Editor’s Note: This blog was written by Hutch Hurwitz, who joined the iModerate team as an intern for January 2016. Hutch is a senior at Colby College, where he studies psychology. Prior to his month in Denver, he had no experience in the market research field. Read on to see what he learned.
I began my internship at iModerate with virtually no prior knowledge of the market research industry. My understanding was that market research firms collect data in order to gain a better understanding about a select groups of customers. As a psychology major who is also interested in business, I felt that this opportunity could be an interesting combination of the two fields. So I called my friend who attends the University of Denver to ask if I could crash at his house for a month, and off I was.
My assumption was correct, as I constantly found myself applying both concepts from basic psychology as well as strategic principals from business. I quickly learned how market research fits into the value chain of a variety of industries. Market research firms add value by providing businesses with quantitative and or qualitative data about consumers, which is used to answer their questions about a particular issue and provide them with strategic direction. I learned that iModerate is unique in its approach of conducting and analyzing one-on-one online conversations with clients, held by their team of moderators. iModerate has realized that simply talking to individuals and gauging their reactions, perceptions and experiences can provide invaluable information and insight about an issue at hand.
At iModerate I was able to explore this unique research and business process alongside a team of individuals who wanted me to learn as much as I could in this short period of time. Much of my time was spent reading transcripts of online conversations with customers and extracting information that was important and relevant to the client’s questions and goals. I also had the opportunity to synthesize this information and transform it into a final report sent directly to the client. In addition, I was given the opportunity to participate in a number of client calls as well as business meetings, which gave me a deeper understanding of how relationships are managed between iModerate and its clients, as well as how the business operates as a whole.
I worked on a variety of distinct projects at iModerate, from clients who were interested in gauging women’s reactions to new ads, to clients who wanted to know how a new digital service would affect customer loyalty, to clients searching for the reactions and expectations of gamers to a new video game concept. Overall, I learned that 1) market research leads to insight that can truly impact and benefit a company’s image, brand, strategy and focus 2) qualitative research about consumers can be equally if not more useful for companies than quantitative data and 3) the field of market research is growing and constantly evolving to meet the demands of a broad and diverse scope of businesses.