When you arrive at Maritz Research in Chicago, you will find yourself in a creative atmosphere. Of the fifty or so full-time researchers in the Chicago office, you will not find one in a suit and tie. The atmosphere is relaxed, the individuals are open, and you will hear laughter across the office. That’s not to say the services offered are taken lightly. Maritz Research works with some of the most established companies in the world.
As a Market Research Intern, you will find yourself indirectly working with many of these clients. The way accounts are managed is similar to how group projects are assigned in, say, your MKT310 Consumer Behavior class. Each group, led by Project Managers, works to provide clients with consumer insights that can improve marketing efforts, operations, and product developments. From another perspective, Maritz’s function is equivalent to the function of the dashboard in your car, providing feedback on forces you may not be aware of but need to know as you drive along. In effect, it allows it organizations to make informed decisions.
This information is gathered using Maritz’s ability to collect massive amounts of data through customer experience surveys. In order to understand a client’s customers, Maritz utilizes mobile, phone, and online. As an intern, I have learned the benefit of integrating surveys into marketing efforts and making them simple to complete. The demands for data vary, and Maritz conducts “continuous” and “ad-hoc” studies. These indicate the type of data being collected. Continuous research conducts interviews over a long period of time whereas ad-hoc research focuses on a specific need and generally refers to a single survey.
Day-to-day activities will vary and are rarely predictable. Depending on the client report you are analyzing, your tasks will be unique because each “dashboard”, returning to our earlier analogy, will be uniquely tailored to each client.
There is a core set of these tools with which you will need to familiar. The first of these is Microsoft Excel. You may be assigned a research assignment that requires you to collect the number of national units, or locations, of a restaurant chains. Collecting the data using Excel spreadsheets allows you to then sort it and draw from it simple statistical information. You will also use SPSS reports to further analyze data and draw from it insights. The results and insights are visually presented using PowerPoint graphs. As an intern, you will be responsible for checking these PowerPoint presentations for grammatical and statistical errors. In other words, you perform the last quality checks before results and insights are presented to clients.
This internship offers a fantastic opportunity to understand how a market research provider functions. Maritz exposed me to the ins-and-outs of surveying customers. It has also provided excellent opportunities for networking with senior researchers. In conclusion, market research is often the first step taken by organizations looking to move in a new direction. As a Market Research Intern at Maritz Research, you will be intimately aware of the trends and directions different industries are choosing, sometimes before the industries themselves.