Zeldis Team Perspectives
Get up close and personal with members of our terrific Zeldis team.
Learn more about their backgrounds, interests, and outlooks on a variety of issues in the market research industry. We’ll add more team members as we can pull them away from project work to conduct these interviews. In the meantime, we’re thrilled for the opportunity to have you know us better!
A Zeldis Perspective | Amy Rey, Executive Vice President
I know you are involved in a great deal of “Thought Leadership” work at Zeldis. Can you tell me a little bit about this work?
Thought Leadership is about taking a broader approach to the business, not just about solving a client’s specific problems but also about illuminating issues that matter. In a way, it’s about striving for and encouraging leadership for all of us in the industry.
Most of what we do for our clients is to help the bottom line. But many of our clients also want to drive the industry forward, contribute to the greater good, and educate the consumer. Sure it helps build their overall brand, but it’s also a way to look at the broader picture, and find ways to contribute.
At Zeldis, we make Thought Leadership a priority too. Because we work with so many clients, we get to see things at a broader level, and help identify issues faced by many across the whole spectrum. We are able to take the initiative to help illuminate these issues, such as our work in understanding Millennials or how people understand changes in their healthcare delivery. Read more from Amy HERE.
A Zeldis Perspective | Karen Schmutz, Field Operations Director
How has your job changed over 23 years?
By far, technology has had the biggest impact. The sheer number of qualitative options and the methods have become so much more sophisticated: online focus groups, web IDIs, bulletin boards and so on. And technology has helped us be smarter recruiters: we can now more easily reach niche segments like very high net-worth individuals, C-suite executives, or hard-to-reach physician specialists as a few examples. We’ve even recruited for people who run wind farms!
Back when we did only in-person focus groups, we would have to sort through clunky VHS tapes, and then more recently, DVDs. Now we’re getting everything digitally, which is so much easier to organize and edit. The tools we have are amazing. The digital recordings have become one of the most important parts of our deliverables. We are frequently embedding respondent clips in our reports so that clients are able to visually share the respondents’ reactions and feedback with their stakeholders. Read more from Karen HERE.
A Zeldis Perspective | Leanne Storer, Vice President
Is there a particular philosophy or perspective that guides your work? Something that applies to both your personal and professional lives?
Yes, two things:
- Never be afraid to ask what you don’t know or understand. Early on in my career, I was afraid that asking a question was an indicator that I didn’t know something I should. I’ve since learned every question is a good question. In fact, even when I ask what seems like an obvious question, at times it brings to light something that hadn’t been considered!
- Never judge a book by its cover. It’s true in business and in life. As a market researcher, I’ve seen initial hypotheses end up being completely off base and that’s what makes this business so fascinating to me. I think it relates back to my curious nature. Read more from Leanne HERE.
A Zeldis Perspective | Kristina Witzling, Executive Vice President
You are very involved in the use of new technologies in market research to gain insights from respondents. What are the one or two most notable introductions you’ve witnessed – and used – over your time at Zeldis?
Probably the biggest changes have come from the increased integration of video via webcams, which we use for both Qual and Quant. Now we can reach and hear from people we couldn’t access before. Educators, doctors, and other busy professionals whom we couldn’t get into a focus group room are now recording and posting their comments. That has really changed the shape of research over the past 15 years. And we can easily share their responses with clients, so they can instantly see and hear from their prospects and other stakeholders in their businesses. Read more from Kristina HERE.
A Zeldis Perspective | Christine DiMeola, Vice President
How is Zeldis different from other research firms?
At many larger firms, separate divisions often exist based upon methodology type. For example, they might have a group dedicated to Qual research, but those moderators work across all industries and aren’t usually immersed in the client’s business as we are. Because we are intimately knowledgeable about the industries we serve, our researchers are able to lead both the Qual and Quant aspects of a project for a client. Our understanding of the target audience and the client’s issues helps us effectively recommend a methodology-agnostic research design. We come into the research with an understanding of the questions that the client wants to ask and experience in getting those questions answered. Read more from Christine HERE.
A Zeldis Perspective | Monique Short, Director of Administration
How has your job changed since you’ve been at Zeldis?
I have had the pleasure of growing both professionally and personally at Zeldis.. Starting as the office administrator and bookkeeper, jobs that were very task-oriented, over time as we brought on more staff and more new clients, I began helping our researchers with some of their needs. And when security of information became a hot topic – not just in health care and insurance, but globally – I found myself entrusted to be the point person on the HITRUST certification process. Read more from Monique HERE.
A Zeldis Perspective | Fred Gaudios, Senior Account Director
You have a unique job title at Zeldis.
Yes. My first job was as a project director, and now, after several promotions, I’m Senior Account Director, the only position at Zeldis with ‘account’ in the title.
In some other market research companies, there are people who purely do sales. But it’s become abundantly clear to me that it’s way more effective to be able to describe — as a researcher talking to researchers — what we can do. It makes a difference that I speak the same language and also walk the walk, which I do daily. Read more from Fred HERE.
A Zeldis Perspective | Andy Romano, Research Director
What brought you to Zeldis?
I really gravitated to Zeldis’ holistic philosophy and practice of integrating qualitative and quantitative in each team member’s practice. I also liked the size of the company, and that it was nimble. I knew that I wanted to work with a firm smaller than the largest research companies, because at Zeldis, you are not just a cog; you’re able to make a difference in every project.
A Zeldis Perspective | Kathrin Schumacher, Senior Research Director
How has your market research work been affected by technology?
Video has had the main impact. A vast majority of the in-depth interviews that I conduct are done by video. This platform not only allows my client to see the respondent, but the virtual backroom allows clients to engage with me while I am interviewing the respondent, resulting in a very seamless client and respondent experience.
Bulletin boards are something my clients were using a lot about 5-6 years ago, but in the last few years I’ve seen a decline in the use of bulletin boards.