Technology and wine might seem an incongruous pair at first glance, we’ll admit, and If you didn’t know us better, it would be easy to think of us as an anomaly. But these two industries have more in common than you might think, starting with the concentration of each as an industry in Northern California. From our headquarters in San Mateo, we’re literally well-positioned to share the deep expertise we’ve developed over the last three-plus decades in both domains, so to speak—Napa Valley to Silicon Valley. All that said, we’ve learned as market researchers that the electronics and the alcohol industry also share some big similarities as do the techniques we use to help solve their problems.
Merrill Research was founded in 1986 to serve the needs of high technology, healthcare, consumer and services companies. We provide a unique blend of research, marketing and industry-specific know-how. Today, Merrill Research is one of the most experienced independent custom marketing research companies in Northern California. Merrill offers a wide array of global, multi-methodological research services, both qualitative and quantitative. Our client base is comprised of some of the largest and most successful high technology and consumer companies worldwide. We specialize in strategic communications and positioning, new product development, product evaluation and customer satisfaction research.
In 1997, Merrill Research led a team of investors in forming MarketTools, the creator of the leading online research survey engines, Zoomerang™ and Survey Manager™. MarketTools was backed by Merrill Research, Proctor & Gamble, General Mills , WPP, and other private equity firms. In 2011, Survey Monkey, in a partnership with TPG Capital, purchased Zoomerang™ from MarketTools in a deal valued at $1 billion.
Merrill holds several industry awards, including the prestigious Texas Instruments Supplier Excellence Award. Texas Instruments established the award in 1983 to honor businesses that provided exemplary service. The awards are a key vehicle for communicating the standards the company expects of its suppliers. Businesses are evaluated on six criteria including technology, responsiveness, assurance of supply, quality, cost and environmental responsibility.
Pat has 30+ years of custom marketing research experience and is equally adept at quantitative and qualitative projects. He is renowned for expertise in research methodology and study design, sampling and his approach to questioning respondents. Prior to founding Merrill Research in 1986, Pat was Director of Marketing Research for Regis McKenna Inc. (RMI), a leading high tech marketing strategy and communications consultancy. He was responsible for all primary and secondary research activities for RMI worldwide. Prior to Regis McKenna Inc., Pat’s experience included senior research positions at Activision, Levi Strauss & Co., Joseph Schlitz Brewing Co. and Heublein Wines.
Pat is a wine enthusiast and research expert in the wine and beverage alcoholic industries and is a frequent speaker at wine conferences around the world. His articles have appeared in leading wine industry publications. Pat’s background also includes many years’ experience in the financial services, consumer and business technology sectors.
Pat began his research career in Cincinnati, Ohio with Burke Marketing Research, the largest custom marketing research firm in the world. He earned an MBA from the University of Illinois with an emphasis in Marketing and Quantitative Analysis. Pat’s undergraduate degree is in Marketing with an emphasis in Psychology and Advertising.
Research Moderator/Ethnographer I Micro Expression Practitioner I Body Language Master
David has more than 30 years experience conducting research in the global technology markets. He has worked with the world’s leading technology, medical and consumer electronics companies supporting such initiatives as new product development (concepts, models, working and non-working prototypes), strategic communications (advertising development, advertising evaluation, marketing, positioning, branding), ethnography (B2B and B2C), customer satisfaction, and loyalty.
David is routinely involved in the following types of research projects including, but not limited to, segmentation, personas, feature prioritization, path to purchase, pricing, naming, logo evaluation, branding, online communities, proprietary panels, user experience/interface, customer satisfaction, packaging, and much more.
He also has extensive experience conducting research throughout the electronics product development chain, conducting research among the following audiences: design engineering community, software engineers, OEMs, distribution channel (VARs, Systems Integrators, wholesalers, retailers, industrial distribution, sophisticated end-users), IT community, senior executives, medical professionals, and consumer end-users.
David’s specialties include: semiconductors, network infrastructure equipment, Internet security, peripherals, consumer electronic devices, medical devices, and health care.
David was also a pioneer in the online survey engine market when helped found MarketTools in 1996, which led to the creation of Survey Manager™ and Zoomerang™ (later purchased by Survey Monkey).
David earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Trinity College of the Bible and Trinity Theological Seminary. His Masters degree is in modern American literature from the University of California at Berkeley and he holds a BA in Political Science and Journalism from San Diego State University.