Letter From the President

What a difference a couple of decades make!

With M&RR celebrating 25 years in business this year, it's interesting to look back at not just how much the world has changed, but how much the market research industry has changed.

In 1989, Al Gore's invention, something he called the "Internet", was just taking off. We were just beginning the Bush-Clinton-Bush era (or error?). The Dow Jones average closed at 2800. Regular gas was about $1 per gallon. The top song was Wind Beneath My Wings by Bette Midler, while the top movie was Dances with Wolves, starring a young Kevin Costner.

In research, phone research was the most desired methodology, mall intercepts and exit interviews were popular "visual based" methodologies and focus groups were all the rage. Phone surveys were still widely conducted on paper, with Computer Assisted Telephone Interviewing (CATI) being the new kid on the block. Thankfully, punch card data entry was long gone, but most surveys still needed to be keypunched and data tables generally took a week or so to be completed (even though clients still pushed for overnight results — I guess some things never change!).

M&RR was started in late 1989 in an extra room in my house near the University of Maryland. Though we also were a creative shop back then, research was always a big part of the creative process. All creative, and every marketing program we created, was developed based on research we conducted. Coca-Cola was our first client (my first love, so to speak). As we grew, we formed solid relationships with Turner Broadcasting, Time, Inc., Sprint and AARP, to name a few.

In 1998, life at M&RR changed forever with the addition of John Bekier to our staff. No longer was M&RR a traditional "field and tab" shop; we became a full-fledged research company, offering high-end statistical analysis including segmentation and price modeling research. Shortly thereafter, M&RR became a pioneer in Internet research, which has become the bread and butter of the research industry. While we still had some long term clients who thought I still worked alone out of my house, the research industry in general started to take notice of who we were.

Over the past 15 years, we have built a research team at M&RR that is second to none in terms of research abilities and customer service. We no longer have clients — we have research partners. We no longer have a "revolving door" employee policy — we have a group of talented researchers who want to spend the rest of their careers at M&RR. And we no longer are a fledgling market research company — M&RR is a major player in the market research industry, winning projects that have traditionally gone only to the largest, international research companies.

Will the market research industry change over the next 25 years as dramatically as the last — I can't imagine it. But if it does, I assure you that M&RR will be leading the way in developing new technologies, while maintaining its focus on employee development and unparalleled customer service — just as it has the past 25 years.

President's Letter

Superior service and leading edge
technologies have resulted in M&RR's
remarkable client longevity, says
David Vershel, founder and CEO.

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