We Uncover How People Think and What Motivates Their Behavior


Decision Making Research is an award-winning marketing research, branding and consulting firm.

We understand that there is a thought process of beliefs and values behind how people make decisions. We uncover the motives behind these decisions and the values guiding their choices.

Decision Making Research has an established track record of success for 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.

Decision Making Research, headed by Dr. Merrin, has received numerous awards including: “The Service Business of the Year” award by the Washington Business Journal, the Washington Post, and the Fairfax Chamber of Commerce. It was also the recipient of the prized “Ethics Award” by HR Leadership Washington.

Founded In 1995

Decision Making Research was founded in 1995 by Mary Beth Merrin, Ph.D. Before founding DMR in 1995, she was Vice President of Marketing Research for Marriott Hotels where she worked for over a decade conducting research and setting priorities for action across all operating divisions including marketing, customer satisfaction, human resources, food and beverage, operations, new product development and the globalization of the Marriott brand.

Dr. Merrin also served as the Department Head for Choice Hotels’ division of marketing research.  In this capacity, she drove e-commerce efforts that increased website sales by over 10% and secured superior search engine optimization (SEO). Her efforts also identified the most important, motivating and differentiating product and service features for driving awareness and purchase behavior.

Mary Beth has served recently as a visiting teaching professor at the George Washington University School of Business. In this capacity, she has taught MBA courses in new product development and innovation, branding, business communications, and business strategy.

Ms. Flynn is an accomplished senior marketing management professional with substantial experience in strategy and planning, customer relations, promotions, market research and content development.

Prior to joining Decision Making Research as the Vice President of Client Relations, she operated a consulting company which delivered customized market research services to nonprofits and small businesses.  Earlier in her career, she held positions in a senior management capacity with the American Institute of Architects, the American Society for Microbiology, and Teachers of English to Speakers of Other Languages.

The “secret sauce” that she offers is helping DMR clients create a realistic vision for their company and translate it into concrete actions  to engage customers and increase revenue.

Ms. Flynn holds an MBA in marketing  from Boston College Graduate School of Management and a BA in social work from the Catholic University of America.  She also is certified as a Digital Marketing Professional (DMP) by the Digital Marketing Institute.

Decision Making Research also partners with other industry leaders who provide additional expertise in key areas.

D Schmalensee

Diane Schmalensee

Founder, Schmalensee Partners

Marketing Research
Change Management
Customer Experience Management
Customer Satisfaction

B Goodstadt

Barry Goodstadt, Ph.D.

Principal, Telecom, Utility and Regulatory Consulting

Market Research
Multivariate Analysis and Modeling
Big Data
Market Research on Technology

Robert Bloch

Director, BYOBiz Entrepreneurship Program, Champlain College

Former entrepreneur, SVP, Sales and Marketing, Marriott, Four Seasons Hotels

New Business Formation and Development
Sales and Marketing

Discovering How People Make Decisions