Lightspeed Online Research provides market research in the US and Europe as part of the Kantar Group, the market research arm of advertising giant WPP Group. Working in tandem with GMI, another Kantar unit, Lightspeed gathers its data through online panels and provides custom research for clients. Throughout its paneling networks, the company can access more than four million household members across more than 35 countries in the Asia/Pacific region, Europe, and North America. Established in 2000, Lightspeed conducts a variety of studies including customer satisfaction and retention, attitude and awareness tests, website evaluations, new product and concept tests, brand awareness, and in-home product tests.
Participants in Lightspeed's panels are rewarded through incentive programs, with each new survey giving them another opportunity to win or be compensated. The company does have restrictions on how often panelists can participate, not allowing them to fill out more than 12 surveys per year.
In terms of overall growth, Lightspeed received a significant boost in mid-2011, when its parent company acquired rival Global Market Insite (GMI). Kantar plans to integrate GMI with Lightspeed's operations, creating one of the world's largest online panel and sample providers. GMI conducts online panels in more than 13 countries; the purchase extended Lightspeed's panel reach into Brazil, Mexico, and India, along with other regions in Asia.