December 2010
Philadelphia Phlash
MRA Philadelphia Newsletter
Winter 2010
Seasons Greeting to the Membership!


Happy Holidays!  As we bring another year to a close, we have so much to be thankful for.  We have seen a resurge in our industry.  I have heard more and more researchers commenting that it was a good year.  Research firms were busier as research seemed to be in more demand.  The Philadelphia MRA continues to try and offer the best in educational and networking events.  We have been fortunate to have some fantastic speakers commit their time and knowledge so the members can continue to learn.  And the Eagles seem to be doing quite well this year (hope I didn't just jinx the team).


My father said to me once, the older you get the quicker the years go by.  Boy was he right!  I am amazed that the end of 2010 is just a few days away.  But with each end comes a new beginning.  This New Year offers so many wonderful opportunities for market researchers.  As the economy continues its recovery the demand for research will increase.  What new ideas, tools, methodologies, advances will be made in our industry in 2011? 


The Philadelphia Chapter of the MRA will continue its commitment to the membership to offer educational events that assist in the professional growth of its members.  We want to learn as an association and professional colleagues these new ideas, tools, methodologies and advances as they occur.  We are planning a lunch and learn in late February or early March of 2011.  We are currently reviewing topics that would be most interesting to the membership.  If you have an idea, please reach out to a board member and let us know.  This year the Joint Conference hosted with the New York Chapter will change venues and be held at the Borgata Spa and Resort in Atlantic City.  The committees are working diligently to bring together dynamic speakers who can speak to the relevant issues facing researcher. 


As we bring to a close a good year, I think we can all look ahead to even a better year!


Happy New Year!

Meg Ryan, President of the Philadelphia Chapter of the MRA


As researchers we are by nature looking to see what is the next trend.  Whether we are elbow deep in statistics, deep in conversation with colleagues sharing insights, or surfing the Internet for data on the latest and greatest we are continually trying to find the best way to assist our clients with implementing research results.  On November 17th the Philadelphia MRA membership was treated to a night of insight by three dynamic presenters.  Steve Levine of Strat360, Frank Forney of ITracks and Bechara Jaoudeh of Philly Marketing Labs shared their knowledge and experience with applying social media initiatives to research.


Social Media has been the buzz topic of conversation for some time now.  We are trying to manage it, figure it out, and apply it.  The panel presentation provided the insight to accomplish these goals.  Steve started the evening with a thought provoking video.  The video provided some astonishing facts on the usage of Social Media.  He then shared with us some great ideas for exploring social media research.    Frank gave us an overview of the tools that can be used to harness the data available through social media sites and Bechara provided us with a glimpse of how this data can be used.  


The formation of the panel allowed the audience to see some insight into the entire process of harnessing social media, from the initial view of the landscape to the application of the data collected.   We learned of prominent social media sites, tools accessible for gathering data and the use of the data after it has been gleamed.  The discussion that followed the presentation provided evidence that the membership is interested in learning techniques to enhance their current research processes. 


A Big thanks is owed to Steve, Frank and Bechara for sharing their knowledge and insight. 

Member Spotlight: Victoria Waldman  

Tell us a little bit about your company:

Our goal at IMA is to cultivate relationships that give us a greater understanding of our customers' business needs so that we can, in turn, provide insightful results that help in decision making.  Our senior level professionals draw on diverse backgrounds and a wealth of professional marketing research knowledge and experience to address our clients' needs.  We consistently provide high quality, customized solutions (qualitative and quantitative) for insight and direction.


How did you get involved with Market Research?

After a few years of doing B-to-B sales, I was looking for a career change.  Because I had always been interested in consumer behavior, I approached several market research firms in NYC to explore the possible career opportunities within that area.  A VP in a small boutique firm was kind enough to grant me an "informational" interview that led to a junior project director position.  I have been conducting primary market research, on both the client and supplier side, since that meeting over ten years ago. 


Why did you join the MRA?

I joined the MRA to build relationships with fellow researchers.  Trying to meet our clients' deadlines sometimes makes it difficult to really get to know the people who help make that possible.  The MRA networking events create a relaxed atmosphere to socialize without the pressures of the current project.


What is your favorite MRA event?

The educational and networking events are a great way to get the POV of someone you don't collaborate with on a daily basis.  The recent social media and market research event, for example, sparked quite a few ideas on how to use social media to augment custom research.


Where would you recommend MRA national holds one of the annual conferences?

I would like to try a less obvious, less densely populated metro area like Burlington, VT or Portland, ME (only if the annual conference remains in the summer, of course!)


Are you a Philadelphia native?

No, I grew up in Morristown, NJ.


What is your favorite Philadelphia area/activity?

I like biking along the Schuylkill Trail.  I love that it's paved, closed to vehicular traffic, and that you can ride your bike from an urban setting to a national park.


What are you hobbies?

I have run five marathons to date.  I have done one triathlon but need to do another.  The swimming portion didn't go so well for me and I can't let that be my only triathlon experience!


Favorite Music:

Everything from Abba to ZZ Top - just kidding!  I do enjoy a variety of music.  Lately the artists I seem to listen to most often include Janelle Monae, Lilly Allen, Mumford & Sons, Barenaked Ladies, and Sarah McLachlan.

Don't Miss Out!
In This Issue
Get Plugged In
Member Spotlight
Winter Holiday Party
October's Meet and Greet
Treasurer's Report
             2010 -2011
      Board of Directors

Meg Ryan, PRC

Panel Direct Online

Past President
Beth Carey, PRC
Integrated Marketing Systems
President Elect
Michael Georgianna
Reckner Facilities
Becky Harrison
Focus Forward
Natalie Dunn
Schlesinger Associates

Directors at Large 

Conal Murray
E Rewards

Liz Granahan
Focus Forward
215.367.4000 (244)  
Paul Posluszny
Marketing Systems Group
Robin Kaplan, PRC
Group Dynamics, in Focus
Terry Salat
TSPi (The Planning Shop Int'l)

October's Meet and Greet 

Thanks to all the members who attended this fall's Meet and Greet.  On October 21st more than 25 market researchers gathered at the Manayunk Tavern for an evening of networking.  The Manayunk Tavern was a great venue!  We enjoyed fantastic food as well a great atmosphere. We saw quite a few new faces.  A great time was had by all. 

Philadelphia Chapter MRA Treasurer's Report