Featured Researcher: Q&A Session with SSI’s Jackie Lorch

By the Editors

In honor of SSI’s 40th anniversary, we are sitting down with members of our dedicated Knowledge Team to ask them a few questions about their years of experience in the MR industry.

Jackie Lorch is VP of Global Knowledge Management at SSI. With over 27 years of research experience she is a frequent writer and speaker on research topics, especially on research quality and the respondent experience

Q (the Editors): What mode of data collection do you feel is the most ideal in 2017?

A (Jackie Lorch):  The mode that best matches your research goal and fits the preference of the audience you’re trying to reach. With all the options available today, it’s all about understanding the trade-offs, selecting the mode that’s fit for purpose, and keeping respondent preference top-of-mind.

Q: What do you think are your most significant research accomplishments?

A: The dawn of the online research era was an exciting time. I’m proud I was part of the tiny team which launched SSI’s first online panel with just 60,000 members. I got to manage the panel and be a part of online’s explosive growth at SSI. Building a team of methodologists at SSI, and seeing how the group has grown to provide so much methodology and best practice support to our product developers, SSI staff and customers. As an MRII Board Member I’m part of a group doing a major update of the University of Georgia’s online market research education course. I’m glad to be working with industry leaders to create great education in the fundamentals that underlie everything we do.

Q: What do you like to do when you’re off the clock?

A: Within a mile of where I live there are great theaters, art galleries, live music venues, food and art festivals. So I love to take advantage of everything my small city of New Haven, Connecticut has going on. Plus hanging out with my three toddler grandsons.

Q: What role would you play in a group of 20 people in a post-apocalyptic scenario?

A: After we spend a long day foraging for food among the ashes, I’d gather everyone together and we’d put on a play, make up poems or tell stories. The arts are even more important in times of crisis!

Q: How do you think market research will evolve over the next 40 years?

A: Wow, 40 years is a long time. We’ll be asking a fraction of the number of questions we do today; we’ll use secondary data for the rest.  Much of what we do today with human labor will be done by machine. As an industry that seeks to understand the complexity of different behaviors, motivations and lives, I hope our industry will be much more representative of the population demographically than is the case today.

Fun facts about Jackie:

  • Early publishing career in London: PR for some famous names like Andy Warhol
  • In college: Protested and occupied the administration building; we were very angry!  
  • More recently: Walked coast-to-coast across England in six days. (But, full disclosure, England has a skinny section!)

Jackie was a member of the team which launched SSI’s first online sample and managed their online panel for several years. Her team ensures the quality of SSI’s products and services, and researches the impacts of questionnaire design, participant care and new technology on research methodology.

Lorch has been speaker at industry events including ESOMAR, CASRO, ARF, MRA, AMA, MRMW and Quirks; and at SHU, Baruch College and Quinnipiac University. She serves as ESOMAR US Representative and is on the board of the Marketing Research Institute International.

In 2014 she was named one of “20 Researchers You Should Know” by Research Magazine.