in real-time – have been looking for a better way, based on data. The missing link has been the absence of verified, opted-in data from real people. Our data – now richer and broader thanks to our merger – fills that gap.

Can you say anything about staff numbers/positions?

Our merger is strategic; we are focused on growth possibilities based on mutual, complementary strengths. So our goal is to retain the best talent in the industry. While there will be some overlap in roles and responsibilities that we will address, we expect that with our focus on expanding deeper within and beyond the market research industry, the merger will create new opportunities and result in the creation of new roles.

What can the research industry expect from the new company?

We will continue to expand our offerings and focus on innovative data and technology solutions that optimize our customers’ results and give them greater confidence in their decisions and investments.

Our data synergy offers greater choices in our panel data, with little duplication – the panels are highly complementary. We offer the best panel range and scale in market research: More variety, more specialty audiences, more B2B professionals and more consumers. Our data quality is excellent. All of this – embodied in a single company – allows us to give customers more choice, increased scale and tremendous efficiencies

Will there be many changes for clients of both companies?

Before the merger was finalized, teams from both companies – across Sales, Operations, Panel, Product, and Technology – engaged in a highly disciplined integration planning process to ensure a transition to a unified organization as seamlessly as possible. We are committed to continue to provide our customers with high levels of service, data quality consistency, and value in a highly coordinated and well-communicated way.

In the immediate term, there will be no changes to our business relationships. Our leaders and managers are reaching out to customers and partners to share more about how we will continue to work with them.

What does the future look like going forward?

We understand that listening to the voice of the consumer, capturing real-time sentiment, and realizing data-driven insights for optimal engagement are the keys to the success of companies of every size and type. We aim to participate in advancing the state-of-the-art of marketing data. We are committed to continuing to build our first-party data and to integrate it with other data and tools to provide a unique value proposition for marketing decision-making.

We are extremely excited about the singular value that Research Now SSI will contribute to our customers and to consumers.