Bill Denk & Bruce Olson, Managing Partners
CONTINUED EXPANSION OF THE MMR BRAND
Last December, we talked about the positive impact our “Brand Foundation” process and brand strategy (MMR saves you time, extends your reach and inspires confidence) was having on our growth.
Over the past year, that growth has not only continued, but accelerated as MMR grew 30% IN 2016 and burst through the $10MM revenue threshold …a true mid-sized company.
Finding the right people with the right mindset, and aligning them behind a clear strategy armed with unparalleled support and teamwork, has continued to be a winning approach
We talk with our clients on an ongoing basis and continue to see proof that a supplier has the most impact when they can help clients go beyond delivering just “great insights.” And by maintaining the organizational flexibility to adjust to rapid changes that are inevitable on the client side, a supplier who can “make client lives a little bit easier” is a supplier that can build partnerships and loyalty.
DEALING W/ GROWTH AND CHANGE
Rapid growth has required us to add new people – mainly highly experienced professionals who can hit the ground running – at all levels of the organization, and create better tools to onboard them. Our new folks are amazed at the level of collaboration and cooperation they find at MMR, when they have been used to working alone or in silos. Growth is never assured in our industry; but talented people are the starting point and our experience shows that there are highly effective people out there on both sides of our industry who are under-valued.
We’ve also continued paying attention to the new developments in our industry, exploring them purposefully for our clients: We have continued educating our clients on the reality of increasing numbers of surveys completed on mobile devices and the changes this portends for survey design and obtaining good quality responses.
Pilot tests of web-cam eye tracking, video open-ends, graphic-based video deliverables: Video recording and communication is becoming a way of life for consumers, so the use of web cams and video to both capture and share data in research is a natural extension. This year, MMR invested our own time and money to pilot test eye tracking via web cams in online surveys [See more here.] Additionally, we continued to develop and use Graphic-based videos to bring static slide presentations to life. [For more, read here.] Also, we continued to explore using video open-ends in online surveys, recording consumers as they express their emotions during surveys about new products. Look for more from MMR on this subject in the new year.
Continued exploration of System 1 approaches: This past year we increased our investigations and started some deeper exploration of potential partnerships in the non-conscious measurement space. What we are learning is that this emerging area is real, is growing, and the value potential needs to be more fully understood.
SO WHERE ARE WE GOING?
For 2017, we believe that we are positioned for continued growth; we believe that we can begin to establish a strong position in System 1 thinking and explore the Integration of System 1 and System 2 approaches. We believe that integration is the key to extracting maximum value.
And, of course, we will continue to focus on ways to improve our approach for our clients. We don’t honestly know if the rapid (25+%) growth of the past three years will continue in 2017; it won’t surprise us if this is a year of retrenching and focus on deepening our client relationships more than building new ones.
But we have seen that when you give smart, good, motivated people the freedom to act; when you treat your clients and projects with a view towards the longer term, with flexibility and responsiveness, that growth seems to materialize.
Our goal remains to uncover opportunities to bring new tools and approaches into our work for our clients, always looking for how we can serve as an extension of their teams and extend their reach. This will allow us to improve our recommendations and have a bigger impact on their business success.