US market research associations CASRO and MRA have completed their merger, forming the Insights Association.
CASRO (The Council of American Survey Research Organisations) represented US research businesses, while MRA represented research professionals - the two began merger talks in October 2015, and asked members to vote on the proposal in September last year.
CASRO was in its 42nd year and MRA its sixtieth, so the announcement marks the end of an era - US research representation has long been fragmented, MRA itself being the product of a merger in 2008 between a previous MRA and CMOR (the Council for Marketing and Opinion Research). Although other national-level research organisations remain, the new Insights Association will provide a strong voice to advocate for marketing research and analytics, supporting both companies and individuals. A similar merger took place in the UK in 2006 when corporate body the BMRA became part of the MRS.
Cambiar's Simon Chadwick, who will Chair the Board of the new body, comments: 'Considering the complexity and swift pace of change now occurring, the marketing research and analytics industry needs the expertise, objectivity and broad spectrum of support provided by the Insights Association. We are fortunate to launch this new organization from a place of strength - with an established network, seasoned board and staff, impressive technological capabilities, and the ability to grow cost-efficiently to meet the growing needs of members'.
CEO David W. Almy, who has been MRA Chief Exec since 2010, says that since the overwhelming endorsement of members in September, 'we have worked to ensure that the Insights Association delivers on its promise to provide exceptional resources to maintain the integrity and strength of the marketing research and analytics industry'.
Chadwick says the most immediate benefit for members is that all research-related employees of member companies will be afforded member benefits: 'This is a huge step forward for professionals in our industry, and means that the reach of the combined association will now stretch to over 15,000 individuals who are able to benefit from professional training, certification and events'.
MRA and CASRO staff continue with the new organization, joined by recent hires and IIR / TMRE stalwarts Krista Vazquez and Jonathan Saxe, while longtime CASRO President Diane Bowers will continue to work with the Association on key projects.
Several conferences already have been scheduled for this year. The new body has bases in Washington, DC and Port Jefferson, NY and is online at www.insightsassociation.org .