Marc has that rare ability as a researcher to combine the ability to extract critical insights while being able to understand how they impact mission critical business initiatives. While working with Marc, I was impressed with deep knowledge of research methodologies and he provided deep rational for an approach to meeting my client's objectives. Focus groups can be a bore, but Marc created a very comfortable environment, utilizing a combination of humor and wit that established an environment that made even the most difficult participants express their feelings. He is expedient, organized, sharp and above all, accountable. Anyone can get information, but the key is synthesizing that into insights, and Marc is excellent into distilling what people say into what they MEAN, and that's a big difference. It's rare that you see the research expert and moderator (Marc) and his client give high-fives when the assignment is complete, but I swear to you, that is what happened. Forget the Google search, call Marc for your next research project.
—Steve Middleton, VP, Content Marketing, Tendo Communications
Moderator | Facilitator | Storyteller
15 years in marketing research
Former partner, B/R/S Group
Former e-commerce analyst, Harris Interactive
Writer, "New Perspectives on Marketing Research" (chapter in Spinning the Bottle Again, a book about PR in the wine industry, 2012) and “Engaging the Wine Consumer : A New Paradigm," Wine Business Monthly (June 2007).
Training: The Qualitative Research Centre, RIVA Institute, life
Other Experience that Shapes His Perspective
Comedy: stand-up, improv
Writer: short stories, essays, parodies, stage play, screenplay, children’s stories, poems
Member of the State Bar of California
Cornell University, University of Oxford and UCLA School of Law
Being a Dad
Marc cut his teeth in marketing research during the Reagan administration with the Gordon S. Black Corporation, focusing primarily on quantitative methods. He later became an e-commerce analyst with Harris Interactive and then Alexa Internet (a subsidiary of Amazon.com). When he joined the B/R/S Group in 2002, he was fortunate to work with some of the pioneers of qualitative research. He became head of the Wines practice and a well-regarded speaker at wine industry events in the U.S. and abroad, following a landmark study he spearheaded on the Two Buck Chuck phenomenon. He was twice named “Best Speaker” at the Wine Evolution global marketing forum in Paris. He started his own practice in 2010.
Marc's perspective is defined largely by his creative efforts. He does stand-up comedy and creative writing for adults and children. He was in two improv and sketch comedy troupes with Kristen Wiig, wrote a screenplay optioned by a Hollywood production company, and co-wrote and co-starred in a theatrical play produced in the San Francisco Bay area. He wrote public relations materials for one of Steven Spielberg’s nonprofit foundations and on-air copy for KCET public television in Los Angeles, and even had his parody songs aired on Howard Stern. He has emceed numerous charity events and has been the dinner entertainment at a major wine industry event.
As counter-balance to all the fun, he is also a member of the California Bar (but don't tell his Dad that he's not practicing).
Interweaving the creative and the analytical, Marc draws on his diverse experience to make the sessions he runs more engaging for participants, more enlightening for clients and, in the process, more entertaining for everyone. He is adept at making people of all ages and backgrounds comfortable sharing their feelings and opinions. He is also savvy enough to understand that consumers don’t always say what they mean, mean what they say, feel what they think, think what they feel—or are aware of these discrepancies. Marc knows how to read between the lines and make sense of the hodgepodge of information presented.
While formal education is no guarantor of success, friends tell Marc to highlight his pedigree because it rivals that of Seabiscuit: a B.S. in Business Management and Marketing from Cornell University, a J.D. from the UCLA School of Law, and a shot glass from the University of Oxford, where he studied Philosophy Politics & Economics his junior year.
Marc practices yoga (despite having pulled a muscle observing the first class) and is an advisor to the head of a local school. He lives just south of San Francisco with his wife and two children, whose love, patience and humor keep him sane.
I was fortunate enough to meet Marc almost four years ago and he has been my strategic partner ever since. He is a very unique researcher in that he thinks critically, analytically, and creatively to solve my business issues. I think Marc’s greatest attribute as a moderator is his ability to relate to everyone. For example, I saw him go from moderating a group of women who were buying beer for their spouses to moderating a group of men who are beer drinkers with a bat of his eye. Both groups felt immediately comfortable with Marc and shared their thoughts and experiences candidly. He was able to adjust his mannerisms & tone to fit with the group dynamics. Additionally, I’ve seen Marc converse well with senior members of my organization during back room debriefs. I highly recommend Marc for any qualitative project.
—Erica Portnoy, Shopper Insights Manager, Nestlé USA
Marc uses humor to bring data about wine shipments to life.
FIND ME ELSEWHERE
Photo by Susie Cushner