Meet Mara Riemer
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Meet Mara Riemer

22 Jan Posted by in Cactus Call | Comments Off on Meet Mara Riemer
Meet Mara Riemer
 

Hometown: Tarentum, PA (outside of Pittsburgh)

Current City: Dallas, TX

Years in the market research industry: 17

 

What duties does your current job position include?
The core part of my job is to provide data-driven advice to help our clients with corporate
reputation, branding, thought-leadership and communications across a range of stakeholders.

 

What’s the best aspect of your current job position?  

I get to work on fascinating projects for a wide range of companies and organizations. Our Insight team at Brunswick works across the spectrum of research project types, but we are often called in to support our clients on their most complex business critical issues. This requires a customized approach to each mandate and involves a lot of creativity and problem- solving that I find very engaging.

 

…and the worst (if there is one) ?

I am terrible at all things related to “paperwork.” I procrastinate on contracts, forms,
timesheets, expense reports – all the things that have to be done but just aren’t any fun.

 

What do you see coming in the market research industry during the next five years?

I think that there will be increasing technological impacts from automation, IoT and AI. I also
think that as time goes on our clients will have higher expectations for not just explanation, but prediction. My hope for our industry going forward is that we continue to attract great talent
and train them well.

 

How did you first come to work in market research?

It wasn’t easy. My first job after getting my MBA was waitressing, followed by working at a
temp agency and a furniture store. I had graduated during the recession of 2001. After nearly a
year, I finally got an opportunity at Home Shopping Network as an analyst.

 

What led to you to joining the MRA?

I don’t really remember it was so long ago. But, I became much more involved during my time
in Las Vegas. I started attending the annual conference and met so many great people.

 

To what other professional organizations do you belong?

I belong to ESOMAR and am also a member of the advisory board for the UTA MSMR Program.

 

What is your educational background?

I have an undergraduate degree in Social Work and an MBA – both from the University of
Pittsburgh. In the two years between undergrad and grad school, I worked in academic
research, first on a project looking at mental health services for children and then on a
neuroscience project looking at the brain function of Alzheimer’s and HIV patients. Those
experiences were what eventually led me to combine research with business and marketing.

 

Where else have you worked in the past – including non-MR positions?

The list is long – here are some highlights from my market research roles: Home Shopping
Network, R&R Partners (Ad Agency that created the “What Happens Here Stays Here”
campaign), Altria (parent company of Philip Morris), IGT, Las Vegas Sands.

 

What do you do in your spare time – hobbies or activities?

My two kids, ages 1 and 5, take up nearly all my spare time. But I do enjoy reading and painting,
as well as some occasional reality TV and football watching (Go Steelers).

 

Do you have any unusual talents?

I used to be very good at bar darts. Unfortunately, I have not had the opportunity to play much
in recent years.

 

What would others be surprised to know about you?

Not sure – can I skip this one?

 

Favorite book or movie?

My favorite book is Atlas Shrugged. I have a few favorite movies – Princess Bride, Office Space,
Casino.

 

What is your ideal vacation?

Anywhere sunny, with cool stuff to see, a spa and good restaurants. Our most recent really
great vacation was to Sanibel Island, Florida. Next, we’re going to brave a trip to Disney with
our 5-year- old daughter.

 

Final comment or quotable:

“In the business world, we spend a lot of time talking amongst ourselves about ourselves.  It is
vital that we listen to the perspectives of our consumers and stakeholders to make truly
informed decisions.”

 

If you would like to be in the next Member Spotlight, please reach out to our VP, Ellen Pieper:  ellen@symmetricsampling.com.  We would love to hear from you!