CTRS is a leading provider of Market Intelligence services in North America. We empower organizational leaders with research and analysis to use market signals to their advantage so they can make better and more informed decisions about the future of their organization. Established in 2003, CTRS has become a recognized player in the market intelligence space and has worked with more than 700 clients across North America and other parts of the world.
CTRS was also one of the first companies in British Columbia to become a Benefit Corporation (2020) a for-profit company that commits to conducting its business in a responsible and sustainable way. In 2021, it became a Certified B Corporation, a global movement for an inclusive, equitable and regenerative economy. Part of this commitment to balance profit with giving back is realized through CTRS’ Designed2Give program which sees the company give away a minimum of 5% of our billable hours to non-profit organizations.
We believe that different backgrounds bring a wider perspective to business problems. We’ve found that by having diverse experiences at the table, it brings creative solutions to business problems. Our people come from backgrounds such as journalism, academia, the non-profit sector, market research, marketing and communications, public policy and strategic planning. Having a team of people with different experiences makes working together more fun, creative, exciting and ultimately gets you better results.
Managing Partner, Founder
Associate Vice President
Director of Finance
In the early 2000s, Aaron Cruikshank had worked with large market research firms, governments and businesses and he learned there were tips and tricks being leveraged that smaller organizations didn’t have access to or even know about.
Aaron knew he could do things differently.
In 2003, what has become CTRS was designed as an alternative to the offerings of large, expensive market research firms. It gave business owners who lacked the big budgets of their larger competitors access to qualitative research that helped them leverage market opportunities.
Aaron loved serving these customers because from a young age, he saw that businesses are made up of people who need to take care of their families. He watched his uncle’s door business struggle to scale and he saw how hard his parents worked as a teacher’s assistant and welder. With CTRS, he saw how he could bring opportunities to businesses and their families.
In 2018, Aaron’s beard was getting longer and his dreams were getting bigger. Aaron wanted to grow CTRS so he could help more businesses by bringing on a team of bright, curious, passionate, hard working people.
Enter one of Aaron’s friends of over 20 years, Caroline Wakefield.
In 2019, Caroline joined CTRS as Vice President (Managing Partner). Like Aaron, Caroline wanted to serve businesses and give them every opportunity to succeed like the bigger corporations she’d worked at in her career thus far. Caroline grew up with a “second home” at her parents’ furniture store so she has a passion for helping entrepreneurs provide for their families.
Aaron and Caroline have been fortunate enough to grow the CTRS team and work towards the shared goal of believing in a future in which our economy has been transformed to create an abundant life for all. A future where systemic barriers to employment have been dismantled and market insights help transform our economy.
When we are advising our own clients on how to grow their business, we talk about channel partnerships. At CTRS, we are a big fan of partnerships between us and our peers. When we partner with marketing agencies, market research firms, management consulting firms and other professional service organizations, we offer:
- Experience – CTRS has been in the market intelligence space for nearly 20 years
- Expertise – Few firms in North America can top our knowledge and skills in Market Intelligence
- Surprise and delight – Our partners are often pleasantly surprised at what we can do – sometimes thinking that their research needs can’t be met before talking to us
- Strong capabilities and organization – We are often described by our partners as “super capable” and our standard operating procedures (SOPs) are geared for successful outcomes
- Diversity of thought – Our team has a wide array of experience and we have a different way of looking at the world
- Fun – Our meetings often include a lot of laughter, smiles and are 100% BS free
We maintain a relatively small number of close partnerships that provide great value to all parties. Quality over quantity is our jam.
CTRS is an impact business. We demonstrate that in a number of ways but one of the most obvious is that we are a Certified B Corporation. We will be publishing our first annual Impact Report in 2022 on our website but we would love to tell you a bit more about our impact and why we do it.
Companies we have helped recently through our Designed to Give program:
Food Banks of BC
The Downie Wenjack Fund
A Better Life Foundation
Foresight Cleantech Accelerator
Vancity Community Foundation
Why is CTRS a B Corp?
CTRS has been a B Corporation since May, 2021. This means we have voluntarily made a conscious effort to balance purpose with profit to make a more equitable and inclusive economy.
As a company, we’ve always believed that treating people right is paramount. We’ve also believed in giving back to the community so becoming a B Corp has been a natural fit for CTRS.
In 2018, Aaron Cruikshank, Managing Partner and Founder of CTRS, learned about B Corporations and realized that the company’s values matched a growing movement of more than 4,700 B Corps in 78 countries using business as a force for good. We started the certification process in 2020.
We wanted to join those companies to change the world for the better by making purposeful decisions in how we operate our businesses. How do we make the world better? At CTRS, we’re committed to treating our team well by providing flexibility with meaningful work and a fair wage. We are thoughtful about the partners, vendors and suppliers to minimize our impact on the planet and maximize our contribution to our local economy. We also have a formalized policy to give back to our community – 5% of our billable hours will be directed towards supporting non-profits who are working to help meet the UN Sustainable Development goals.
The B Corp movement is an important mark of a new way of doing business. Companies voluntarily meet high standards for social and environmental performance, accountability and transparency. We’re proud to be a part of it.
Other Impact initiatives
We are a Certified Living Wage Employer in British Columbia.
We are also one of the first companies in British Columbia to become a Benefit Corporation (2020) which is a special designation for for-profit companies that commit to conducting their business in a responsible and sustainable way.
Most of our team members are active volunteers in our communities. They give – giving of their time and energy to benefit others.