If there’s one consistent trend we’ve been hearing from QRCA members who work as independents or in smaller companies in the past 12 months, it’s how much harder it is to do work for “end clients” – you know, those big companies that now have 100-page MSAs to sign. Instead, more and more independent qualitative researchers are working as subcontractors for larger firms such as full-service research companies and ad agencies. Working as a third party brings with it a set of terrific opportunities and new challenges; the goal of this meeting is to inspire attendees and leave them prepared to work in the wonderful world of subcontracting. We also expect that attendees from those larger companies who hire subcontractors will leave with a fresh set of ideas to get the most from those relationships.
Our meeting will be a panel discussion among both those who hire QRCs as subcontractors and QRCs who spend some part of their time subcontracting to larger firms. We will cover topics such as:
- What research firms look for in a QRC subcontractor
- How to stand out on projects – in a good way – so that you become a go-to QRC
- Pros and cons of working as a subcontractor
- Potential pitfalls to look out for
- Ethical considerations when subcontracting
- Business models: Determining your value when you’re bidding on a subcontracting project
- What to do when you’re the one hiring the subcontractor
- Key differences between being a subcontractor and servicing your own end client
- Dealing with cancellations
- Transparency and other special considerations
Our distinguished panelists will include:
- Dave Gustafson, Principal, DGA: Dave Gustafson has over 26 years of experience in healthcare marketing research, including 25 years in the pharmaceutical industry. Prior to starting D. Gustafson & Associates, LLC (DGA), a boutique global marketing research firm, in March of 2006, Dave ran the research division for PharmaStrat, a managed markets firm, and he was a leading performer at V2 (now part of GfK), where he honed his moderation skills. D. Gustafson & Associates works directly with end clients, subcontracts to collaborative partners and outsources work to subcontractors.
- Anne Hooper, Director of Qualitative Research, CMB: With over two decades of market research experience, Anne has worked extensively on qualitative studies, both domestically and globally. CMB works directly with end-clients, partner with consultancies and agencies, and outsources .work to subcontractors. In her role at CMB, Anne not only leads qualitative engagements herself, she is responsible for identifying potential partners, vetting and onboarding partners and then assigning qual partners as needed for CMB projects. As a RIVA-trained moderator, she’s conducted thousands of focus groups and in-depth interviews and has a great deal of experience with online and mobile methodologies.
- Ken Lethbridge, VP of Operations, InsideOut Insights: Ken has 20 years of industry experience and is in charge of all logistical aspects for the InsideOut Insights Team. He handles proposals, moderator scheduling, cost requests, all fielding aspect of projects and any client issues that may arise during a study; IOI conducts projects both for end clients and as a subcontractor to other firms, and also brings in other QRCs as needed for subcontracting roles. In his former role of Qualitative Research Manager at Harris Interactive he was in charge of study design and logistics for a team of 10 moderators and 5 field managers, and also hired independent QRCs to lead Harris projects.
- Tom Rich, Principal, Thomas M. Rich & Associates: Tom Rich is an experienced marketing professional and qualitative researcher. Since founding his business in 1996, he has conducted hundreds of research projects encompassing thousands of focus groups, one-on-one interviews and online interactions. Drawing on his many years in brand management, Tom takes an approach to his clients’ research needs that is simultaneously creative, strategic and pragmatic. Tom works directly with end clients, subcontracts to collaborative partners and outsources work to subcontractors.
- Marjie Sands, Director, Qualitative Research US Consumer Insights, Nielsen: Marjie oversees the qualitative group for the USA Consumer Insights Team. Marjie has been involved in all aspects qualitative research including in person and online moderating, guide/survey design, analysis, project management, strategy development and tactical recommendations. She has lead studies both domestically and internationally, and also takes the lead on identifying, vetting and assigning outside QRCs to work on Nielsen projects.
In your RSVP, please let us know what questions you’d most like to pose to the panel so that we can include them.
Schedule, Friday February 24th:
11:30: Check-in, hellos
12:00: Welcome and announcements
1:00: Panel discussion
3:00: Wrap up
Focus Pointe Global
Two Logan Square
18th & Arch Streets
Philadelphia, PA 19103
$35 member/$40 non-member (cash or checks taken at the door)
RSVP to Karen Zimmerman, firstname.lastname@example.org by February 21. This is to give us a general idea of how many people to expect. If your plans change and you find you are available at the last minute, please join us.