The beginning of the transition period from a market characterized by national companies to one dominated by global market research group can be identified as the moment of break-up of ABIPEME (Brazilian Association of Market Research Institutes), as the lone representative organization of market research and the subsequent creation of ANEP (National Association of Research Companies) in 1991.

The explicit factor that triggered the break-up was linked to the revision of the ABIPEME Criteria of Social Classification. The question initially appeared as a technical divergence in points of view, but deepening the discussion, there was a deep chasm between the two visions of market research: market research as knowledge or as a business.

This chasm can be perceived in the name of the two organizations alone. While the first was an organization of ‘Institutes’, the second was an organization of ‘Companies’. ‘Institute’, in this context, refers more to the academic world, while ‘Company’ refers to the market.

Another characteristic of this separation was the way to deal with billing companies. At ANEP, members were required to report annual revenues of its companies. This was an important metric for companies to compare their performance. While at ABIPEME, its members could not report their revenues. Clearly the metric was another one, tied to technical knowledge.

It is clear that companies that classified as ‘Knowledge’ were in the market, serving customers, seeking financial results, etc. But this was not their highest priority. The pay was a way to enable the production of a deep knowledge that provided companies proximity to their consumers.

Normally they were managed by professionals coming from technical careers in market research in the big structures of advertising agencies, largely with a background in social sciences: sociology, anthropology, psychology, etc. As a result, they place high value on the conceptual aspect of research delivery. They didn’t deliver only data or information to make an immediate decision, but instead knowledge of the market and profound consumer motivations that allow companies to define business strategy. The research on ‘Chocolate’, developed by Alfredo Carmo is a great example of this delivery.

It is widely common in the discourse of these professionals that ‘they did not want to become entrepreneurs’. They ended up becoming entrepreneurs in large part due to the dismantling of the agency structures, and since they had good technical and conceptual qualification together with client relationship, they ended up starting companies to serve these clients.

On the other hand, companies with an orientation for ‘Business’ already had a clear vision of who they were and wanted to become entrepreneurs in the sense that the product of their market research activity had the goal of helping client companies to get to know their consumers and to make decisions, but they should, in the end, generate a financial result, preferably increasing.

To some extent these companies were managed by professionals with non-technical background in research, when many as users in some client company, with a degree more related to the area of business administration.

While acknowledging the importance of the collection quality in their activity, in function of the credibility of the study result, these companies did not give the same importance to this aspect given by the other group, where the fieldwork quality was a paramount issue. The focus of the group geared towards ‘Business’ is much more on the use of information rather than its collection. And this use in an applied way, far from the conceptual worry of the others.

These companies will look for international partners to bring to Brazil research techniques - products - to respond to meet various purposes. Some of them weren’t even considered ‘research’. Without commitment to the technique, they could break their previously established limits.

This is not to discuss which group was ‘right’ or not. They are only identifications of two different, if not opposite, ways of thinking. That they could not live within the same representative organization.

The table below summarizes some of the characteristics of each one of the two market research business models.

In this decade, some prominent names were Pedro Fernandez, Pierre Cohen, Eduardo Schubert, Álvaro Ferraz, Orjan Olsen, Nelson Acar, among others.

Interviews Ideia