7 Strong: Meet Our Amazing Market Research Instructors

Meet Our InstructorsResearch Rockstar’s instructor roster is now 7 strong. Well, 8 if you count our founder, Kathryn Korostoff who also teaches. Check out the Research Rockstars who teach our market research classes:

Susan Abbott is president of Abbott Research and Consulting.  Susan is a specialist in customer insight and innovation; expert qualitative research of all kinds, including online communities and discovery labs. She also shares her research insights on her blog. We look forward to Susan facilitating some of our qualitative classes.

Delanea Davis, founder and President of Solstice Strategy Partners, LLC, has led some very engaging classes on Writing Qualitative Research Reports and Managing Focus Groups. She brings her 18 years of professional experience with her to the class, and some very funny stories too!

Jeffrey Henning is the founder of Researchscape International, a market research publisher that enables customer-driven organizations to keep up with changes in consumer attitudes and behaviors.  Jeffrey is a member of AAPOR, ESOMAR and the Marketing Research Association. In 2012, he was the inaugural winner of the MRA’s Impact award. He is a well-known market research expert; follow him on Twitter @JHenning.

Janis Haywood, an Independent Research Consultant, is an experienced quantitative research pro. We are thrilled to have Janis teaching quant classes for us, most recently Questionnaire Design 201. Janis has broad experience, but we especially love her CPG research stories!

Karen Lynch, founder of Karen Lynch & Associates, has more than 20 years of experience as a qualitative researcher, facilitator and trainer. She is also a talented writer; check out her market research blog here. Karen teaches Qualitative Research topics for us, bringing amazing tips to our students from her experience moderating hundreds of focus group and individual interviews.

Dr. Steven Struhl is the founder of Converge Analytic. His specialties include discrete choice modeling, segmentation, Bayesian networks, machine learning, conjoint and other trade-off methods, market simulation, market structure analysis, product and service optimization, and more. He wows our students while teaching Introduction to Conjoint Analysis and other quantitative research topics.

Greg Timpany, co-founder of Anova Market Research, continues to impress us with his Quantitative Market Research knowledge.  Greg has honed his Market Research skills for more than 20 years, and shares lots of instructive, real-world examples in his classes. We have been so lucky to have Greg lead a number of our Introduction to SPSS classes.  Greg also tweets about market research topics; follow him @DataDudeGreg.

All of our instructors are actual market researchers. They speak from experience. They share real stories about market research successes and even failures. Their knowledge is practical, not theoretical. And frankly that’s what makes our classes so fun: they aren’t full of boring, academic information you will never really use. It’s all about real applications, best practices, and risk mitigation.  See our complete class options on our Training Store.



Summer Camp for Market Researchers

Camp Rockstar logo

We believe learning market research can be fun. And so we are thrilled to announce that registration is now open for this summer’s Camp Rockstar for market researchers.

About Camp Rockstar

Registration is now open for Camp Rockstar, a summer training camp for market researchers.  Come to Research Rockstar’s summer camp, have a lot of fun learning, and let your expanded market research skills take you to the top of the charts.

No black flies. No sunburn. No snoring from the next bunk. Just an opportunity to immerse yourself in fun, interactive learning with a group of your market research peers.

Campers get to pick up to 6 online market research classes—all for just $800 per camper. All classes are taught in the Research Rockstar virtual classroom, by our expert instructors. Oops, we mean “camp counselors.”

Summer camp market research topics include Customer Satisfaction, Market Segmentation, Online Qualitative Methods, Questionnaire Design, Research Interviews, SPSS, and other real-time online market research classes.

To view class details, dates and more, visit Camp Rockstar.

Any questions? Call us at 508.691.6004 ext 701, or email Sales@ReserchRockstar.com



Chainsaw Juggling Lessons for Market Researchers

a girl jugglingIs market research a high stress job?  It can be.

One of the things we often hear in Research Rockstar classes is the relief students have when they realize other researchers also feel stressed about their work.

Market Research and Chainsaw Juggling

The market research project manager is like a juggler, except instead of having to keep three balls in the air, it often feels like we’re juggling ten chainsaws. Clients, suppliers, software, sample sources, schedules, budgets, and on and on.  All of these things can create for a lot of stress.

So how do we manage stress as a market research project manager?  One of the things that I’ve observed in Research Rockstar classes is that our students are relieved when they hear that they’re not the only ones who are stressed.  That their peers from other companies also find certain aspects of market research work to be hard.  They’re also relieved when they hear that there are a lot of situations where there is no magic answer.

We’re all Juggling Chainsaws Together

In one of our classes, I teach how to identify the “aha” analysis from survey data. That is, how to uncover the insights that are often less obvious but, once found, more illuminating.

One of the methods I teach is using a trial and error approach to creating perceptual maps.  True aha moments rarely come from a single data point; we more commonly get aha’s from looking at relationships between two or more variables (thus, perceptual maps are a handy tool).  But you can’t always tell just by looking at banner tables or other data output. Sometimes the researcher needs some visualization to see the story.  And that means actually taking out a piece of paper and a pencil, and sketching out different visual displays.

For example, if as I am looking at my data, I see a lot of variability on brand awareness and attitude X, I might sketch that out. And then I might sketch out a variation with another variable.  Is there something compelling there?  Does that tell a story? The trial and error sketches can be considered a form of exploratory data analysis, and can help the researcher see the story in a more impactful way than staring at crosstabs all day.

When I tell our students that this trial and error approach is one of the techniques useful in data analysis, they are always happy to hear it. Why? Because it shows that insights are hard, and that great insights are rarely obvious from crosstabs alone. All researchers—even those of us with 25 years’ experience—have to work hard to find rich insights.  The students are relieved because now they know it’s not just them; great analysis doesn’t just pop out at anyone; we all have to use multiple methods, and visual displays are just one of them.

Project Management Stress Solutions

Being a market research project manager can be a stressful job, and there are certain aspects of the work that are challenging for everyone. It’s just part of the process, and that’s okay.

Of course, we can minimize the stress by planning ahead for those parts of the project (like analysis) that we know can be challenging.  And, of course, being prepared with some great tools and techniques with which we can tackle these known issues. Uncertainty and lack of confidence can take a stressful situation and really magnify it a hundred times; it doesn’t need to be that stressful. Those live chainsaws you are juggling? Look again; they are really just safety scissors.


Research Rockstar Event News

If your travel plans include Boston or Amsterdam:

Kathryn Korostoff is teaching a full-day workshop for ESOMAR in June:  http://www.esomar.org/events-and-awards/events/workshops/workshops-index.php?workshop_list_id=41

She is also teaching a workshop on statistics for market researchers on May 15th at this Boston-area event: http://newenglandmra.com/nemra-event/spring/


Spring Training for Market Researchers

market research spring training

So many people have had a brutal winter—snow, snow and more snow! Makes you want to stay home, doesn’t it? With market research training classes in our virtual classroom, you can have fun, interactive education without the travel.

Check out these upcoming classes:

Introduction to Ethnography (single session, 1.5 PRC hours)
Tuesday, March 11, 2014 at 11am EDT

Social Media Meets Market Research (single session, 1.5 PRC hours)
Wednesday, March 12, 2014 at 11am EDT

Introduction to Conjoint Analysis (single session, 1.5 PRC hours)
Tuesday, March 18, 2014 at 11am EDT

Market Segmentation: Practical Steps to Research Success (single session)
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 11am EDT

Online Qualitative Research Methods (4-wk Power Program, 5 PRC hours)
Wednesday, March 19, 2014 at 1pm EDT

Managing Focus Groups (4-wk Power Program, 6 PRC hours)
Thursday, April 3, 2014 at 11am EDT

For our complete class catalog, visit Training.ResearchRockstar.com



B2B Market Segmentation is Hard. Really Hard. And We Have A Free Video To Explain Why.

Question: Is the process for segmenting the market for toothpaste the same as the process for segmenting the market for payroll services?

At a very, very high level, the answer is yes. In both cases, the researcher has to clarify project goals (why are we doing the segmentation and how will it be used), design the methodology, generate hypotheses, gather data, analyze data, create the segmentation model, name the segments, and create deliverables.

But that’s a pretty high level.

Once we embark on the reality of progressing through those research steps, we quickly realize that B2B segmentation studies are very different than consumer ones (see free video link below).  Here are two out of the many reasons why:

  • B2B studies often have “hard to find” populations.  Finding people who are authentic, qualified and willing to participate in research can be very challenging for many B2B studies. This can restrict our methodology and data analysis options.
  • B2B studies have to address a nuanced combination of a person’s attitudes and a company’s policies.  For example, a company employee (and decision maker) may have specific brand preferences or product desires.  But company policies and purchasing processes may conflict with those.  Without careful attention to such dualities, the research could deliver results that are out of touch with the brutal realities of how money is spent.

Segmenting a B2B market is very different than segmenting a consumer market. And frankly, can be much harder. This is why, in the Research Rockstar segmentation class, we include both consumer and B2B examples.  Other organizations offering segmentation training focus on consumer markets.

Want a pure “B2B only” focus? Our segmentation class can be booked as a private training session; in these cases, we modify the examples and demonstrations to your areas of interest.  To inquire about private group training, please contact Sales@ResearchRockstar.com or call 508.691.6004 ext 701.  Private training fees start at $1,200, and vary by group size.

Click here to watch a free video on the special challenges of B2B segmentation.


Camp Rockstar logo

Join us at Camp Rockstar, a summer camp for market researchers! Our Market Segmentation class is one of eight classes being held at summer camp this year! All classes are taught live, in a virtual classroom by camp counselors Kathryn Korostoff, Jeffrey Henning, and special guests.