About Us

Market research is defined as, “the systematic gathering, recording, and analysis of qualitative and quantitative data about issues relating to marketing products and services,” and, in this increasingly competitive world, it allows businesses to develop a competitive edge by truly knowing their target market. Here at Smith Research, we realize the importance of collecting this data and understand that obtaining the most useful information starts with finding the perfect recruit, an art we’ve perfected throughout 50 years of experience.

Our business was founded in 1966 when Virginia Smith, a pioneer in the industry, began conducting taste tests, primarily for cereal manufacturers, out of her home. To allow her clients to watch the informal focus group discussions unseen, she installed a small one-way mirror in her own home, creating our first focus group facility. Through successful client interactions, and quality work, the Company expanded out of Virginia’s home in 1977 and into its first standalone facility in Deerfield, Illinois. Continuing the guarantee of “providing research our clients can trust,” the Company expanded in 1986 into our second facility, located in downtown Chicago. 

Virginia retired from market research in 1986, passing the Company on to her son and daughter-in-law, Kevin and Nancy Smith.
Kevin and Nancy Smith

Today, Smith Research has various departments, with specialties ranging from consumer work to business-to-business recruiting, and even medical recruiting. We recruit participants both locally and on a nationwide scale, providing our clients with a well-rounded market to meet even their most demanding needs. While the Company continues to evolve and perfect various processes, our primary focus remains, as it has since our inception, maintaining the highest standards for our clients.

As companies typically turn to market research to develop a competitive edge, Smith Research has developed our competitive edge by understanding our clients’ objectives as well as the unpredictable circumstances that can arise in the course of meeting those objectives. Our professional, highly trained and supervised staff excel at finding the most qualified of respondents and can decipher between a truly qualified respondent and an individual who merely says all the right things. Moreover, we specialize in finding the best respondents to provide our clients with the answers they need when making key strategic decisions, and welcome the challenge of meeting even the most demanding client requirements. Working out of our state-of-the-art facility in downtown Chicago, Smith Research is an expert at finding whatever our clients need us to find.

Going forward, our goal is simply stated: Be the one place companies can rely on when they need quality research, not only in Chicago, but globally as well.