Marketing Research Association
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The Marketing Research Association (MRA) is a 501(c)(6) non-profit, membership trade association, incorporated in New York state. Members are companies that specialize in, or have departments that specialize in, market research, consumer opinion and related marketing intelligence. Individuals who are marketing research practitioners may also become members.
Located in Washington D.C. the Marketing Research Association was founded in 1957. The MRA's chief product is membership. It is also active in advocating industry positions on legislative and regulatory issues.
Membership principally includes access to a common code of conduct and set of best practices; industry-related news briefs and publications, including its trade-oriented magazine, Alert; invitation to MRA's annual conference and to meetings of its regional chapters; access to market research videos, online training seminars, papers and directories; access to professional certification; legislative updates; governmental advocacy; and access to an online jobs board. Annual membership dues are dependent on the applicant's company size and relationship to the marketing research industry. Some membership-only products are sold separately (i.e., not included in the annual membership fee). The organization says it has approximately 3,000 members.
MRA's Governmental Affairs section monitors statutory and legislative issues that affect market researchers, such as consumer data privacy legislation and court rulings in each of the 50 United States and in other countries, including social media legislation, legal issues pertaining to consumer privacy for medical care and prescriptions (such as HIPAA-related rulings), anti-spam legislation, telephone surveys, political polling, and similar issues. On topics such as the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA) of 1991, the Federal Trade Commission's (FTC) and Department of Commerce's support of rules restricting access to consumer data, and various Congressional consumer privacy acts, the MRA publicly advocates (i.e., lobbies legislators and other governmental officials to adopt) positions that support the organization's goals. Opposition to these positions generally comes from consumer rights organizations and their lobbyists.
The University of Georgia's online course, "Principles of Marketing Research," is based on an MRA-developed curriculum entitled "Market Research Core Body of Knowledge." Scholarships for this course are provided annually by the MRA to one or more qualifying applicants. The Marketing Research Association also offers a Professional Researcher Certificate (PRC) administered through the organization's website. Both of these programs are open to members at additional cost.
Board of Directors
The MRA Board of Directors includes Jill Donahue, Chairman of the Board; Debby Schlesinger-Hellman, PRC, Immediate Past Chairman; Ted Donnelly, Ph.D., PRC, Vice Chair, Vaughn Mordecai, PRC, Treasurer; Dan Womack, PRC, Secretary; and David W. Almy, Chief Executive Officer. The Board also includes six Directors at Large: Scott Baker, PRC, Janet Baldi, Jim Bryson, Jerry Haselmayer, Jeffrey Henning, PRC and Elizabeth Merrick.