MMR CELEBRATES ITS 20TH ANNIVERSARY AND A RECORD-BREAKING YEAR!

By Bill Denk & Bruce Olson, Managing Partners


Season’s Greetings! We trust that 2019 was a prosperous and rewarding year for all of you.  At MMR, we are celebrating our 20th year in business with another record-breaking growth year.  This is a testament to the strong client partnerships we enjoy and the outstanding talent we have attracted to MMR over the years.


MMR Becomes Employee-Owned


Speaking of outstanding employees, in September of this year MMR formed an employee stock ownership plan (ESOP).   Being an employee-owned company provides unique benefits to our employees as well as our clients. An ESOP is a great way to further enhance our ability to recruit and retain top talent.  We are able to reward our employees with significant retirement benefits at no monetary cost to them, encouraging them to think and act like business owners.   And research has shown over and over that ESOP companies are more productive, faster-growing, and have lower turnover — benefits that accrue to MMR clients and all stakeholders.


Support of the University of Georgia’s Master of Marketing Research (MMR) Program Stronger Than Ever


We have been proud supporters and cheerleaders for the MMR Program at UGA for the entire 20 years of our existence.  Both Bruce and I are alumni of the program, which is also true of many of our team members.


We are active members of the Program’s Advisory Board, we provide a student assistantship annually, we host the students in Immersion Days on emerging topics of interest, and this past year we hired two more new graduates from the program – Brea Wagner and Abby Dudman.

In December, we sponsored and helped run the Future of Insights Research Summit held in Athens across several of the beautiful new venues at the Terry College of Business.  Several of us from MMR joined over 225 attendees at the 2-day event, getting updates on exciting new developments in our field, networking with clients and friends, and reminiscing about our times spent in Athens (a long time ago for some of us!).


MMR LIVE Momentum Building   


Tricia Houston and the MMR LIVE team are continuing to build upon the initial success they established in 2018. MMR LIVE is an Experience Design group; their focus on User Testing and Brand Consulting helps organizations launch new offerings, solve business problems and reinvigorate the relationships they have with their audiences.


This past year, Tricia was one of 16 honorees on the 2019 GRIT Futures List, which recognizes rising stars in our industry who exhibit a passion for excellence in the expanding insights industry.  Also, MMR LIVE was a 2019 finalist for Quirk’s Excellence Awards as the Best New Service, and was a 2019 finalist for the Best Non-Profit Social Enterprise Project based on their pro-bono work with Zoo Atlanta.


We are expecting big things from MMR LIVE in 2020!


MMR’s Expanding Global Reach


While MMR started, as small companies often do, working mainly in the USA, many of us have significant experience doing research globally.  As we’ve grown, we have ever more opportunities to display that deep understanding of cultural differences that affect research, of the importance of relationships and flexibility in such work, and the need to work through partners, in both panel and non-panel spaces.


This year, we traveled the globe with our clients doing large research projects in nearly every continent and in areas ranging from large metropolitan cities to remote rural areas. In 2020, we hope to globetrot with you!


Agility


Agility is a hot topic of interest in our industry these days – we have been asked by several of our client partners to provide our POV on agility.  We find that agility in Marketing Research is less about speed, and more about flexibility and being able change direction quickly.  Agility is enabled by a combination of technology, having an “agile mindset”, and especially a clarity of “focus” on business purpose.  Such clarity of focus is what makes it possible for MMR to react to and guide changes in direction.


If you’re being told by others that “we can’t move that fast or change directions that quickly”, come talk to us.  This isn’t going away… More to come!


We will take this opportunity to once again thank all of MMR’s wonderful clients.  Thank you for being the best part of our success over the past 20 years.  We look forward to our continued partnerships in the next 20 and wish you a New Year full of health happiness and prosperity!

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