On Sunday, April 15, 2018, the marketing research industry lost one of our pioneers in Joan Shugoll. The Insights Association extends its condolences to Joan's family, including her extended family in the research industry, our association, and especially the Mid-Atlantic Chapter.
Joan founded Shugoll Research and was a lifetime leader and innovator in the research business and the Marketing Research Association (MRA) and left her indelible mark on both.
Joan first made her entrepreneurial mark in 1957 in New York, innovating in both field interviewing and focus group research. As explained by Shugoll Research, "She confidently guided high-level advertising and corporate executives past family heirlooms and photos, seating them comfortably in her living room. They came to listen to their customers, who were seated around Joan's dining room table, talking about products and ad campaigns. Not long after, Joan became one of the first to use a one-way mirror, helping to define the future of focus group research."
She moved her operation to the Washington, DC area in 1970 and thrived here for a long time before merging the business with a new one launched by her daughter-in-law Merrill Shugoll (another MRA and industry luminary), forming a full-service marketing research company. Her company would grow and innovate over the years, bringing on her son Mark Shugoll to build out the quantitative research practice, and being one of the first facilities to maintain a database of focus group respondents and to use video conferencing for focus groups.
Joan also spent a lot of time giving back to the local community in Maryland, and to the research community. She served on the MRA board of directors and helped to found the MRA Mid-Atlantic Chapter.
Joan was the beloved wife of the late Eugene L. Shugoll; devoted mother of Mark (Merrill) and Robert (Eileen); and loving sister of Lenore Popper. She is also survived by grandchildren Cara (Stephen) Wilken, Lianne Shugoll, Arielle (Gabrielle) Mariasch, Elliott Shugoll and great grandson Lucas Wilken.
The funeral was held today. The family will be observing Shiva this evening, Wednesday, April 18, 2018 between 6 and 8 p.m. at 4701 Willard Ave, Event Room, Chevy Chase, MD.