Meet Melanie Courtright: An Interview with MRII’s President-Elect

Meet Melanie Courtright, the newly-appointed Executive Vice President of Research Science & Data Strategy at Dynata (formerly Research Now / SSI), a global leader in providing accurate, timely, trusted data from one of the world’s largest collections of permissioned first-party data. Courtright is an alumna of the Principles of Market Research program offered by the University of Georgia (UGA) and the Market Research Institute International (MRII). She also holds the position as the President-Elect of MRII’s board. We recently sat down with Courtright to discuss her experience with the Principles Express courses and how they affected her involvement in market research throughout her career.

“As most people do, I fell into research,” Courtright begins. “I had a degree in business, but after the Army and working for Texas Instruments, I decided to take the Principles of Market Research course to speed up my learning curve on research.” Courtright was looking for a way to understand the basics and methodology of market research. “This was perfect. It covers all the basics and builds on that foundation.” She goes on to explain how the program teaches you how to think about analytics at the same time that you develop the research. “I am best known for being a world-class methodologist, but that only started because of the basic theory that I took away from Principles of Market Research.”

Recently, Courtright was appointed to the position of Executive Vice President of Research Science & Data Strategy at Dynata. Courtright held the position as Executive Vice President of Research Science prior to this, where she and her team were responsible for every methodology, algorithm, and process of how research is conducted at Dynata. “We are now the complete center of excellence and research,” Courtright explains of her new duties. “Dynata was a panel and sample company, but now it is moving to extend the brand to be a data services company.” This will require a new and sound comprehensive data strategy. “We will still handle the quality research, but we will also construct the new strategies for data services.”

When asked what advice Courtright would offer to those in their infancy in market research, she said, “The industry is evolving very quickly, working to stay marketable and relevant on its own. We must do the same.” Courtright explains that she wants to encourage engagement for researchers in the new Principles Express program. “The Principles Express program is a great way to learn skills to take you into the future of the industry. The new layout for the courses has been designed to make it the perfect way to learn different modules in 9 to 14 hours that will help round out your skill set and stay on the cutting edge.”

Courtright has spent time volunteering with MRII for years and has now won the position of President-Elect of the MRII board. “I wanted to volunteer with MRII because it goes straight back to giving back to the program that gave so much to me.” Courtright will take office as the Board President in January 2020 and has big plans in store. “First and foremost, I want to extend awareness of the new Principles Express courses to traditional but also to non-traditional researchers.” Courtright mentions that the courses offered by Principles Express could be beneficial to many companies. “I want to welcome in researchers and provide access to the utilities of the Principles Express courses across a broader set of users.”

MRII is grateful to Melanie Courtright for this interview and would also like to extend its gratitude to Dynata for being the official sponsor of the Principles Express course, Emerging Methods and the Future of Market Research, authored by Zoe Dowling.

For more information on Melanie Courtright and her new position as Executive Vice President of Research Science and Data Strategy, please read the official announcement on MarTech Insights. For more information about the Principles Express courses from UGA and MRII, please visit the program overview.

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