The Dieringer Research Group acquires Probe Research

Brookfield marketing research firm deepens Wisconsin client base

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Brookfield-based The Dieringer Research Group Inc. has acquired Milwaukee-based Probe Research Services Inc.

Lanie Johnson, Eric Olsen and Liz Germanotta.
Lanie Johnson, Eric Olsen and Liz Germanotta.

The terms of the transaction, which closed Feb. 22, were not disclosed.

The DRG is a marketing research consulting firm with a national client base, founded in 1974. The DRG has 40 full-time and 35 part-time employees. It researches customer experience, brand perceptions and reputation, product development, product/concept testing, market opportunity, ad testing and campaign effectiveness for a variety of sectors.

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Lanie Johnson, president and chief executive officer of The DRG, found out Probe Research’s owners wanted to retire and were looking for a buyer for their marketing research company, she said.

“They have a really nice complementary client base to ours,” Johnson said. “They have some great client relationships in Wisconsin and some industries that are very complementary to ours, including banking, health care, some transportation. It really was a good fit for our company and we’re continuously looking for growth opportunities.”

Eric Olsen and Liz Germanotta are the owners and sole employees of Probe Research. They work out of an office on Milwaukee’s East Side, and will stay on as consultants with The DRG for a year or two.

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“As we near retirement, we wanted to find a company we could trust with our clients,” Olsen said. “We have known and respected The DRG for a long time and are confident they will provide the same level of service and consulting we have been providing our clients for over 30 years.”

Probe Research’s clients will deepen The DRG’s client base in Wisconsin, Johnson said, and could lead to additional hiring in the future.

“We will be taking on the work from these clients and as we see the amount of work that is coming in through these clients, we certainly may add positions,” she said.

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