The Marketing Research Association (MRA) and the Council of American Survey Research Organizations (CASRO) are merging: the new Insights Association officially launches January 1, 2017.
The memberships of both organizations were invited to vote on the proposed merger in September, 2016 (if you are a member of either organization, you may recall being invited to an online vote). I had the pleasure of attending the final in-person vote for MRA members (an option for those who chose not to vote online), which was held at the MRA’s Annual Meeting in September (coinciding with the Corporate Researchers Conference in San Francisco). Both the MRA and CASRO memberships voted in favor of the merger, by more than 85% each.
One of the Board’s first actions was to come up with a name for the new organization. Naming exercises are notoriously challenging—and this one was no exception. To start the naming process, the leadership team gathered some data (responses to naming options) and leveraged Board Member input. With this information in hand, MRA and CASRO Board Members participated in a workshop to prioritize the best options, with consideration for name availability, URL options, and other practicalities. As an MRA Board member, I had the pleasure of participating—it was a tough but exhilarating process.
The new organization’s official name is the Insights Association. For more background, see this informative article by David Rothstein, CEO of RTi Research.
Personally, I am excited to have a new professional association—one that is dedicated to advancing our increasingly complex profession. The Insights Association is already set up for success with an amazing Board of Directors—selected from the two previously separate Boards. I know how smart these people are: I have been truly privileged to serve with a group of awesome research professionals on the MRA Board this past year. I also had the opportunity to work with CASRO Board members during the naming workshop. While I am not part of the new combined Board, I can assure all my fellow members that the Insights Association has a Board of Directors that is optimized to represent both companies and individuals, and both corporate researchers and research suppliers. As we say goodbye to the familiar, I am energized by the exciting, new opportunities a combined organization represents.