01 July 2020
Advanis Inc. is honored to be celebrating our 30th Anniversary providing market research services to our many clients. In those 30 years we have built hundreds of projects and developed countless client relationships in both the public and private sectors. We have many achievements to celebrate and we'll be doing just that throughout the year.
Founded as Intelligent Marketing Systems
From our early beginnings in July of 1990, what was then called Intelligent Marketing Systems (IMS) was the brainchild of Michael Williams and Jordan Louviere. What began as a company that was a continuation of Michael’s MBA project - selling conjoint analysis software for market research - went through many transitions to become the Advanis of today.
It didn’t take us long to decide to diversify. We began providing decision support system development to major management consulting companies. It became our main service offering for the next five years. To expand meant hiring more staff, and almost overnight, we grew from a 3-person start-up to employing 8 people.
Built on a Foundation of Advanced Analytics
The next phase of the company’s growth came from offering complete advanced analytics services. These services consisted primarily of choice analysis and later expanded into segmentation. Much of this work was done in partnership with companies such as Mercer Management Consulting – we continue to have productive relationships with leading management consulting firms. Simply put, “we did statistical work to answer everyday business questions".
During this period, we worked on projects in the US, Canada, Australia, the UK, Germany, Russia, Brazil, and New Zealand. We spent more than enough time travelling. The locations we travelled to, or had “satellite” offices in, can still be found on the map located in the reception area in the Edmonton office.
Over the next few years we grew to offer the full range of market research services such as customer satisfaction, pricing, product design, segmentation and attitude & usage surveys. We expanded our own data collection capabilities, obsessed with ensuring a high quality, high rigor in the responses that we collect. In 2019, we completed over 1.6 million online surveys, over 110,000 live-agent telephone surveys, and over 79,000 IVR phone surveys.
Today, we offer qualitative (traditional and online), and multiple modes of quantitative data collection (online, mobile, SMS, IVR and CATI, in 14+ languages). We also continue to evolve our technology, offering highly customizable online reporting dashboards. We’ve contributed to the growth of many clients, including:
- Developing a multimodal customer experience tracking program that allowed clients (including a major credit card company and a national wireless phone service provider) to monitor a high volume of customer service transactions, right down to individual agent performance (we collected 300,000 surveys per month for one client).
- Deeply integrating our product development research (done as a discrete-choice survey) into the product marketing and sales teams for our technology hardware client, by workshopping our decision support simulator in day long workshops for each team, supported by the company CMO.
- Helping our Fortune 100 client complete a major pivot in their pricing strategy through a series of research projects that tested their initial ideas and refinements as they closed in on a launch.
Serving the Public
After a proud start in Edmonton, Alberta, Canada, Advanis began its eastward journey, first opening an office in Mississauga, Ontario (a suburb of Toronto). Today, that original Ontario office is now in Waterloo, Ontario, and we have a substantial team in Toronto as well. In 2011, we acquired a leading social and public research company, Jolicoeur & Associés, located in Montréal, Quebec, Canada.
Today, about half of the projects that we complete each year are in the government and not-for-profit sectors. A few engagements that have had a long-lasting impact include:
- CARTaGENE (https://www.cartagene.qc.ca/en/home) Advanis recruited thousands of participants willing to complete a survey and to have genetic samples taken, for the purpose of having material available for medical research.
- Travel Alberta: Advanis conducted segmentation research with Travel Alberta in 2004. The resulting personas transformed and informed their offline and online marketing strategies, website, and advertising campaigns for many years.
- Alberta Cannabis Secretariat: As cannabis legalization occurred in Canada, the legal and regulatory frameworks were left to each province. Advanis contributed to a massive data collection effort: Over 50,000 online surveys through an open survey link, 1,500 surveys through a random, representative phone survey, over 400 in-person intercept surveys, and qualitative online discussion groups in phase 1 and over 23,000 online surveys through an open survey link, 1,500 surveys through a random, representative phone survey, and qualitative online discussion groups in Phase 2.
This evolution continued to where we are today – a full-service research firm, with clients in the private sector, not-for-profit and government sectors, and leading consulting firms. Advanis Inc. has a fantastic team consisting of 50+ professionals, who never fail to impress. Our clients know that they are in great hands when we work with them. We truly have built an organization with the size needed to fulfill global projects while still providing flexible, personal service.
To all our employees, our partners, and our clients – I thank you for your continued commitment to Advanis.
Here’s to another 30 fantastic years of Innovative Research!
Curious what life and work was like in 1990?