In December 2019, the Insights Association (IA) named Melanie Courtright its chief executive officer. Courtright comes to IA from Dynata, where she served as executive vice president, research science and data strategy. She succeeds David Almy, who served the Marketing Research Association as CEO since 2010 and oversaw its merger with CASRO in 2017 to form the Insight Association.

Quirk’s had a chance to connect with Courtright to discuss her vision for the role; the initiatives that IA is working on in 2020 and beyond; the general outlook of the future of marketing research and insights; and data privacy. 

I love this industry; it's been incredibly kind to me. My career has spanned every function in market research, from agency and supplier all the way to brands. A big part of what shaped how I’ve approached my career – a focus on quality and integrity – has been embodied by this association and the organizations that merged to form it. So, this role brings it all together for me. I see this as an opportunity to give back. It’s really a blessing.

One of the first things I’m doing – as any good researcher would – is a listening tour. I'm spending a lot of time with members, non-members and board members – conducting 40 to 50 in-depth interviews with people all over the industry to make sure that the Insights Association understands the needs of members and non-members, what we can do to bring them into the family and how we can best help them achieve success. 

What I'm hearing so far is that IA must remain modern and that our Code of Standards reflect what’s happening in our ever-changing market. We also need to solidify a strong brand and communication plan to let people understand what the Insights Association is doing for the industry. 

My overall objective as CEO is to ensure that our entire organization constantly advances the IA mission, which addresses four main pillars: pr...