Welcome to Mizzouri
hang in there just a few seconds… we're worth the wait.
hang in there just a few seconds… we're worth the wait.
Getting the answers you need to make business decisions should not be as slow, unreliable, or expensive as it is now. At Mizzouri, we’re proud members of Generation Flux — and we clearly see a market research industry that’s in desperate need of fresh new thinking. We’ve turned normal on its head. We’ve explored new business models and technologies (not to mention opportunities to disintermediate on your behalf). And we’ve created something truly disruptive in the process.
You can have brilliant and actionable research with global scale, incredibly fast speeds, and prices far below current market standards.
This is not about sacrificing quality.
Quite the contrary. At Mizzouri we’re smart about how we structure our business, how we leverage technology, how we produce our work, and how we assemble our team.
We launched Mizzouri to enable clients to commission the research they want – when they want it and the way they want to buy it. We give our clients the right information at the right time so they can make better business decisions, faster. We work with our clients, not for them.
And yes, we’re on a mission to disrupt the research industry.
Because the rules favour the industry, not the client. Because industry values are largely disconnected from clients’ needs. And, quite honestly, because this was an irresistible puzzle that we really wanted to solve.
After all, we've spent plenty of time on the client side - and nothing fuels disruptive innovation quite like frustration.
It was an unseasonably cold spring in London, England — and an unusually mild one in Nashville, Tennessee — when our three founding partners did something radical. They quit their jobs. They left Global COO, Board Director, and CFO roles with a mission to transform the market research industry because, quite frankly, they’d had enough.
Over the course of their careers they had all come to the conclusion that market research as it exists today should be staring extinction squarely in the eye. As former clients, they understood acutely how it feels to desperately need timely, accurate, and cost effective information to make business decisions. And after many years of asking, “why can’t we have that?” they came to a heady realization: the impossible isn’t impossible after all.
The ability to triangulate is a powerful thing when you’ve got an industry in your crosshairs. And these three like-minded dissidents have enjoyed a 360° view of market research while with firms such as Procter & Gamble, TNS, The Kroger Company, Ipsos, Price Waterhouse, Gloria Estéfan Enterprises, Chiquita, Kantar, and Reba McEntire’s Starstruck Entertainment. They have always espoused disruption when it benefits the consumer (which in this case is you, the client). And when it comes to research, they firmly believe you can have all three — great, fast, and inexpensive — when the business model is right.
Call them founders of the research logistics fan club.
It’s one thing to ask your day-to-day suppliers to change. To demand that an entire industry change is another thing altogether. It takes bravery for clients to demand change and, equally, it will take bravery to embrace a radically different market research business model. Are you willing to move as quickly as your intuition says you can? We hope so. You have business decisions to make.
What can we say? Amazon completely reframed our definition of retail. We love it that they started out focused on books and nailed that before creating a truly global marketplace. Actually, it’s hard to remember life without Amazon. We’re rabidly loyal. And who knows? They may save the US Postal Service while they pursue big ambitions for mobile payments and deliveries via drones. And the idea of turning London’s Underground ticket offices into click-and-collect pickup stations? Brilliant, we say.
One man’s trash is another man’s treasure. eBay gave us the ability to auction the shit we no longer find valuable to people who actually do, and they did it by using technology to bring the idea of collaborative consumption to the fore. Nasty Gal’s Sophia Amoruso is just one of scores of entrepreneurs who are grateful for the eBay launchpad. Which reminds us, we’ve got a snow blower that we never use any more, so if you’re interested…
Okay, maybe “cool” isn’t always enough to win top place in the market. But taking technology innovation and wrapping it in beautiful design so that it can go viral is brilliant. They have consistently created anticipation (and demand) by rationing new innovations. Apple taught us that simple is beautiful, and we all know that simple isn’t easy.
Though only around since 2008, these guys are well on their way to disrupting the global lodging industry. And the hospitality industry hates them (well, nearly as much as all those government agencies that rely on hospitality taxes). Their stats are nothing short of astounding: 9,000,000+ total guests, 34,000+ cities, 192 countries, 500,000+ listings worldwide, and if you’re counting, 600+ castles. Jeff Bezos, another one of our favourite disruptors, is an investor in this most prominent example of the Sharing Economy. They’ve used technology to reduce transaction costs, making sharing easier than ever. And they’re driving scale at a global level that no B&B (or VRBO for that matter) could ever dream of.
If we’re perfectly honest, what we really love about Kiva is that it takes capital away from the thugs corrupting so many geographies around the world. This microfinance marvel gives each of us the opportunity to change a life with a loan as small as $25. They’ve provided $519 million in loans so far (and counting) with a staggering 99.02% repayment rate. Grab a tissue if you plan to read a case study or two.
Build a better mousetrap and the world will beat a path to your door. And in today’s chaotic new business frontier, better mousetraps are popping up everywhere. In fact, no industry — let alone any company or brand — can afford to stand still.
We’re fascinated by disruptors. Those brave souls who’ve literally replaced industry incumbents, achieved hyper-growth, driven scale, leveraged new-to-the-world business models, cut out the middle man, and applied technology to fundamentally change the human experience.
We study them closely, and here are a few of our favourites.
A brilliantly disruptive idea that put Blockbuster out of business – though at one point a strategic decision nearly cost them their entire customer base. But they turned it around and are in a fierce battle against competitors who are much more frightening than Blockbuster ever was: Amazon, iTunes, and others. Netflix is rare in that they’ve adapted their business model and leveraged new technology to drive customer value. We’ll be watching this space closely.
Forget that “Google it!” is an indispensible call to action. We love any disruptor whose mantra is to be completely transformative or, in short, to go enormous or go home. And the company’s Google[x] experimental wing is exploring space-age technology that could turn healthcare on its head. Everything Google does is about massive disruption (though we’d humbly suggest they stay open to the fact that just because it’s from Google it isn’t necessarily better). But even as we type that, we realize it usually is.
Not much to say here, really, except that Spotify is just the latest in a long string of participants in the very public disruption of the music industry. After all, none of us will ever think about the concept of a personal music collection the same way again. We wonder where this story will end. Just in case, we’re keeping our eye on the new Beats offer.
We can just imagine the dozens – if not hundreds – of telecon executives shedding tears, pounding fists, and gnashing teeth over the stats: 430 million active users globally and more than 50 billion messages each day (which, for the record, rivals SMS levels). And these boys from Yahoo remained firm about no advertising and no gimmicks, no matter what the competition did. They were clearly onto something, because Facebook bought them for a stunning $19 billion. As for their growth over the last five years? Mark Zuckerberg put it nicely: “No one in the history of the history of the world has done anything like that.”
What Amazon did for retail Etsy is doing to align business interests with social and environmental responsibility. Actually, scratch that. They’re giving brick and mortar, online, and mobile retailers a run for their money even as they become one of only 521 Certified B Corporations. No question they’re leveraging technology and disintermediation to change the way independent, creative artists and curators take their goods to market. But they’re also driving incredible scale with more than 1 million active sellers worldwide (hawking over 20 million items), more than 30 million registered members, and $895 million in sales in 2012. Not bad for a company that’s only been profitable since 2009 and in existence since 2005.
Hands down. These guys were the earliest and remain the best, most successful crowdsourcing engine on the planet – and they’ve continued to evolve and increase their level of sophistication since Day 1. As for us? We can barely resist the allure of a Producer credit.
If you’ve already worked with us or have significant experience on the supplier side of market research, read no further. You already know that market research can be better, faster, and less expensive than it is today. But if you don’t believe it’s possible, stay with us for a moment. Keep an open mind. And understand that you’ll need to think outside the boundaries of market research for context – because you won’t find anything like it in the industry.
It’s easy to find better, faster, and cheaper solutions to just about anything now. Certainly more than any of us would have dreamed possible in the 1990s. The products we order from Amazon are exactly the same products found at any retailer, just less expensive and delivered straight to our respective front doors. The songs we download from iTunes are the same ones we’d find in a music store (had we not already stopped going to music stores) but cheaper, delivered instantly, and delivered on our terms. And with the likes of VEVO, Spotify, SoundCloud, and others on the scene, the music industry will continue its very public digital disruption while teaching a lot of other industries what not to do when under fire.
What we’re doing at Mizzouri is not rocket science. The model is smart and intuitive, but it hasn’t been leveraged in market research. It’s taken us years of working on the supplier side to fully understand why market research firms cannot and will not put these same principles in place. So we’ve done it ourselves, building a better mousetrap from the ground up.
We do love efficiency. And disintermediation, which originated in the banking industry in the 1960s, became an efficiency force to be reckoned with by the late 1990s. Very simply, it’s about cutting out the middleman and eliminating non-value add intermediaries in a supply chain. (When was the last time you used a travel agent?) In traditional research, every hand-off across the lifespan of a project is an opportunity for mistakes, and each hand-off adds time and cost. Not only that, every time a research project moves between different supplier entities – or simply from one business unit to another within the same research firm – it gets taxed with an incremental dollop of profit. For example, a large global research firm fielding a quantitative study in three global markets sources respondents from the same sample providers that we use at Mizzouri. But the internal department responsible for finding sample must make a profit, so they mark up the external supplier’s cost. Then each of the countries executing the research marks up those costs again. And the country originating the project marks things up yet again. Clients don’t get better sample in this model, but they certainly pay a lot more for it than they need to. The Mizzouri model doesn’t include middlemen. And with fewer links in the chain, we can reduce the risk of errors, deliver results faster, and reduce costs dramatically.
At Mizzouri, we thoroughly enjoy helping our clients navigate from A to Z. We just don’t believe we need to stop at all 24 letters in between to get there.
Toyota usually gets credit for pioneering this process transformation, but the origins of just in time (JIT) inventory trace as far back as Eli Whitney and Henry Ford. The model focuses on making sure a business has exactly what it needs but only when it needs it – thereby avoiding the carrying costs and increased prices associated with extra inventory. At Mizzouri, we’ve created our internal systems and processes with this in mind. We have a deep global pool of talented researchers, industry thought leaders, marketing experts, and business professionals. And they’re all enrolled in our variable compensation model, so when they’re not working on projects they’re not part of our cost structure.
This model is a proverbial win-win. It provides our experts with far greater flexibility and financial upside than they’d find in a typical corporate environment. And our clients love the model because it gives them access to top industry talent around the globe (and we mean really top talent) without having to pay the “inventory cost” associated with having great brains on our bench.
The same goes for technology. At our disposal are the most advanced and innovative technology solutions available, but we choose not to acquire the companies that have built and run them. We have strong partnership agreements in place, so our clients don’t pay for the overhead associated with holding and maintaining large technology platforms in-house. An additional benefit of this approach is that we’re not forcing these partners to change their own business models to meet our needs, which keeps them focused and affordable.
The idea is simple: deliver precisely the product or service that a customer wants, when he wants it. The model is equally simple: build a standard pre-assembly of core modules and leave the customized bits until the end of the assembly process. (And while you’re at it, use technology to drive down costs while adding warp-speed to supply chain coordination.) Call it mass customization or late stage differentiation. The point is that it speaks to a “customer of one” and takes Built to Order to a new level.
Who’s doing it? Dell and HP, for starters. Who isn’t? The automotive industry as a whole. And not surprisingly, the market research industry.
At Mizzouri, late stage differentiation is built into our process model, and we’ve created structures that are extremely flexible and scaleable. This enables us to design unique and tailored research solutions that have high quality and low cost built in from the very beginning. Our clients don’t pay for more than they actually need. Nor are they forced to buy standard, fixed products that are expensive because they haven’t achieved economies of scale. (In car parlance, imagine the expense incurred when producing a car to meet a demand that never materializes. The same is often true for proprietary, packaged market research products; “inventory” is expensive, and someone ultimately has to pay for it.)
Our core – our sample engine, survey engine, programming, data processing, technology, etc. – is part of one giant pipe from the very beginning. Customization is easy, whether that’s layering on qualitative, mobile, heat mapping, conjoint, 3-D virtual fly-throughs, or any other combination of methodologies. At Mizzouri, the opportunities for customization are virtually limitless.
Technologists are brilliant at what they do, and they’re able to deliver breakthrough innovation. They also require specific business models to deliver that innovation.
We don’t try to change them or their business models. Instead, we leverage their technology expertise while providing a bridge to the market research industry. We talk to them in their language, and you can talk to us in yours. We introduce them to a new industry, and we introduce you to breakthrough new ways to answer your business questions. Without question, we don’t chase technology for technology’s sake. We leverage it to solve problems you’ve never been able to solve before – or to solve them with dramatically higher quality and lower cost.
It’s not our strategy to acquire these technology specialists for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is that we want to keep them pure. They do what they love and you gain access to best in class thinking in an incredibly dynamic field. And because we’re not stuck with legacy systems, we can move nimbly to newer, better, and more efficient systems as they emerge.
We are a full service global research firm offering qualitative, quantitative, and quantilative research as well as research planning and consulting, training, and organizational development. We’re also a majority women-owned business.
What makes us different? For perspective, small research agencies and boutiques don’t have the time or capacity to deliver the breadth of capabilities required to meet 90% of a client’s research needs. So, they focus on niche offerings and (in most cases) deliver them very well. But this forces clients to know who can do what – and to work across a wide array of firms in order to meet their needs. And while many of the big guys have amassed the entire spectrum of research capabilities within their networks, those networks aren’t necessarily talking to each other. Moreover, they’re not financially incentivized to be methodologically agnostic, leaving clients to wonder if they’re really getting the best of the agency.
We’ve taken a very different approach. We’ve populated our Mizzouri River with top talent across a range of capabilities that we can leverage to meet nearly every client need across virtually every global geography. And this isn’t limited to traditional research. For instance, we deliver mobile surveys in developing countries, global video immersion and transcripted video databasing, 3-D animation and virtual fly-throughs for shopper research and store design, apps for updating and disseminating research findings to geographically dispersed client teams, and more. We have access to sample providers who can cover the majority of the globe. We’re quickly revolutionizing industry approaches to concept testing, advertising and communications testing, habits and practices studies, tracking, pricing and portfolio optimization, agent-based modeling, prediction markets research, gamification, and data visualization. We’re continuously improving the research tools and approaches our clients have historically used – and always through the lens of providing better, faster, more cost effective solutions.
We’re also passionate about mixed methodologies, and the number of possible combinations within our modular set of tools is virtually infinite. The key? Rapid and fluid customization, not a static suite of inflexible products.
After an exhaustive qualitative exploratory, our mobile accessories client began to suspect that a new segmentation model was emerging for the category. So, they asked us to quantitatively determine the size of the new segments – in a week, if we could.
We designed and executed a 10-question online quantitative survey with 1,000 demographically and geographically representative category consumers from a double opt-in panel. We delivered results in 3 days for $4,500.
Our film promotion client wanted to understand consumer reaction to a two-minute movie trailer and supporting poster, and needed both quantitative and qualitative feedback in order to optimize the creative.
We designed and executed a large base online qualitative (quantilative) study with 600 target consumers from a double opt-in panel. The study included time-coded heat mapping of the creative executions in order to deliver qualitative understanding as well as statistically significant data. We delivered results in 4 days for $8,500.
Our technology client needed new, more compelling packaging – and wanted to determine which of three design directions they should pursue based on appeal to their existing consumer segments. They also wanted to identify optimization opportunities, product pricing, source of volume, and a trade sell-in strategy.
We designed and executed a blended methodology with 600 target consumers from a double opt-in panel that included large base qualitative (quantilative), a traditional quantitative survey, conjoint, and category and packaging heat mapping. We delivered results in 25 days for $70,000.
Our energy client needed to understand US Hispanics for the first time – their category habits and practices, their media consumption patterns, and their response to three new product concepts vis-à-vis a key competitor’s product offering.
We designed and executed a blended methodology study in Spanish that included large base online qualitative (quantilative) and quantitative, including concept heat-mapping. We meticulously screened 600 respondents from a double opt-in panel to remove respondents accessing the study from other countries – a massive watch-out for all US Hispanic research conducted in the US. We delivered results in 40 days for $47,000.
Our artisanal baked goods client wanted fast but actionable consumer feedback to determine which of five new logo designs to pursue as well as the pros and cons of each.
We designed and executed an online qualitative study with 50 target consumers that included heat-mapping to indicate positive, negative, and confusing aspects of each design (as well as qualitative rationale for the ratings). We delivered results in 3 days for $5,000.
Our pet care client wanted to capture compelling consumer quotes to incorporate into a trade sell-in packet and that they could re-use over time for other initiatives.
We executed twenty, 20-minute filmed conversations with target consumers, and edited and transcribed the interviews before uploading to a searchable database where the client can create customized video clips and playlists for internal and external use. We delivered the research and the database in 21 days for $13,000.
Mizzouri is home to some of the most inspiring people in the industry. Renowned experts who also happen to be extraordinary catalysts for meaningful change. Researchers, marketers, storytellers, semioticians, ethnographers, cultural anthropologists, psychologists, statisticians, business analysts, sociologists, designers – all very senior and highly regarded in their fields. And in their free time they’re authors, sailors, rock climbers, marathoners, artists, skydivers, bloggers, skiers, designers, poker players, parents, grandparents, musicians, and guerrilla gardeners. There’s a reason you won’t find newly minted MBAs or junior researchers at Mizzouri: it doesn’t fit our business model. Well-trained senior experts are methodologically agnostic and help clients find answers to their business questions more efficiently and cost effectively. They bring tremendous passion and creative problem-solving skills to the party. They enjoy flexing their research intelligence to solve enigmatic business problems. And they love what they do. If you ask us, there’s a lot to be said for that.
Fearless Leader indeed – though, to be clear, she bears no resemblance to the principal antagonist in the 1960s animated series. Kristin is fearless when challenging the status quo and forging brave new business territories. And without question, she is an inspiring and gifted organizational leader. It’s no wonder. This McLean, Virginia native spent 13 years at Procter & Gamble in both marketing and research roles and left as a Director after leading teams of 50+ individuals, managing research budgets in excess of $30 million, earning a reputation as a turnaround maven, and deeply impacting a broader market research organization of nearly 1,000 members. She has held CEO and Global COO posts at Ipsos and Kantar TNS in both the US and the UK, is passionately client-centric, and steadfastly believes in the transformative power of timely business intelligence.
It’s not clear if her MBA from Georgetown University has anything to do with her ability to solve a Rubik’s cube with preternatural speed, but her spatial intelligence and problem-solving skills have helped more than a few clients. Ask her if she likes to cook and she’ll tell you it’s an onerous chore best left to others. She’d rather read voraciously, immerse herself in new technology, captain a sailboat off the coast of Africa, and maintain her ‘global citizen’ status (as well as her fluency in Japanese). And like her co-founders, Kristin is on a mission to transform the market research industry.
A rolling stone gathers no moss, they say. Stagnancy? Not even part of her vocabulary. But if Ali’s picked up anything over the course of her career, it’s momentum. And an unwavering belief that getting the right information into the hands of her clients has the power to inspire brilliance. A self-proclaimed Brand Junkie, Ali’s career has spanned market research, advertising, brand consulting, and marketing in the US and the UK for companies that include TNS, Ipsos, Foot Cone & Belding Advertising, The Kroger Company, Deskey, and Chiquita Brands International. She waxes poetic when recounting work for powerhouse brands such as Disney, Starbucks, Target, Microsoft, L’Oréal, eBay, and Lyft. She obsesses over storytelling and data visualization. She wryly admits she’s spent more money moving her cat across continents than moving herself, but figures there are far worse extravagances to be guilty of. (Like, say, exceeding her goal of visiting 20 distinct countries in a single year.)
And after a successful career helping inspire global brands, doggedly chasing piercing insights, and turning around troubled businesses, Ali revels in her role as CMO – where in addition to leading research she is responsible for the development of Mizzouri’s promise, offer, reputation, and unique customer experience. She is also the CEO of Zografia, Mizzouri’s full-service graphic design firm. All rumours that she’s also the company prankster are grossly exaggerated.
Michael is a study in unlikely – if not downright rare – skill sets. He’ll tell you he’s a structure guy. Deal structure, capital structure, capital markets relationships. Give him a business puzzle that requires solving the impossible and he’s a happy man indeed. And like his co-founders he is keen to disrupt the market research industry. But don’t let his background in corporate finance with firms such as Price Waterhouse fool you. Michael has also enjoyed wild success as an entrepreneur and consultant in the highly competitive US and Latin American entertainment industries, having helped household names such as Reba McEntire, Gloria Estéfan, and Shakira achieve financial success. His modeling and analytical skills have turned him into a transformation artist, and he’s developed research tools that will fundamentally change the way clients evaluate research from all their suppliers. Case in point? Michael is also the CEO of CheckmateVR, Mizzouri’s virtual reality-enabled research arm.
When he’s not doting on his family, you’ll find Michael riding his bicycle on the road or his motorcycle in the dirt. And just between us, you’ll also find this musician singing to himself while he works.
We love an over-achiever, especially when Innovation is her middle name. A Baltimore, Maryland native, Jill leveraged a B.S. in Chemical Engineering and an M.B.A. in Marketing & International Business to launch an impressive career – one that includes a 13-year stint at Procter & Gamble. When she left P&G, she had held senior North American and Global Consumer & Market Knowledge roles for multi-billion-dollar brands such as Tide, Gain, Downy, Always, and Tampax. But Jill started in Research & Development, where her innovations for brands such as Old Spice, Secret, and Sure keep us all smelling great under pressure. The packaging evaluation and optimization tool she helped create for Mizzouri (a big data beauty complete with conjoint, heat mapping, and large base qualitative) is Patent Pending.
“Bah!” she says; “That’s nothing compared to moving a family of five to Geneva” – where, we might add, we know for a fact she used her Chemical Engineering background to concoct dubious new recipes for her five young children. Her parents say she was stubborn as a kid. Jill contends that she simply wielded a titanic level of perseverance. You say tomato, we say…
A quiet but powerful leader, Kim and her passion for the market research industry – and its reinvention – have inspired clients, her organizations, and agencies alike for more than 35 years. Hers is a mantra of quality. Of meaningful innovation. And of business impact. Over the course of her storied 30 years at Procter & Gamble, Kim delivered that impact to countless billion-dollar brands. She was one of the architects of the company’s Consumer & Market Knowledge organization, for which she was the global Vice President for seven years. And those who know Kim will tell you that her unparalleled dedication to growing and mentoring top talent has fundamentally changed the lives of those around her. (Not surprisingly, then, she galvanized a global account director programme that spanned 13 operating companies at Kantar, where she served as Chair of the Americas.) But don’t say we didn’t warn you. Kim’s demeanor belies a fiercely competitive nature – and she’ll gladly challenge you to a “friendly” game of HORSE in the driveway. This foodie and avid reader also speaks Spanish and French. And while she’s often tagged as “reliable,” we have it on good authority that Kim is not to be trusted to keep the canoe you’re sharing upright.
Dr. Tim Renken
Tim is the latest thing in conjoint. Actually, we think he’s the only thing in conjoint. We get giddy when he talks about price elasticity. And we practically swoon when he quips about Hierarchical Bayes estimation. Tim has one of those brains that we adore – and are a little afraid of. He has deep experience in marketing research statistics, including discrete choice design, analysis and simulators, segmentation, forecasting, and multidimensional scaling and correspondence maps. And he’s applied his brilliance to business problems for clients in every sector imaginable, from media and entertainment to lotteries and gaming to packaged goods and everything in between. Just for fun we asked him what he did last weekend. “Ah, I just wrote a little SAS IML code to estimate a new kind of choice model with the Gibbs sampler.” That Tim. He’s such a joker.
A truly global citizen and gifted qualitative researcher, Claudia leads our client work in twelve Latin American countries and Spain as well as our work with US Hispanics. Small but mighty, Claudia has experience across every conceivable industry – which, when you add it all up, comes to 119 product categories and 321 brands for 267 clients. But who’s counting? Claudia is one of the most client-centric professionals we’ve ever met, and her obsession with service drives her to adopt her clients’ goals as her own. It’s a formula that works. She’s earned dozens of awards from clients such as Procter & Gamble for her ability to tackle tough business problems in tough Latin American markets. We tease her that she’s never quite sure which country she’s in (or which language she should be using). But really, we’re just jealous of all those frequent flyer miles.
Dr. June Hahn
The way June tells it, when she was a little girl long, long ago and all the other kids said they wanted to be princesses or secretaries, she always told people that she wanted to be a mathematician. She didn’t just live that dream. She exceeded it – starting with a B.S. in Applied Mathematics followed by a Ph.D. in Quantitative Psychology. June spent the majority of her 25-year career in market research for Procter & Gamble, where she earned a Consumer Modeling award and was an inaugural inductee into P&G’s Consumer Fellowship Society for long-term, sustained contributions to the business through market research. (She also has a patent pending for creating and using virtual marketplaces.) June is incredibly passionate about using mathematics, statistics, and psychology to uncover the stories that lie hidden in data. Her favourite client challenge? Helping them solve a business problem that they currently have no way of researching. And this gifted teacher and mentor is also well known to the TSA for her alleged habit of packing loose popcorn in her carry-on bag. But that’s probably a story best told in person.
Dr. Dan Young
Two of our founding partners go waaaaaay back with Dan. After all, they spent decades at Procter & Gamble leading the charge for market research innovation, and he’s got the awards to show for it. Dan is an artist when it comes to painting a vision of human-centric market research, drawing on his knowledge of behavioural science, neuroscience, psychology, psychophysiology, behavioural economics, anthropology, cognitive linguistics, psycholinguistics, memory association, motivations, and needs. Phew. And if that weren’t enough to make us feel woefully inadequate, Dan’s a whiz at basic and advanced research methods, statistical analysis (univariate and multivariate, of course), and statistical modelling.
Why is he obsessed? Because he wants to help companies improve their ability to impact consumer behaviour and grow their businesses. Dan speaks English, Spanish, and Teenager, and muses that he’ll one day write his travel book, The Misadventures of Dan Abroad. He didn’t have to tell us much about frequent body searches, lost luggage, and secret police before we decided to take a different flight.
This Newcastle, England native is a brilliant strategy, analytics, and insights leader with global, regional, and customer team experience. He was a senior Insights leader for ten years at Procter & Gamble in both London and Geneva before joining Coty after its acquisition of P&G’s prestige and cosmetics businesses. In fact, James has spent the bulk of his career in the global beauty and grooming category – and he’ll tell you that one of his greatest accomplishments was to convince a numbers-wary luxury perfume business that it is possible to predict and, therefore, forecast. James is a business reinvention guy. An organizational focus guy. And he’s always on the hunt for better analytical modelling, marketing model optimization, and cutting-edge research techniques. It scares us a little that he holds a BSc in Mathematics with a focus on fluid dynamics, medical statistics, and cryptology. Because, well, cryptology. So, to make ourselves feel better we tease James about that time he said Durex instead of Andrex in a big presentation. Because some laughs just never get old.
This global nomad and India native is arguably one of the original third culture kids – she’s lived in India, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Germany, Mexico, Canada, and the US and speaks fluent English, Hindi, Punjabi, and Urdu and conversational Spanish, German, Persian, and Sanskrit. Rachna is a senior researcher and moderator whose fluency extends to the types of complex methodologies that can inform corporate strategy and guide brand narrative. It’s no surprise that she possesses broad knowledge of ethnic audiences and global cultures, and she has leveraged her insights expertise to help clients such as Novartis, Sesame Street, Sharper Image, Wells Fargo, Gerber, Toyota, Heineken, Wells Fargo, Deepak Chopra (yes, we just said that), and The Dalai Lama (yep, we said that, too). Ra – as we love to call her – comes from a strong marketing background but also holds a master’s degree in psychology from the University of Delhi and completed graduate studies in cultural anthropology at California State University. So, her extraordinary ability to decode culture codes, detect emotional response to brands, and translate research into actionable insights makes her an invaluable resource.
As if this weren’t enough to make the rest of us feel woefully inadequate, even her free-time adventures are the stuff of legend. Hanging at a beach chai shack on the Arabian Sea filming fishermen bringing in the day’s catch. Having a mojito on Nashville’s lower Broadway. Taking a road trip through Tibet with a group of Thai monks. Giving a desert tour in her beloved Arizona… But our favourite? Her answer to the question, “What are you passionate about professionally?” “Being passionate and professional,” she says. We couldn’t have said it better ourselves.
It’s not surprising that Katie is a stellar research practitioner given her professional (and personal) passion for objectivity. After starting her career as a biochemist for the Medical University of South Carolina, Katie spent nearly ten years at Procter & Gamble, where she had responsibility for all facets of market research. This is also where she honed her ability to render complex data into simple yet strategic and actionable business recommendations. Katie became recognized globally as one of P&G’s few shopper experts in the e-Commerce and Omnichannel spaces, and her unique brand of business tenacity delights clients to this day.
We find it hilarious that this travel buff and fun-seeker is also somewhat accident-prone. So, when we’re comparing notes after a long weekend, it’s always Katie we want to hear from first.
Christian joined Mizzouri after an inspiring 18-year career at Procter & Gamble, where he helped us all stay clean (and blissfully free of dust bunnies) thanks to his work launching Swiffer and his leadership on Tide, Pantene, Dawn, Lenor, Cascade, Iams, Ariel, and a host of other brands in the US, Belgium, and Switzerland. He has also lived in Singapore and Sweden, and this global explorer is addicted to podcasts like Stuff You Should Know, Radiolab, and Freakonomics. He’s like that. He treats his brain like a toolbox that he fills with random and seldom-used tools that will surely come in handy someday – and as it turns out, he’s gifted at pulling disparate but critical bits of information together for clients. We joke that he’s the Google engine of Mizzouri. Except that he does far more than just serve up answers. He serves up compelling business recommendations.
Director of Operations
Sam was one of the first to raise her hand to say, “Guys, the world is changing so quickly that the market research industry is struggling to keep up. Really struggling.” She should know. She’s led teams from 10 to 400 in the industry, and she’s watched firsthand as external suppliers have stumbled – some never getting back up. But Sam’s a change agent, and she has mastered the art of driving client value over the course of her career at companies that include Ipsos, Kantar TNS, and Schlesinger Associates. To be fair, we take a certain pleasure in knowing that this small-town gal born in London, Kentucky moved to London, England (with three young children and a husband in tow, mind you) to help one of our founders turn around a troubled UK business. But we quickly give way to admiration. Because upon arriving on foreign soil with her brood, Sam discovered they’d have to spend more than a week with the five of them sleeping on one twin-size air mattress until they figured out how to take the train to IKEA. “Oh, that’s nothing. It was a great adventure and taught us that the important thing isn’t stuff, it’s spending time together.” To which we say, CHEERS!
What’s the first word that comes to mind when we think of Stef? Brave. This renaissance woman spent 20 years in consumer insights at Procter & Gamble before joining Mizzouri – and on many occasions was the first (and only) to see an impending business issue and then fix it in a brave way. Her elegantly simple solutions have consistently delivered major results: doubling sales in one instance, turning around a five-year penetration decline in another…the stories are as consistent as they are numerous. Stef will be the first to tell you that research should be brave, even if that means asking questions we’ve never asked before because business growth always follows. Or as she puts it, there’s nothing to fear, and everything to gain. Born in East Germany near the Baltic Sea, Stef has lived and worked in Germany, France, Russia, Switzerland, and the UK. (She also happens to be fluent in German, English, and French and loosely conversant in Russian and Spanish. We’re going to work on her Pig Latin next.) Stef is also hysterically funny – though by her own admission, her sense of humour is often misunderstood. Which is why her friends and family ask her to make a W sign with her hands (witz being the German word for joke) before she launches into something “funny”.
A core member of our CheckmateVR team, Tim is a gifted developer with broad experience across a range of programs and platforms. In fact, we’ve never met anyone who knows his way around mobile apps, websites, dashboards, reports, and Unity 3D environments quite like Tim – so we only hear sounds when he starts to speak CSS, C# .Net, MVC, Entity Framework, PHP, MySQL, HTML, and MSSQL. He’s also a database specialist, and has considerable experience in hardware and infrastructure, video, photography, and photo spheres. He’s assembled and managed large teams of developers, testers, and customer support personnel – and has led a number of high profile projects across North America, Singapore, India, Holland, Sweden, South Africa, and Pakistan. (He’s also recruited and run support teams in India.)
This Bristol resident is a seasoned entrepreneur who loves finding solutions to impossible problems, and in his spare time he grows chili plants and cooks. Just between us, he’s also the last person you want to be with if you’re planning to break any rules. You see, Tim always gets caught.
Beth is one of those rare creatures who’s just as comfortable on the left side of her brain as the right. She’s an experienced moderator, brand strategist, facilitator, and storyteller who also happens to be an expert working with scanner data and conjoint models. Beth spent eight years as the Vice President of Research and Analytics for Interbrand and four years as the VP of Innovation & Strategy at Ipsos. As a result, there are very few business questions she can’t find a way to answer. And even fewer answers that she can’t render in a beautiful, elegantly simple way – which she’s done for clients such as Bank of America, Visa, Microsoft, Starbucks, Walmart, Procter & Gamble, and John Deere. Yes, John Deere.
And while Beth runs marathons, plays tennis, and tortures herself with innumerable types of exercise at the gym, she is (by her own admission) a bit of a klutz. So, we’re never quite sure who’s going to win: Beth or the weight machines. Given the number of cuts, bruises, and black eyes we’ve seen over the years, we suspect the odds are statistically in favour of the machines.
We often joke that this native of Germany with a Master’s in chemical engineering ultimately found himself the head of insights for luxury brands like Gucci, Dolce & Gabbana, and Hugo Boss. (For the record, we’re still waiting for our SKII samples – just for research purposes, of course.) But all joking aside, Martin has held marketing and insights roles for a wide range of product types – from diapers and laundry to pet food and luxury beauty. He spent more than 15 years building high performing teams on multi-billion dollar businesses for both Coty and Procter & Gamble (while also driving consumer-based product design, shaping shopper-based go-to-market strategies, establishing new disruptive innovation processes, and delivering step change approaches to behavioural segmentation). And he now plays a pivotal role on Mizzouri’s Team Europe.
Martin is fluent in German, French, English, and – according to a reliable source – food. In fact, this confidential informant marvels at Martin’s preternatural ability to find free food in any office environment. This may have had something to do with a recent gift: a custom WTF (where’s the food) t-shirt. We’ll just leave it at that…
If you look up Shopper & Retail Strategy in the dictionary, Lynette’s photo will be curled up right next to the definition. Over the course of her storied career at Procter & Gamble she became the architect of the company’s retail strategy, elevating the conversation and helping craft strategic partnerships between P&G and no less than the top 20 retailers in North America – growing both sides in the process. She has a visceral understanding of qualitative and quantitative research, consumers and customers, initiative management and forecasting, in-market testing, and macro analysis. She’s as comfortable managing a $30M research budget as she is shuffling her two children from one activity to another. But we love it most when this visionary wags her finger at us and reminds us that data is exponentially more abundant than ever and the consumer’s voice continues to get stronger…now is not the time to take anything for granted. Oh, and market research is nothing less than a way of thinking.
Seana is our kind of consumer insights professional: she has a deep passion for translating research into compelling stories, usable insights, and strategies to drive behaviour change and business growth. (We also love that she complements her ability to see the big picture with ruthless attention to detail.) Seana spent 17 years at Procter & Gamble in global brand strategy and upstream initiative design roles, European capability-building roles, global and local shopper roles, and UK Insights leadership roles. Her work in global health and beauty has brought better hair days to millions of consumers, and her work on Head & Shoulders grew this niche anti-dandruff shampoo into a powerhouse billion-dollar brand that 500 million people use every day. Seana’s interest in behavioural economics and consumer psychology is genuine. In fact, this mother of three is working on her counseling qualification so she can work with bereaved children and teenagers at her local hospice. Which leaves us in awe – and reaching for a tissue.
New York City USA
New York City USA
Monica is deeply passionate about finding and levering the right kind of research to answer business questions. No kidding! She led the efforts to bring Marketing Mix Modeling to Procter & Gamble, where it quickly became an indispensable tool for the organization. Her experience at Clairol and P&G in consumer, shopper, and market knowledge is impressive, and she’s in it to win. She leverages everything available to her – insights, external and internal data, trends – to help her clients accelerate brand growth. A native of India, she has lived in New Delhi and Bangalore. In fact, she only joined her husband in New York for a “few years” for work and, well, 18 years later they’re still here. (Monica would tell you that moving halfway around the world as a young MBA remains her biggest life adventure.) She is personally passionate about teaching her children to be resilient and independent yet caring and loving human beings. We ask, who better to do just that? Because those words describe Monica to a tee.
We like to think that Karyn kept us all looking stylish while serving as Vice President of Global Consumer and Shopper Insights for VF Corporation. While there, she built an insights function from the ground up, leveraging best-in-class talent, tools, and influence. Her mission? To transform VF from a “design it and they will come” culture into a consumer-first organization. And to drive growth for 20 lifestyle apparel and footwear brands, including The North Face, Vans, Timberland, Wrangler, and Lee. But there’s a consistent theme that weaves through Karyn’s career – a career that also includes senior strategy, insights, and analytics roles with PepsiCo and Kraft Foods. You see, Karyn is a turnaround maven. She loves the challenge of synthesizing disparate insights from scanner data, panel data, and custom research to identify drivers of business decline and develop strategies to restore growth. And she’s done it for brands such as Philadelphia Cream Cheese, Tropicana Orange Juice, and Gatorade.
But this Chicago native and diehard Cubs fan isn’t just about business. We have it on good authority that she used to twirl a mean baton, she’s been on 15 cruises with her husband, and she can raise her left eyebrow. (You know, for when she needs to shoot that look to one of her kids.)
Jennifer wields over 19 years of consumer insights and market research experience. She’s also an innovation junkie: ideation and front-end work, qualification, go-to-market strategy development, customer sell-in, portfolio management… Let’s just say she caught the innovation bug early and never let it go. She was famous at Procter & Gamble for taking on unpopular roles – diamonds in the rough, Jennifer would say – and turning them into wonderful roles. This isn’t surprising given that she loves to solve problems that beg for custom solutions. At P&G, she held North American and global roles in the US and Latin American roles while living in Panama.
This renaissance woman is a perennial surprise outside the office, too. Her urban farm features chickens and honeybees. She’s been known to hike pyramids with a toddler strapped to her back. And her party-planning prowess is legendary, spanning everything from Cupcake Wars to Cabernet-on-the-Curb gatherings. Yes, definitely Mizzouri material.
Wendy’s market research career has spanned a fascinating array of B2B and B2C organizations, including the Memphis Police Department, the State of Tennessee, Vanderbilt Institute for Public Policy Studies, The Buntin Group, HealthStream, and Cummins Filtration. The healthcare industry is a core focus for Wendy, and she has experience on both the supplier and provider sides of the business. In fact, she has led vision work, strategic realignment and positioning, new market entry, product launches, thought leadership development, and acquisition integration initiatives for clients such as HCA, WebMD, Blue Cross Blue Shield of Tennessee, Baxter, Covidian, Medtronic, St. Thomas Health, Brookdale, Pinnacle Medical Group, and others. Her mission? Doggedly chase the insights that can make a real difference for her clients’ businesses. Wendy holds an MBA in Marketing & Market Research from Vanderbilt University Owen Graduate School of Management as well as a Master’s in Social Psychology & Research – and if she thought her husband wouldn’t divorce her, she’d be a full-time student. (Instead, she feeds her insatiable curiosity by Googling things like why wasps make funny-shaped nests and why Nicolas Cage is on the cover of a Serbian biology book.) But don’t ever assume you’ve got her pegged. It’s a running joke in her family that if she says she’ll never do something, it’s likely the very next thing she’ll do.
Denise would classify herself as a research activist – she’s rabidly passionate about answering the now what for her clients while delivering an extraordinary customer experience. And she’s not kidding. Denise is a CCXP – a Certified Customer Experience Professional. (It also scares us a little that she’s practically a black belt in micro facial movement recognition, complete with an eMETT 3.0 expert level certification.) Denise revels in synthesizing data from multiple sources, uncovering game-changing insights, and communicating in a way that makes it easy for clients to take action. Her market research career has spanned multiple companies and industry verticals, including Tractor Supply Company, the YMCA, Mars Petcare, and Scottrade.
But it’s Denise’s side-splitting, self-deprecating sense of humour that leaves us in stitches. She’s also got a few great cocktail party tricks up her sleeve. For instance, she can touch her tongue to her nose and, according to her husband, she can “remember entire conversations, even years later”. Hmmm. We’re not so sure that last one was a compliment…
Jill is an experienced moderator and facilitator who has also helped set the standard for synthetic thinking, the art of synthesizing and analyzing disparate bits of information in order to find the compelling and actionable story hidden in the data. She spent many years at Procter & Gamble’s Consumer Market Knowledge group, where she led the team managing a billion dollar brand. From there she took on responsibility for leading the market research function at the Folgers Coffee Company. But retail and shopper have always been close to Jill’s heart given that she started her career managing a $37 million sales plan for a large regional department store chain. She’s now at a point in her career where she can pull it all together for clients. And in many cases she’s able to add value in ways that clients don’t expect – but quickly learn to. We love the way she challenges our thinking because, frankly, she makes us all smarter.
Programming & DP
Las Vegas USA
Las Vegas USA
We want to be Mark when we grow up. No, really. He’s been the head of global consumer research for some very impressive properties, including MGM Resorts International, Carnival Cruise Lines, Las Vegas Sands, Carlson Restaurants, Nokia, and Motorola. And he’s walking around with a prestigious Masters of Marketing Research from the University of Georgia. Top it all off with numerous speaker appearances at industry conferences around the globe and we’re left feeling a little boring. Especially when we factor in the fact that Mark is a self-proclaimed adrenaline junkie who’s never ruled out being a private pilot, skydiver, scuba diver, or radio show host. Where will you find him when he’s not doing any of that crazy stuff? Hanging out at sporting events and live concerts, doing something aviation-oriented, or spending time with his parrot. Yes, we really did just say that.
Over the course of her six-year career at Procter & Gamble, Lauren didn’t just master brand-building fundamentals, learning plan development and execution, qualitative, and quantitative methodologies such as market mix modeling, in-store marketing testing, and media effectiveness tracking. She also leveraged her shopper expertise to lead adoption and deployment of a First Moment of Truth tool in North America that has helped P&G deliver with excellence in-store. And she rounded out her extensive work in P&G’s coffee and dish care categories by leading the company’s largest multi-brand effort at the 2012 London Olympics.
We expect a driven researcher like Lauren to be an over-achiever in all aspects of her life, and she certainly doesn’t disappoint. This mother of four, marathon runner, and certified yoga instructor has also trained and certified one of her dogs as a Therapy Dog. But for Lauren, all roads lead back to market research. Her husband is in market research (as are the majority of her friends), so dinnertime conversations often revolve around anticipated Purchase Intent lift based on optimized POS materials. What a rebel.
There’s global citizen. And then there’s global citizen. Natalya was born in Kazakhstan, moved to Moscow with her family as a child, and followed her heart (and husband) to Germany in 2012, where they dote on a bilingual daughter and Natalya spends her days bouncing between German, Russian, and English. Natalya’s career spans the advent and explosive growth of market research in Russia and CIS markets (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Moldova, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Ukraine, and Uzbekistan). As the head of Qualitative Research for Kantar TNS Russia, she led multi-stage studies for major international clients, enabling them to successfully introduce new products in the region – clients such as Unilever, British American Tobacco, PepsiCo, Kellogg’s, Nestlé, Danone, P&G, Kimberly-Clark, Mondelez, Baltica Breweries, and others. In fact, Natalya’s team won the coveted TNS Dream Team award under her leadership. She would tell you it’s because she has a great eye for talent, tenaciously follows the details, and is unrivaled when it comes to organizational skills. So, we asked her what her colleagues would say. She laughed. “They say I have a cold mind; I can find a rational solution to any difficult situation without dramatics and tears.” To which we say, bolshoe spasibo.
Like so many at Mizzouri, Chuck is as comfortable on the right side of his brain as the left. He started his career as a Creative Director and Account Leader for Interbrand – where his decades-long passion for research was also born. Chuck is uniquely qualified to uncover what works (and doesn’t work) in packaging, advertising, in-store activations, concepts, big idea development, and more, and he deftly translates consumer insights into recommended action for marketers and creative agencies alike. He has done this for a dizzying array of clients, including Amazon, Procter & Gamble, Facebook, JM Smucker, PepsiCo, Intel, Reckitt Benckiser, Verizon, Kohl’s, AB InBev, State Farm, Sony, Nintendo, and others.
Ask Chuck what gives him chills and he’ll tell you it’s that moment while moderating when you know you’ve uncovered a great insight. Ask him what gives him pause and he’s likely to regale you with accounts of some of his more “colourful” respondents. But then again, he just might save those stories for the back room.
Paula is a trailblazer – the kind who can hold a complex vision of a future state squarely in her brain, and then go build it. And because of this rare quality, it’s no surprise that her 32-year history at Procter & Gamble is dotted with stories of true breakthrough. Paula envisioned an approach to virtual test markets when the rest of the world was still dabbling with the Internet. It’s now a validated test market tool. She’s led countless expansions and launches all over the world for household brands we all know and love. She was an architect of P&G’s approach to Hispanic research and put the company well ahead of the competition in terms of driving relevance with multi-cultural consumers. And not one to shy away from the hard stuff, Paula tackled the daunting challenge of turning around a struggling shaving brand facing category disruption on every front. She’ll tell you that her strongest technical area is brand strategy. But we think her searing curiosity is what drives so much of her success. She helps clients find the hidden insights – the stuff between the lines. And she won’t rest until she uncovers the real consumer motivators. The things consumers think, but never say. All of which makes her a great storyteller and the one we want to be giggling with in the back of the conference room.
We were delighted, naturally, to learn that Paula is an avid party planner and host – because where better to enjoy tales of side-splitting hilarity? Emergency preparedness gone wrong. Surviving two coups while living in Venezuela. “Managing” a 211-pound Great Dane when she is, by her own admission, vertically challenged. Yeah. She’s got stories.
There are few things Carolina is more passionate about than translating data into insights, simplifying thinking to focus on what matters, and crafting stories that enable decision making. And she did it for more than 13 years at Procter & Gamble in both her native Caracas and London before joining Mizzouri. She wields strong technical research mastery as well as analytical and problem-solving skills – all of which make her lethally effective when it comes to category growth, brand building, shopper-based design, and data integration. Many of our running jokes revolve around her innocent language gaffes, and Carolina quips that often feels like Sofía Vergara on Modern Family. But nobody can throw a party like Carolina, who deftly channels her inner Martha Stewart (sans the insider trading scandal, of course).
There are very few researchers who can say that their consumer insight generation work helped a brand launch from scratch and quickly capture the greatest share in the category. Lena can. Over the course of her 18-year career with Procter & Gamble in Greater China she has led market research initiatives in Laundry, Skin Care, Beauty Care, and Fem Care – and now boasts 10+ years of skincare experience in China. She leverages her expert quantitative and qualitative skills to round out her research findings and help clients succeed in this critical business market.
Kristin has spent more than 25 years in media, marketing, market research, advertising, and brand consulting for companies that include Empower Media Marketing, Wonder Group, Procter & Gamble, and Illumination Research. She’s worked on everything from diapers to alcohol (and will quickly point out that there’s a connection between the two) as well as pet care, beauty care, fem care, wound care, oral care, and food and beverage. And while at P&G, Kristin championed breakthrough consumer receptivity, communications, innovation, and digital research techniques. Clients value her as a trusted advisor, partner, strategic thinker, and consultant – one who can design innovative yet practical custom research to answer strategic business questions.
Where can you find her on the weekend? From late August through early January she’ll be glued to college football games. (So, there goes Saturday.) In fact, she has a love for all her red teams: OSU Buckeyes, Miami RedHawks, University of South Carolina Gamecocks, University of Cincinnati Bearcats, Cincinnati Reds… We can’t get a straight answer on the Cincinnati Bengals, though. But we suspect there’s more to it than the colour orange.
Hong Kong CHINA
Hong Kong CHINA
Born and raised in Singapore, David has more than 25 years of B2C and B2B market research experience in Asia with clients such as S.C. Johnson, Matsushita, Sony, FedEx, Kraft Foods, LinkedIn, Johnson & Johnson, Nestlé, ExxonMobil, and more. He is deeply passionate about market research and his region (given its importance to so many global companies), and his visceral understanding of local culture and consumer habits is invaluable. A resident of Hong Kong since 1992, David is fluent in Mandarin, Cantonese, Taiwanese, and English. He’s also our go-to person for all restaurant recommendations in the region. So far? He’s earned a five-star foodie rating.
Heather has done some pretty amazing things over the course of her 15-year market research career that got its start at Research International. She was one of the earliest employees at Priceline, and in her Director of Planning and Forecasting role she developed the forecasting tool for the company’s travel businesses – a model that Priceline used throughout its IPO and beyond. Clearly, the deep end doesn’t scare Heather. Give her a high-change, high-growth situation where she can have a tangible impact on the business and she’s a happy woman indeed. Her client list, which includes companies such as eBay, Yelp, and Groupon, is evidence of that mindset.
And all that desire for impact bleeds into Heather’s personal life, where she’s active at her children’s schools and with non-profit Cul2vate, which helps bring fresh produce to hungry families in Nashville. It’s frustratingly hard to find anything to tease her about. But then again, there was that time when Heather had to be rescued from the top of her toilet, where she’d been trapped for hours by a mouse on the floor that turned out to be nothing more than a tassel from her slipper.
Chief Creative Officer
Rob drives the creative agenda at CheckmateVR and ensures that our virtual environments and products are the best in the industry. (He’s also a bit obsessed with the latest in video and photographic technology, and consistently pushes the boundaries to identify new and better ways to leverage technology in market research.) He’s also the co-founder of a highly respected UK retail design consultancy and a recognized expert in brand, category, and shopper marketing. And he has partnered with hundreds of leading FMCG brand owners such as Nestlé, Diageo, Starbucks, Lego, and Unilever for more than 25 years. Rob also has a keen interest in Marketing Technology and has been at the forefront of a number of industry-first retail innovations.
Rob will tell you one of his little-known talents is a dry sense of humour that rarely comes out to play. (We beg to differ.) But he’ll also tell you was born in Wales and made in England. So, we steer clear when Wales play England in rugby.
Sarah is one of those people we don’t come across very often: a master researcher who spent 14 years as an intrapreneur at Procter & Gamble. And without question, spending that much time in rarified upstream air for brands such as Pantene, Olay, Gillette, and Tide honed skills that so many of our clients need as they tackle innovation: new product development, business model creation, opportunity mapping, and delivery of consumer “wow”. Sarah is happiest when she’s creating breakthrough approaches to identify disruptive product and service ideas – and she’s just as comfortable in durable goods and healthcare as she is in consumer packaged goods. She’s also a highly creative and prolific writer and has been an Elite Yelper for more than five years. All of which leaves us scratching our heads. How is it possible that someone who can so clearly see the path to business success has such a notoriously poor sense of direction? Suffice it to say that we’re in charge of the maps on business trips.
This globally-minded business intelligence junkie spent more than 19 years gaining comprehensive experience in strategic business planning and market research at Procter & Gamble. And that experience spans multiple CPG categories (including personal health care, oral care, fabric care, baby care, and beauty care) in both developed and developing markets. A native of Caracas, Venezuela, Milagros will tell you that one of the things she’s proudest of is the revamp of Crest toothpaste in Latin America. Why? Because it reminds her of the power of answering the right business question and the power of teamwork. How else to make significant gains against the undisputed market leader?
We joke that the recurring theme in her life is overcoming challenges – and the never-ending stories about her “money pit” house are the stuff of lore. But when it comes to global travel, we concede defeat. Milagros refuses to be impacted by jet lag, which means if there’s a shred of light in the sky, she forces herself to stay awake and active. The rest of us mere mortals want to take a nap just thinking about it.
There are many times when the magic in the data – when the truth of the consumer’s voice – can only be brought to life in video. And for that, clients need a gifted TV and Digital executive producer with expertise in scripting, development, producing and directing, and leading creative teams. That person is Jay. Born in Windsor UK in the shadow of the Queen’s castle, she resides in London (but longs for the sunshine, sushi, and smoothies of Los Angeles). We’re all a bit in awe of her career, over the course of which she’s been a Development Executive for the BBC, Betty TV, and ITV. She’s been a Series Producer for BBC One’s The Vanessa Show and SKY1’s Hotter Sex (on the heels of SKY1’s Naked in Westminster). And just when we thought it couldn’t get more interesting, Jay tells us she’s also been a Celebrity Booker for BBC’s Comic Relief 5 and has manned the Showbiz Desk for the Daily Mail. Her current clients range from The Prime Minister of the UK to RBS to Ogilvy to Stonewall to Mars. What makes her brilliant? Always having a Plan B for clients with smaller budgets. In her free time she watches movies, reads fashion blogs, and hangs out with horses. By her own admission she’s rubbish at singing and drawing, but she’s a bloody good horse rider, a brilliant conversationalist, and a very loyal friend. In short, she’s our kinda gal.
We don’t know many people who can honestly say they’ve amassed an avalanche of sustainability knowledge, but Jen is definitely one who can. During her 12 years at Procter & Gamble, her award-winning consumer and shopper insights influenced some of the company’s most global billion-dollar brands, including Pantene, Head & Shoulders, Wella, and Herbal Essences. But she also helped the company win big in the billion-dollar organic/sustainable hair care market, and her work included sustainability research in the US, Mexico, Brazil, the UK, Germany, Russia, Japan, and South Korea. Jen also earned a Graduate Ethics Fellowship with a sustainability, leadership, and ethics focus while pursuing her MBA at Xavier University. She is rabidly passionate about helping businesses grow – small, big, and everything in between.
Her passion bleeds into her personal life as well, where her philosophy is to travel broadly but return to home and family. (She’s part of a close-knit multi-generational family.) That said, Jen did travel to six countries on her honeymoon. Which just leaves us feeling exhausted.
This international brand builder has spent her career focused on research and brand planning for clients such as Shell, PepsiCo, British Airways, Volvo, General Motors, HSBC, Santander, Danone, Cadbury Adams, Mandarin Oriental Hotels, Heineken, The Macallan Whisky, Famous Grouse, Highland Park, Jack Daniels (sensing a theme?), J. Walter Thompson Worldwide, and many others. And like all good qualitative researchers, she is obsessed with getting to grips with the hidden insight – with seeing the unseeable. But what we love most about Pamela is the diversity of her interests. This Liverpool native is a passionate Formula 1 fan and a car enthusiast in general. (She has an MGB GT V8 tucked away in her garage and once appeared live on BBC’s Breakfast to talk about advertising cars to women.) She filled in as a hand model while living in Hong Kong, she once sang back-up vocals for Samantha Fox, and she can spot Prosecco masquerading as champagne from a mile away.
Pamela speaks English, German, and Common Sense, and her clients are perennially amazed by the depth of business thinking she brings to the table – acumen she’s acquired while working at agencies such as Hall & Partners, AC Nielsen Hong Kong, HPI Research, and her own Ichor Consulting (which she founded in 2002). She is also riotously funny. So, suffice it to say that back room debriefs with Pamela are not to be missed.
Kay has devoted her entire 33-year career to the study of the human condition – and specifically to help clients unravel complex business questions. Kay quips that regardless of the research technique used, it always boils down to human insights. And much to her delight, we humans are undeniably and reliably fascinating. Kay happens to be one of the best lateral thinkers we’ve ever met, and she leverages that ability to design incredibly creative and effective research (as well as brainstorming sessions and strategic workshops). She has deep understanding of myriad industry verticals, having worked closely with clients such as Procter & Gamble, Kraft, Kellogg’s, Visa, Nestlé, Capital One, Abbott, GSK, Ralston Purina, Humana, and others. And her professional passion has taken her around the globe – talking to doctors and patients in India, young mothers in China and the Philippines, and consumers in Vietnam and every other corner of the world.
Meanwhile back at the ranch, Kay and her husband raised four sons who now have children of their own that she can spoil rotten. So that may be why we stopped short when Kay told us she’s the worst rapper ever, but that she does it anyway. Rapper? If we didn’t know and love this irreverent ball of fire as well as we do, we might have thought she was pulling our leg.
Imogen leverages more than 19 years of experience in market research and brand planning, and her career spans agencies including Hall & Partners London and TNS. Like all of us at Mizzouri, Imogen is particularly fond of wrapping her mind around big, strategic questions – something she’s done for clients like eBay, BBC Worldwide, SCJ, Unilever, Reckitt Benckiser, and GSK. Not surprisingly, Imogen is no stranger to global research, and she has led initiatives in the UK, China, India, Russia, South Africa, Malaysia, Japan, and the entirety of Western Europe. All that aside, though, she’s simply jolly good fun.
Before she joined Mizzouri, Chelsey spent eight years as a marketing communications specialist in the complex rehab power wheelchair industry (which, for the record, we think is really cool on a number of levels). Chelsey is a master of detail. And a master of managing big and complex: she’s structured corporate partnerships with charitable organizations, organized more than 20 consumer and professional trade shows each year, managed large corporate events, and more. All this while also leading corporate marketing and communications efforts, social media initiatives, and research. So, she’s the one you want managing the logistics of any research project because she’s already thought through Plan A, Plan B, Plan C, and Plan D.
Maybe it’s all that exhausting focus on detail that enables Chelsey to fall asleep anywhere, anytime and to sleep through just about anything. This California native has slept through earthquakes on the west coast and tornadoes in Tennessee. Lights out before the boarding door closes on any flight and you’ll have to wake her after you land. And yet she’s never fallen asleep at work, much to our chagrin. All that potential for practical jokes continues to elude us.
So far, Claire’s career has centered on the intersection of technology and marketing research. While at LifeQRx Pharmacy (formerly M2G Med-Management), she served as Project Manager and Technology Liaison, delivering end user business requirements, reporting and data management, product and usability testing, training and CRM management, and a laundry list of other operational requirements. In fact, she dipped her toe into research as an undergrad, when she served as the marketing research intern for Upstate SC Alliance, an economic development organization supporting South Carolina. She was there to earn her BA in Economics at Furman University, after which she earned her Master’s in Management from Wake Forest and a post-graduate certification from Vanderbilt’s Accelerator Summer Business Institute.
This Nashville native almost forgot to mention that she was an industry relations intern for the Country Music Association. Yeah, “tough” work, networking with industry professionals and emerging artists at swanky events. Oh, and coordinating over 200 volunteers for the CMA Music Festival. Poor thing…but now we want to see her autograph collection.
Curious by nature, Megan has an uncanny ability to identify process improvement opportunities and implement company-wide programs. So, it’s not surprising that she uses that same lens to find ways to improve every client’s experience. But at her core Megan is a strong people-person who loves to find ways to bring out the best in individuals and organizations. In a previous life, for example, she developed a wildly successful internship program that required her to forge strong partnerships with top universities all over the US. And Megan never turns off her research brain – in fact, she regularly “researches” new restaurants, craft beers, and recipes. Which is probably why she drags her adorable Belgian Malinois on so many long runs…
Brittney’s personal mantra? Make it happen. And that’s something she’s done as a Project Manager, Account Manager, Program Manager, and Community Manager. This networking ninja has forged strategic partnerships with household names like LinkedIn and SurveyMonkey while in corporate relations roles at the American Cancer Society. She has whipped up live and virtual events and conferences for more than 2,000 participants. And she has managed complex (and often sensitive) relationships with speakers, corporate sponsors, community partners, vendors, contractors, and volunteers. Brittney holds a B.A. in Psychology and a Master’s in Organizational Leadership, and she’s an active member of the Project Management Institute. She’ll tell you that her favourite problems to solve for clients are the ones they never realized they had.
But this homing beacon for the best Indian food in any city also has a few little-known talents that we find particularly endearing. She can, for example, out-eat most men if the aforementioned Indian cuisine is on the menu. She can fold a fitted sheet. She continues to successfully avoid operating a dishwasher – for 29 years in and counting. But maybe it’s her adventurous streak that we love most, because we happen to know that she’ll try (almost) anything twice.
Ashley started her career in a most interesting place: commercial furniture. Her internship at Steelcase required that she lead competitive research to inform strategic product development decisions – and that led to an Account Executive role for Steelcase’s Office Concepts division, where she created their first comprehensive marketing and social media plan. But when she joined Workspring by Steelcase, Ashley found her project management calling while partnering with clients such as Lululemon, Target, SC Johnson, L’Oréal, and Little Caesar’s Pizza. Here at Mizzouri, she customizes each client’s experience based on their needs and mission-critical business objectives. She pores over project logistics and shoulders the weight of complex research studies for clients all over the globe. She’s never met a unique client challenge that she didn’t love. And this Michigan native who lived in Spain for a short time will tell you (with a wistful look) that siestas are game changers.
Project management is part of Ashley’s DNA – and in previous roles as Marketing Accounts Specialist, Operations Coordinator, and Development Coordinator she managed hundreds of complex projects from inception to delivery. She also wields fluency in a variety of business-enabling technologies and applications, including JIRA, SmartSheet, Emma, Blackbaud Sphere, Raiser’s Edge, Neulion, InDesign, Photoshop, and Illustrator. Of note, Ashley holds a Master’s in Education, a B.A. in Journalism, and a B.S. in Education – all with a focus on sports administration and public relations. In fact, she began her career as the Sports Communications Specialist for Georgia State University Athletics. We love it that this Atlanta native is obsessed with maximizing efficiencies and creating (or improving) processes. But we love it even more that she gets giddy about organization. In fact, we’ve never seen anyone get quite so excited about lists and spreadsheets.
Bethany is the perfect storm of communication and project management skills – and she’s got the CV to prove it. She’s been a writer, reporter, and researcher for The Buntin Group, Soirée Magazine, The Monthly Loop Magazine, and the Harding University Office of Public Relations for starters. But she honed her logistics and project management skills as a corporate and private event planner. In fact, her wedding planning stories are the stuff of legend. Find a cake two hours before the ceremony? Check. Clean up the flower girl who’s wet her pants? Check. Herd the intoxicated groomsmen? Check. And at Mizzouri, she navigates complex global research projects with the aplomb you’d expect from someone who has coordinated an 800+ attendee event for the Johnny Cash family. (It’s well known that she loves a good challenge.)
Just for fun, we asked her if she has any little-known talents. “I can eat a box of Oreos in less than a day. Yes, a whole box. All three sleeves. Less than 24 hours.” We’re suddenly feeling a little better about that box of Girl Scout Cookies we just inhaled…
Katie is a whiz at client relations, event planning, project management, and public relations. In her investor relations role with a Chicago-based private equity firm, for example, she planned and executed annual investor meetings that included 150+ attendees and $250,000 budgets. So, it’s a rare detail indeed that escapes Katie – making her ideal for managing the logistics of complex global research studies. But her client service skills are finely honed as well, and as a luxury designer sales associate for Nordstrom Katie consistently led the team in sales volume and was on track for a Nordstrom Pacesetter award before joining Mizzouri. This Chicago native has embraced her new life in the South, and volunteers for The Nashville Food Project and Junior League (while also following her stomach to our abundant eateries). We can’t wait to hear the story of how she “accidentally” bumped into Tiger Woods’ mother and knocked her over, but that’s probably one for happy hour. In the meantime, we’ll celebrate Katie’s continuous-learning mindset. As she puts it, you should never feel like the smartest person in any room. If you do, you’re in the wrong room.
Danielle came to Mizzouri by way of California, where she gained experience managing multiple marketing and digital projects for premier digital brands, including Apple. Her work at firms such as Elephant, Huge, and AppleOne also gave her fluency in collaboration and project management software such as Smartsheets, Basecamp, Trello, Unanet, and Jira. (And in addition to English, Danielle can hold her own in Spanish and American Sign Language.) Danielle never met a project obstacle she couldn’t overcome, and she’s driven to deliver positive client outcomes.
But you’d never guess that this young woman whose earliest employers include SeaWorld, Universal Studios, and Walt Disney World is an unabashed and fearless adventurer. We’re pretty sure none of us have the nerve to extreme hang glide in Interlocken, Switzerland. But what we’re really curious about are the family stories about her that still get a great laugh. “I will be keeping them in the family vault,” she says. Danielle, Danielle, Danielle. We have ways to make you talk…
Nick wins the prize for being our most global of brand gurus. Forget the fact that this London native has also lived in Turkey, Slovakia, Hungary, and, Lithuania. He actually led projects on six continents in 2013 – and we’ve long since lost count of the number of countries. That aside, Nick’s passion for brands is irrepressible and he has a unique ability to add value through his contributions to planning, analysis, and implementation of business growth strategies. Importantly, he knows that brand and brand growth are at the heart of every business – and that plans are only meaningful if client teams can actually make them happen. Nick viscerally understands the client experience, having worked for companies such as SABMiller and Rothmans. And in a consultant capacity he has worked with clients such as Hershey, Novartis, Lloyds Bank, Nokia, Mars, Heineken, Unilever, SCA, and Treasury Wine Estate. He merrily recounts his experience helping launch Tampax in Saudi Arabia using a male sales force (and where the product demonstration training was memorable, to say the least). Always one to go the extra mile for a client, Nick admits that he once did an “unofficial” gin brands product demonstration for the first class cabin on a long haul British Airways flight. Given that he’s a self-proclaimed world-class martini maker and drinker, we’re not entirely convinced that his motives were pure. Cheers, Nick!
The Royal Foundation of the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge and Prince Harry
Fox 9 KMSP
Procter & Gamble
The J.M. Smucker Company
The Hershey Company
Le Pain Quotidien
Western & Southern Financial Group
Johnson & Johnson
Green Dot Pre-Paid Cards
Nashville Metropolitan Transit Authority
Butlin’s Leisure Company
The Jim Stengel Company
Helen of Troy
Aegis Health Group
United Dairy Farmers
Good Hair Day
Milo’s Famous Tea
Gold Star Chili
The Idea Suite
City of Saint Charles
The Cargo Agency
Ballistic Case Company
Cincinnati Consulting Consortium
Resource Options International
Linda for Mayor of Nashville
The Strategy Collective
Safe Step Walk-In Tubs
Clients use our brand of research to inform their business decisions and identify new business opportunities. They also come to us for an experience that’s uniquely Mizzouri. But our kind of culture doesn’t just happen. We nurture it, which means it starts with the right people. We’re constantly seeking smart individuals and teams who are as passionate as we are about challenging norms, generating business momentum, moving the research industry to uncharted territories, and having a lot of fun along the way. Ours is definitely a singular proposition. We take our work very seriously. But ourselves? Not so much. You may wonder what joining Mizzouri means for you. For starters, membership in a strong community – one that includes some of the best and most progressive thinkers in market research. Access to clients where Procurement presents a problem for small firms and independents. The opportunity to add depth and breadth to your portfolio. And nearly indecent flexibility in terms of how you work with us and with clients. These are our current open positions. If you see the ideal fit, send your CV. If your ideal role isn’t there now, then bookmark us. Quietly stalk us. We’re always evolving and growing, so when the right opportunity presents itself we want to hear from you before anyone else. See our listings at right for details – and please note that we require exceptional English language skills (native or near native) for all roles, all global locations.