NEW YORK: Edelman's research company StrategyOne has acquired Rochester, NY-based PluggedIN Co., which specializes in developing and managing market research online communities (MROCs).
PluggedIN, which will become a service offering of StrategyOne, launched in 2006. The company integrates social networking and community features to deliver qualitative and quantitative market research on consumers' attitudes and behaviors in real-time. PluggedIN has worked with Kraft Foods, T-Mobile, General Mills, and Shell.
PluggedIN co-founders Ben Werzinger and Matt Foley will transition into SVP roles in StrategyOne's online community division and will report to Bob Moran, president of StrategyOne US, according to Neal Flieger, chairman of the Edelman-owned research company. Lail Brown, VP of design and development at PluggedIN, was named VP.
"The great things about these communities is that you're creating this environment where people can share, and tell you things," Werzinger said. "It's liberating as a researcher to sit back and listen to what people are saying, and what ideas that they have for your brand."
PluggedIN began a relationship with Edelman and StrategyOne nearly a year ago, supporting many of the agency's clients, including the 8095 project, which surveys Millennials in eight countries on brand relationships, Flieger added. The financial terms of the acquisition could not be disclosed.
"[MROCs] offer clients an unparalleled ability to interact with and understand the attitudes of their stakeholders," Flieger explained. "It's a tremendous tool for a corporate reputation client, or a brand client that is involved in a new launch or transition, to measure longitudinally."