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  • MRA Mid-Atlantic Chapter event on 2014 election polling.Another election cycle, another opportunity to dissect the performance of political polling. On November 11, the Marketing Research Association Mid-Atlantic Chapter hosted a panel discussion digging into what went right and wrong in the 2014 election polling and what we learned about voters and the Democrat and GOP campaigns.

    -- Blumenthal's presentation / Boxt's presentation / Hobart's presentation / Moran's presentation --

    Mark Blumenthal, senior polling editor for Huffington Post, noted that the National Exit Poll (NEP) found overwhelming economic anxiety. The NEP also found about 44 percent approval for President Barack Obama’s job performance, while 55 percent disapproval. According to Blumenthal, presidential approval/disapproval in the NEP correlates extremely well to how you voted.

    How did the GOP and Democrats perform at meeting the interests of voters. Polling found that the most important issues in the 2014 elections, measured in final week, were the economy, healthcare and immigration. Respondents said that the issues Republicans were talking about with voters matched those priorities perfectly. Democrats talked mostly about social issues, which ranked lower.

    Although overall turnout in the 2014 elections was down overall, noted Blumenthal, but turnout increased in 14 states. The most notable outliers were Virginia and Maryland: both states ended up being competitive, but turnout was down compared to 2010.

    Polling error was a major focus of discussion. As Blumenthal noted, every survey has a series of errors which are part of the process and baked into the design. Those survey errors are usually random, small and off-setting. “But not this time.” Likely-voter modeling in particular suffered in the 2014 election. Getting such models right has “always been the hardest part” and “always will be,” said Blumenthal.

    Jason Boxt, managing director of the Glover Park Group, remarked that "this was a very predictable election,” so much so that across the last three midterm elections (2006, 2010 and 2014), exit poll data looked similar.

    Boxt called out voters for inattention in 2014. "More people paid close attention to the Ebola virus" than to 2014 election, he said. Boxt also lamented that some campaigns didn’t live up to their potential in 2014: "Democrats just ran the wrong races in a number of places."

    Hillary Clinton, based on polling data, starts out as a formidable Presidential candidate bringing about 52% of the vote already baked into the electorate, said Boxt. “The GOP will have to take votes away from her.” Asked about polling results showing Clinton behind significantly against “generic Republican,” Boxt joked that he has yet to meet that particular Presidential candidate.

    Jim Hobart, vice president at Public Opinion Strategies, looked deeper at voters’ interactions with the 2014 campaigns. Almost 20 percent more likely voters, for instance, were contacted by campaigns in 2014 than in 2006. However, Hobart noted, while voter contact was up, political campaigns still matter: Democrats may have done great voter contact work, but their messaging was all wrong.

    While the 2008 and 2012 Obama campaign technology edge has been oft discussed, and indications were that the Republicans have made vast improvements in that area just in the last two years, Blumenthal pointed out that technology is nice, but it doesn’t move results by more than one or two points. Fancy technology works only on the margins for voter turnout. However, Hobart responded, investments in voter turnout brought results. Where Democrats did not dump money into voter turnout – Maryland and Virginia in particular – turnout tanked, and cost the party seats. California may end up similarly for some House races.

    Bob Moran, head of Brunswick Insight and president of the MRA Mid-Atlantic Chapter, reiterated Boxt’s contention that the election was eminently predictable. He looked back at the “six-year itch” for midterm Presidential elections and found that the record for losses goes all the way back to Ulysses S. Grant. The only exception to the rule is Bill Clinton.

    Pictured, from left to right: Jim Hobart; Jason Boxt; Mark Blumenthal; Bob Moran.

    Howard Fienberg
    Nov 17, 2014
  • The Research Industry Index (RII) results for the 1st quarter of 2014Washington, DC, July 23, 2014 – The 26th wave of the Research Industry Index (RII) – Marketing Research Association’s (MRA) quarterly study to track the health of the marketing research industry in the U.S. – continues to show improved levels. For the first time since the inception of this study, the RII has sustained a score of 100 or higher for four straight quarters. This is a strong indication that the industry has recovered from the recession.

    While firms of all sizes are seeing net improvements in key metrics, the medium size firms ($1 million to under $5 million) experienced the most growth in Projects/Booked Revenue (10 percent net increase compared to 5 percent for smaller firms and 7 percent for larger firms).

    “Keeping in mind that RII’s benchmarking dates back to fourth quarter of 2007, this wave reflects the most positive 12 month period in the history of the report,” said MRA’s Director of Research, Amy Shields, PRC. “However, because the index is based on numerous business metrics, first quarter did see an overall decrease in the volume of business, which isn’t alarming, but rather a likely result of client budgets traditionally being more conservative than in fourth quarter,” she added.

    This wave of the RII is based on online interviews conducted among 202 owners or senior level managers from both corporate researchers and marketing research firms in April and May of 2014. Responses are reflective of business conditions during and ending 1st quarter, 2014.

    For more information, visit http://www.marketingresearch.org/research-industry-index

    RII was produced in partnership with Issues & Answers and Cooper Roberts Research.

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    Founded in 1957 and based in Washington, DC, the Marketing Research Association (MRA) is the leading and largest association of the survey, opinion and marketing research profession, which delivers insights and intelligence to guide the decisions of companies providing products and services to consumers and businesses.

    Howard Fienberg
    Jul 23, 2014
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    For Immediate Release

    Washington, DC, June 6, 2014 – Each year the Marketing Research Association (MRA) honors survey, opinion and marketing research professionals for exemplary work in areas such as innovation, leadership, commitment and service to the profession and or MRA. These award-winning professionals inspire and challenge colleagues, contribute to the profession’s knowledge base, and extend their work beyond their day-to-day company priorities.

    The awards were presented on June 4 in an emotional ceremony before an audience of more than 500 in Chicago at the MRA Insights & Strategies Conference. MRA is pleased to announce the 2014 award winners.

    MRA’s Meritorious Service to Marketing Research Award recognizes an individual who, over the span of their career, has demonstrated tremendous leadership, dedication and commitment to the marketing research profession. This year, MRA honored the dynamic Merrill Dubrow, President/CEO of M/A/R/C Research.

    MRA’s Impact Award recognizes an individual, group or organization who has demonstrated tremendous vision, leadership and innovation within the past year that has led to a positive impact on the marketing research profession. For the first time, the award was presented to an organization, the Marketing Research Institute International (MRII), with Don Marek accepting on behalf of the non-profit.

    MRA’s Honorary Lifetime Membership Award recognizes a member for a lifetime commitment to outstanding individual service to MRA and the marketing research profession. The MRA’s highest recognition was bestowed upon Colleen Moore-Mezler, PRC, President/CEO of Moore Research.

    MRA’s Volunteer of the Year recognizes an individual who brought excellence in service to the Association. This year MRA honored Matt Case, LPSP Culture Ambassador at FedEx Innovation.

    Minnesota/Upper Midwest Chapter of MRA, winner of the Chapter of the Year AwardMRA’s Chapter of the Year Award was awarded to the Minnesota/Upper Midwest Chapter. They received $1,000 to help continue their strong service to local members.

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    Founded in 1957, the Marketing Research Association is the leading and largest association of the survey, opinion and marketing research profession, which delivers insights and intelligence to guide the decisions of companies providing products and services to consumers and businesses.

     

    Howard Fienberg
    Jun 10, 2014
  • The Research Industry Index (RII) results for the 4th quarter of 2014

    Washington, DC, April 18, 2014 – The 25th wave of the Research Industry Index (RII) – Marketing Research Association’s (MRA) quarterly study to track the health of the marketing research industry in the U.S. – continues to show the improved levels experienced for the previous two waves. With a current score of 100, this wave represents the first time in the study’s 6 year history that a triple digit index score has been present for 3 quarters in a row.

    The continuing trend for improvements in key metrics such as RFPs/proposals, projects/booked revenue and staffing levels are credited for the recent 100-102 scores. While the industry continues to show healthy improvements overall, the business climate is still difficult for some smaller firms (under $1 million in annual revenue), however; even they are showing improvements compared to the previous quarter.

    “When looking at the history of RII, which includes 25 reporting quarters, this wave is only the fifth time that triple digit scores have been achieved,” said MRA’s Director of Research, Amy Shields, PRC. “Combined with being the first time an index of 100 or higher has been recorded for more than 2 waves, the findings from 2013 are the most optimistic we’ve seen,” she added.

    This wave of the RII is based on online interviews that were conducted among 212 owners or senior level managers from both corporate researchers and marketing research firms in February and March of 2014. Responses are reflective of business conditions during and ending fourth quarter, 2013. On behalf of the MRA, the survey was hosted by Issues and Answers and reporting was completed by Cooper Roberts Research.

    For more information, visit http://www.marketingresearch.org/research-industry-index

    RII was produced in partnership with Issues & Answers and Cooper Roberts Research.

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    Founded in 1957 and based in Washington, DC, the Marketing Research Association (MRA) is the leading and largest association of the opinion and marketing research profession, which delivers insights and intelligence to guide the decisions of companies providing products and services to consumers and businesses.

    Howard Fienberg
    Apr 18, 2014
  • The Research Industry Index (RII) results for the 3rd quarter of 2013 For Immediate Release -- Contact: Amy Shields 202.800.2545

    Washington, DC, January 6, 2014 – The Research Industry Index (RII), currently at 102, continues to build on the recovery seen in the last quarter.

    While Q2 of this year reached 100 for the first time since 2010, it has crept up even more (to 102) for the months of July, August and September.

    MRA’s Director of Research, Amy Shields, PRC, points out, “Although the index score is a positive indicator, there is plenty of room for growth in 2014, particularly for smaller firms who appear to still be feeling the pinch of a less-than-perfect economy.”

    Improvements in key metrics such as RFPs/Proposals, Projects/Booked Revenue and Staffing Levels are almost identical to the previous quarter. However, an overall improvement in executive management’s outlook on the health of their organization nudged the index up. They are more optimistic than they’ve reported for quite some time.

    While the industry has shown healthy improvements overall, the picture is not rosy for everyone. Many smaller firms (under $1 million in annual revenue) are lagging, with 34 percent reporting decreased levels of RFPs/Proposals, and 44 percent reporting decreased levels of Revenue and Projects.

    The RII is a quarterly study completed by the MRA to track the health of the marketing research industry in the U.S. This report represents the 24th wave, conducted in October and November 2013.

    RII was produced in partnership with Issues & Answers and Cooper Roberts Research.

    For more information, visit http://www.marketingresearch.org/research-industry-index

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    Founded in 1957, the Marketing Research Association is the leading and largest association of the opinion and marketing research profession, which delivers insights and intelligence to guide the decisions of companies providing products and services to consumers and businesses.

    Anonymous
    Jan 6, 2014
  • WASHINGTON, DC, November 19, 2013 – The Marketing Research Association has approved new MRA Certificates for Qualitative Research Principles and Quantitative Research Principles. The Certificates are available through Research Rockstar LLC, an online marketing research training provider based in Marlborough, MA.

    “We are delighted that Research Rockstar online training courses have qualified for this recognition. Both MRA and Research Rockstar share a passion for the advancement of research practitioners and our profession,” said MRA CEO David W. Almy.

    MRA's two Certificates will be awarded after successful completion of five designated courses covering each area.


    MRA Certificate in

    Qualitative Research Principles

     

    MRA Certificate in

    Quantitative Research Principles

    Managing Focus Groups

    10-point Checklist for Questionnaire Design

    Writing Qualitative Research Reports

    Questionnaire Design 201: Scale Selection

    Conducting Research Interviews

    Intro to Quantitative Data Analysis

    Introduction to Ethnography

    Intro to SPSS

    Social Media Meets Market Research

    Introduction to Conjoint Analysis

     

    These courses are available now; students can register immediately. Each class is offered at least twice a quarter. All are taught online using live instructors enabling real-time Q&A.

    Additionally, Research Rockstar is developing courses to qualify for MRA Certificates in Project Management and Emerging Research Methods.

    MRA Certificates will be available  for any course or combination of courses that have been successfully reviewed and approved. Educational providers offering courses who wish to participate in the program should contact  Jennifer Cattel of MRA’s staff for more information regarding approvals. 

    MRA Certificates help marketing researchers demonstrate their in-depth knowledge of research principles backed by the Marketing Research Association. Further information about MRA Certificates as well as Professional Researcher Certification (PRC) may be found on MRA’s website. All of Research Rockstar courses have been approved for PRC credits.

     

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    Founded in 1957 and based in Washington, DC, the Marketing Research Association is the leading and largest association of the opinion and marketing research profession, which delivers insights and intelligence to guide the decisions of companies providing products and services to consumers and businesses.

    Shane Kelley
    Nov 18, 2013
  • Anne BoyleAnd the winner is… Anne Boyle of the New England Journal of Medicine. Anne, aka Annie PB, won the Click contest at the Corporate Researchers Conference in Dallas. Her 192 points and 53 completed challenges won the day!

    Brad Larson

    Anne clicked her way through a labyrinth of mobile app pictorial puzzles to win a free admission to next year’s CRC in Chicago, Sept 17-19. Congratulations Anne!! 

    One of our favorite shots, besides the alarm clock striking midnight, was the photo of Brad Larson (Thoroughbred Research) playing Click on his Smartphone.

    Thank you to all our Click participants and to everyone who attended the 2013 CRC. We look forward to seeing you, and Anne, in Chicago next September!



    Shane Kelley
    Nov 14, 2013
  • Washington, DC – October 21, 2013 – Attendance at the 2013 Corporate Researchers Conference (CRC) increased by 27 percent over last year’s event, according to figures compiled by the Marketing Research Association (MRA). MRA, along with event co-sponsors Quirk’s Marketing Research Review and CEB, concluded the third annual CRC last Friday in Dallas.

    “Other conferences are about hype. CRC is about collegiality and education,” concluded one corporate researcher (CR) after discussing CRC with fellow corporate researchers in Dallas. The three-day conference connected corporate researchers from around the country to share best practices, insights and war stories, providing researchers with a unique resource for genuine professional development.

    “MRA is focused solely on the success of the marketing research profession, with all of our proceeds dedicated to that goal. CRC was a remarkable success on many levels, as well as a tremendous opportunity for researchers to share their ideas, experiences, and have fun doing so,” said MRA Board of Directors Chairman Jill Donahue, a corporate researcher with Nestle Purina.

    This year’s event opened with a keynote on predictive analytics from Dr. Eric Siegel for the more than 500 CRC attendees. Networking events were among the dozens of informational sessions encouraging attendees to forge new business partnerships and reacquaint with old friends. Laurie A. Tucker, a senior vice president at FedEx who closed the conference Friday afternoon, was the last of six keynote speakers. CRC reinforced the importance of research and the value CRs provide to organizations faced with complex business decisions.

    The event’s exhibitors were sharply positive about CRC attendees and the value they received as exhibiting companies. Many providers viewed CRC as the best of any MR conference and are anticipating a return next year.  

    MRA also hosts the Insights & Strategies Conference (ISC) each June. Both conferences – ISC and CRC – will be held in Chicago in 2014. Further information about MRA Conferences may be found at www.marketingresearch.org/conferences.

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    Founded in 1957 and based in Washington, DC, the  the Marketing Research Association (MRA) is the leading and largest association of the opinion and marketing research profession, which delivers insights and intelligence to guide the decisions of companies providing products and services to consumers and businesses.

    Shane Kelley
    Oct 21, 2013
  • October 16, 2013 – Dallas, TX – The Marketing Research Association’s Board of Directors today approved a landmark revision to the MRA Code of Marketing Research Standards.

    The new Code establishes 42 ethical and best practice principles to guide marketing research practitioners day-to-day. Per the association’s Bylaws, MRA’s members are obligated to adhere to these principles. To maximize the global acceptance of marketing research, non-members are encouraged to do so as well.

    “The Code’s principles are designed to promote an ethical culture in which honesty, professionalism, fairness and confidentiality combine to support marketing research’s success,” said MRA Board Chairman Jill Donahue, a corporate researcher with Nestle Purina PetCare. “The standards any profession adopts can help define its value and, ultimately, its acceptance,” she said, “The new Code sets an appropriately high bar for an evolving and progressive industry.”

    “The new Code addresses the responsibilities of marketing researchers to each other, the media, government officials, the public and anyone benefiting from marketing research,” added Jay White, CEO of Baltimore Research and chairman of MRA’s Standards and Ethics Committee (SEC), which was charged with revising the prior version of the Code, last published in 2007. The SEC spent 17 months reviewing unaddressed areas, ambiguous standards, general clarity and structure before submitting its recommendation to MRA’s Board for consideration.

    “MRA’s objective was especially challenging – to create a set of principles that serve the entire profession, rather than segmented principles pertaining only to specialized modes or methodologies,” added White. “To answer that challenge, the new Code contains broad principles as well as detailed rationale. Both are necessary for a well-formed Code that is not overbearing and provides flexibility for practitioners operating with a firm ethical foundation,” he said.

    “The new Code is a unique and modern set of principles and rationale based on combined revisions suggested in 2011, 2012, 2013, as well as legal, SEC and peer reviews,” said Amy Shields, MRA’s director of research and the expert responsible for stewardship of the new Code throughout its revision process. “There also is an increased emphasis on a streamlined enforcement process,” she said. “We believe that an enforced Code is of greatest value to the marketing research profession.”

    The Code will be published in the December edition of MRA’s quarterly Alert! magazine. It is available online today at www.MarketingResearch.org/Code.

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    Founded in 1957 and based in Washington, DC, the  the Marketing Research Association (MRA) is the leading and largest association of the opinion and marketing research profession, which delivers insights and intelligence to guide the decisions of companies providing products and services to consumers and businesses.

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    Howard Fienberg
    Oct 16, 2013
  • October 8, 2013 – Washington, DC – The Research Industry Index (RII) – the Marketing Research Association’s indicator of business activity in the U.S. marketing research industry – finally reached 100 for the first time since the fourth quarter of 2010. In early 2011 and 2012, the index took a significant drop, slowly increasing throughout each year, but never quite reaching  the 100 mark.

    “Although we continue to see the same pattern of prior years in terms of starting out slow and gaining each quarter, it’s difficult to not feel optimistic about one of the strongest increases in booked revenue and proposals since RII began tracking MR business activity in 2007, along with a higher overall index score for 2013 than we’ve seen since 2010,” said MRA Director of Research Amy Shields, PRC.

    Contributing factors to the second quarter 2013 improvement was a 6 point increase in both RFPs/proposals and projects/booked revenue coupled with a 3 point increase in staffing. The difference in point increase for these business metrics appear to be attributed to corporate researchers being slower to add staff than research providers.

    While firms of all sizes experienced net gains on key metrics, larger firms saw the greatest gains. This wave of the RII is based on online interviews that were conducted among 216 senior executives from both corporate researchers and marketing research firms via a survey hosted by Issues and Answers. Reporting was completed by Cooper Roberts Research for the Marketing Research Association (MRA). For more information, visit http://www.marketingresearch.org/research-industry-index

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    Founded in 1957 and based in Washington, DC, the Marketing Research Association (MRA) is the leading and largest association of the opinion and marketing research profession, which delivers insights and intelligence to guide the decisions of companies providing products and services to consumers and businesses.

    Shane Kelley
    Oct 8, 2013