2017 Anniversary Kickoff: 40 Years of Innovation at SSI

By Andy Jolls, Chief Marketing Officer

This year we mark 40 years of innovation, customer focus and global leadership at SSI. Our renewed concentration on these tenets in 2017 will drive our decision-making across the organization. Sometimes it helps to take a look back in order to plan for the future. What have we learned over four decades of leadership in the MR industry?

#1 Our Industry is Evolving
SSI started out by providing respondents for telephone interviews. The internet and the advent of taking surveys online changed everything: including the services that we offer. Much growth and expansion arrived with the advent of online sample, followed closely by the introduction of mobile research.

Our world continues to rapidly change. We have to constantly innovate and iterate in order to set the bar high for agencies and in-house researchers. SSI has evolved to become the premier tech-driven data collection company globally, from conceptualizing and creating a database in the late 70’s for telephone sampling for survey researchers, to employing CATI business, mobile and online technology, to our present focus of harnessing the power of data.

It took an incredible amount of persistence for founders Tom Danbury and Beverly Weiman to get the first commercial market research sampling company off the ground. Our organization has consistently remained on the front lines of market trends and industry shifts.

To that end, while we still recognize the name Survey Sampling International, our shift to call ourselves SSI is grounded in the belief that we are no longer just a sample company. We are expanding and the name SSI provides a broader vessel to handle which encompasses our new offerings.

#2 Customer partnerships are more important than ever
Many in our industry forget that this is a two-sided market. A careful balancing act is required to keep our customers and our respondents happy. We do our best to consider each of our panelists, customers, end-customers, and coworkers to be a unique relationship that requires individual treatment and attention to detail. This is why we have focused on growing our panel for over a decade – to ensure the highest data quality and respondent experience.

As we’ve grown larger we have been having a lot of discussion around customer lifetime value. We can’t accomplish any of our goals without customers who desire to work with us again. We do our best to listen to our customers and try to anticipate desired needs under the surface and reach out in an efficient and appropriate fashion based on the situation. Responding quickly and efficiently is paramount, as well as fostering a sense of direct access.

Ten years ago we campaigned around the tagline “Focus. Service. Trust.” In many ways, delivering on this concept with a sense of focused flexibility continues to be our motivation. In 2017, we know success is tied to our ability to forge, grow and maintain larger partnerships.

#3 Leadership Matters
Just in the last five years SSI has accomplished a great deal – we have doubled our B2B sample to be one of two leaders in that space, improved our product portfolio and expanded our capabilities, all while maintaining excellent service levels and standards for our customers. In essence, we have become the leading global provider in our competitive space.

As much as we’ve accomplished, I am still surprised at how many customers we meet with who are not fully aware of our robust B2C and B2B capabilities for mobile, data delivery, CATI and consulting. Even though we are already strong industry leaders, we are entering the next phase of our business plan which will require every member of our organization to deliver on our high standard and promises to customers.

As we move further into 2017, SSI is deeply committed to creating data solutions for consumer and business-to-business survey research. Our leadership is only growing stronger as we embrace the shifting sands in the data landscape. I wake up every morning knowing that we serve a great purpose – we are fueling insights – and I am proud to call myself an SSIer.

Andy Jolls
Chief Marketing Officer, SSI

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Check out our timeline for a full look at SSI’s development over the last 40 years.