Chief Research Nerd
(The best way to say he oversees most research stuff)
17 years experience in brand, content, advertising, marketing, consumer and media research. He has earned eight national research awards and two international research awards, including “Case Study of the Year” and “Analyst of the Year,” and two travel scholarships. He is also a four-time published author in the world’s leading marketing research magazine (Quirk’s Marketing Research Review: March 2011 Edition, October 2012 Edition, November 2013 Edition, and March 2018 Edition) among other industry publications.
Q&A with Adam:
Where did you grow up and where have you lived?
I grew up in Westbrook, Maine (a paper mill town that probably stunted my height by a solid 2 to 3 inches), graduated from Virginia Tech in Blacksburg, Virginia, moved back to Portland, Maine for nearly two years, moved to work in Greensboro, North Carolina for five years, and now live in Norfolk, Virginia.
What is one of your earliest research memories?
Probably when I was six or seven, I remember disassembling and reassembling a Rubic’s Cube to better understand how it worked. I loved puzzles too.
What’s something you wish you researched, but didn’t?
The weather forecast for the Mt. Katahdin in late summer of 1993. Hiking across a mile long trail called The Knife Edge at 5000 feet in less than 10 feet of visibility, strong winds and hail is not what one would call ideal.
What kind of data or analysis would you be interested in seeing that may not be readily available?
The percent of people that game personality tests like Myer’s Briggs or StrenghthsFinders to come out as they wish to be seen versus what they really are.
What’s the most bizarre comment you’ve heard about why someone didn’t want to conduct research?
“I already know my customers and don’t want to see any information that might contradict that.”
Seriously, you can’t make up quotes like this.
What are some of your favorite research quotes?
“In marketing it is better to be approximately right than exactly wrong.” Mark Jeffery, Director of Technology Initiatives, Northwestern University
“Why predict something we can test? Why guess when we can know?” Chip and Dan Heath, Best Selling Authors
“To the extent you can eliminate beliefs and biases, and replace them with data, you gain a clear advantage.” John Henry, Boston Red Sox Owner
What’s one of the nerdiest things you’ve uncovered that may surprise others?
When I was in high school, a friend and I did a math project on the best placement odds for winning money of the Price Is Right game of Plinko. The board itself is based a triangular array of the binomial coefficients, called Pascal’s triangle. If you want to avoid hitting the $0 that bookend the highest dollar amount in the middle, always drop the chips one slot over to the left or right of the center slot at the top.
What’s the nerdiest conversation you’ve had outside work that you’re willing to admit?
I distinctly remember bringing up a topic about what I heard on a show called Radiolab that’s played on NPR, talking about how different organisms see colors (in rainbows/spectrum). Radiolab + NPR + biology = nerdgeek.