Last updated on May 13th, 2019 at 02:28 pm
Market Probe lands global contracts
By KeleMarie Lyons, for SBT
More than 27 years ago, T.R. Rao started Market Probe, a Milwaukee-based market research company. What was once a firm that provided a wide variety of consulting services, including market feasibility studies, consumer research, image research and marketing effectiveness, is now a multi-national company focusing on customer satisfaction research.
As simple as it may sound, customer satisfaction research blends methodologies from psychology, sociology and political science and uses statistics and other sophisticated analysis techniques to provide companies a clear picture of their customer loyalty.
As part of narrowing the company’s focus, Rao refined his research methods by developing new statistical tools for applications in customer satisfaction research, including: questionnaire design and testing; psychometric theory; univariate and multivariate statistical methodology; and the design of proprietary software to quickly perform data analysis, as well as customized management reports.
"A vision grows as you grow the business, it emerges as you succeed," Rao says.
Having provided these services for a variety of industries, including banks, hospitals and insurance companies, Market Probe’s client list skyrocketed as its vision was refined.
The little company that Rao had started in his basement has grown to attract large clients, such as General Motors, Kohler Co., the Royal Bank of Canada, Manpower International and more.
In fact, his multi-national corporation clients began to ask him to do the same beyond the US borders.
Market Probe is constantly testing its capacity to accommodate diversity. From partners and suppliers to its worldwide customer base and its diverse employee base, the management thrives on building a business that acknowledges the differences that make cultures unique.
Today, Market Probe boasts a family of companies located around the globe:
Market Probe localizes its research techniques to account for a region’s diversity.
"While conducting a survey in Russia we adjusted our practices from asking for annual income to asking about the types of products one buys," notes Derek Allen, the company’s senior vice president and director of research.
Allen acknowledges the need for diversity in all areas of business.
"It’s an advantage to hire employees with diverse backgrounds – to maximize the exposure to techniques and ways of looking at the world," he says.
The team at Market Probe has one mission in mind-to help its clients achieve their business goals and protect long-term assets, including customers, employees and brands.
With 120 employees and $16 million in sales and growing, Rao and his team have built a business of global locations with global suppliers and partners, as well as a global workforce serving global customers.
KeleMarie Lyons is the founder of Pinnacle XL, a management-consulting company with offices in Milwaukee and Chicago. She can be reached via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Dec. 12, 2003 Small Business Times, Milwaukee