Typically, when a company makes a sizeable acquisition, the stock price takes a hit. However, on the announcement of Harris Interactive's (NASDAQ:HPOL) purchase of WirthlinWorldwide, shareholders were not disappointed; the stock increased $0.25 to $6.46.

Then again, Harris Interactive is in the business of polling, and perhaps the company has a good sense of understanding the sentiment of its shareholders.

Early this year, Harris Interactive hired a new CEO, Robert Knapp, who was a former vice president of Gartner (NYSE:IT), a leading research firm. While the company has a strong brand, it is still relatively small. Last quarter, the company posted revenues of $41 million, which was a 16% increase from the same period a year ago.

The stretch goal for Knapp is to reach $500 million in revenues in the next five years. True, the Internet revenues are growing at a furious rate, but it is probably not enough to make his milestone.

In other words, Harris Interactive will need to pursue an aggressive acquisition strategy.

The deal for WirthlinWorldwide will cost $41.8 million and should result in combined revenues of $210 million to $215 million for the current fiscal year.

As for Wirthlin Worldwide, it is primarily a consulting firm for opinion research. And the customer base is sterling, with three-fourths of the Fortune 100 companies. Thus, Harris Interactive believes it can transition this customer base into its various Internet product offerings.

Building research franchises with M&A is a proven strategy, as seen with companies such as Jupitermedia (NASDAQ:JUPM). Even outsiders see the potential of the industry, such as with Monster Worldwide's (NASDAQ:MNST) deal for Tickle. So it does not take a poll to realize that there will be more deals to come.

Fool contributor Tom Taulli owns none of the stocks mentioned in the article.