Photo of Founder Mary Beth Merrin, PhD

Mary Beth Merrin, Ph.D., Founder

Decision Making Research is a custom marketing research firm that has provided qualitative, quantitative and proprietary research services for some of the world’s best-known brands (e.g., IBM, Philips, DirecTV, AARP).

We started more than 20 years ago and have established a track record of success for our clients in the corporate and association sectors, small businesses and new ventures as well.  Our clients range from high-tech to high-touch and everything in between.

We understand that there is a thought process of beliefs and values guiding how people make decisions.  We uncover the motives behind these decisions and the values guiding their choices.  We give you the insights, strategy and tactics you need for successful marketing efforts.

Our inquiries constantly push beyond traditional boundaries as science uncovers new frontiers on how attitudes form and affect behavior..

What Sets Us Apart

We’re known for making our clients feel confident and assured they’ll get results that work.

  • Our clients tell us repeatedly that our work is packed with “content, insight and clarity.” Hard decisions are made easier. Guesses are replaced with confidence.
  • Our work and attention to client needs is hard to match. We’re agile and adjust easily to changes, nuances and unexpected challenges.

 We’re known for results that move our clients’ business forward and have a proven track record of success.

  • Our methodological expertise underlies the success our clients have with our results. We don’t just use traditional methods; we’ve invented new ones that advance the state-of-the-art in predictive accuracy.  Many Fortune 500 Companies use us for this reason.
  • Our clients credit us with helping them increase their performance in measurable ways. Substantial and sustainable gains in revenues, profit margins, market share, member and customer satisfaction are typical results yielded by our work.
  • Our methods travel easily across a wide variety of markets from high tech to high touch and everything in between.
  • All of our work is customized to your particular needs. We don’t use or offer cookie-cutter solutions.
  • We know how to work in environments for your constituents including C-suite executives and Board members as well as operational teams and customer-facing professionals.

Our research does not stop with descriptive findings.

  • We’re known for carrying the implications forward into actions and real solutions that work for you.
  • You don’t have to wonder what to do with the findings of our work. We supply the insight you need to move your business forward with confidence.

We’re an award-winning and client-focused company for service and ethics.

“The findings led to a 20% increase in lead generation and a 17% lift in sales closure rates.”

“With Decision Making Research…we were able to achieve our objective of out-marketing our competitors by developing more effective marketing messages, not by increasing our marketing expenditures.”

CEO, Digital Satellite TV Company

“The findings are like the Holy Grail of Marketing Strategy.”

“As a result of the work by Decision Making Research, we identified “hot button messages” for use across the full spectrum of the sales and marketing process… Our revenues doubled in two years and we received the Gartner ‘Magic Quadrant Award.’”

VP, Marketing, Enterprise Technology Company for Colleges and Universities

“The results led to a 17% increase in membership revenues in one year and a 35% increase in member satisfaction and retention.”

“What Decision Making Research does is give you the eyes to view yourself as your customers do.  If you are to be a vital and functional organization, this is something you cannot do without.”

President, Multi-National Trade Association

Fantastic. Now I know how to keep guests happy and add to my revenues as well.”

“This is remarkable.  We needed some basis for setting our priorities beyond our own judgment, and now we clearly have it with Decision Making Research.”

SVP, Sales and Marketing, Large Global Hotel Corporation

“As a result of the work of Decision Making Research, we received two times as many qualified leads from an industry conference as we had …in the past two years combined.”

“What emerged through the research was the discovery of a subtle but powerful metaphor that served as a unified theme and spoke to the needs of executives, nurses and care-givers and IT personnel as well.”

President and CEO, Enterprise IT Health Care Provider

“Decision Making Research exceeded our expectations.…The findings led to strong sales growth and increased profit margins as well.”

CEO, Large Regional (Mid-Atlantic) Furniture Company

“The findings achieved significant cost savings in employee benefit programs …In addition they led to a surprising twelve percent improvement in job satisfaction in one year and 20 percent the next.”

Regional VP, Large Global Hotel Company

“Mary Beth enabled our practice to get to the root of what will drive success…We didn’t get just a sales pitch to market.  Rather, we got information on what defines our brand…This is an invaluable resource for any business…”

Founder, New Practice of Family Physicians

We Uncover How People Think and What Motivates Their Behavior

Focus Group Session

Qualitative Research & Focus Groups

Using traditional qualitative research approaches (including focus groups) and proprietary methods to gain in-depth insight for clients.

Quantitative Research Illustrations with Charts and Graphs

Quantitative Research & Surveys

Making clients successful through surveys and big data analytics that turn insights into solutions.

Group of White Umbrellas with One in Bright Blue to Stand Out from the Crowd

Branding Research & Communications

 Helping clients drive revenues and market share with a proprietary branding model.

A Light Bulb Turns On to Highlight a New Discovery

Innovation & New Product Development

 Helping clients design and implement solutions for new products and new markets.

Marketing Research Examples: Recent Projects We’ve Completed

information technology clients

Information Technology

Sales Strategy and Tactics

diploma and graduation cap

Higher Education

Business Strategy and Competitive Analysis

association conference room

Association

 Branding and Business Strategy

stethescope and tablet

Healthcare

 Branding

Snapshot of Industry Experience

Advertising and Communications

Associations and Non-Profits

Education

Entertainment

Financial Services

Insurance Services

Government

Healthcare

Hospitality and Travel

Information Technology

New Ventures

Retail

Discovering How People Make Decisions

Contact Us Today