Collaborata Partner Spotlight Series: MDRG


Collaborata has the unique privilege to partner with some truly innovative researchers, showcasing their capabilities. Each supplier partner is different. Some bring decades of experience with a strong methodological background, other are startups with proprietary tech-centered on how data is collected and/or analyzed. These researchers have unique audience expertise, positioning themselves leaders in the insights industry. 

We’ve decided to highlight some of our partners, in what we’re calling our “Supplier Spotlight Series.”


What’s MDRG’s origin story?

MDRG was founded in 1994 by President and Owner Sondra Brown when she had an opportunity to go on her own with a substantial market research contract. Since then, MDRG has grown into one of the premier boutique market research firms in the country. With clients spanning industries including telecommunications, tourism, CPG, healthcare and finance, MDRG has made a name for itself through exceptional client service and outstanding research.


What is MDRG best known for?

One of our biggest differentiators is our commitment to our Whole Mind Approach™. We approach research design with the intent to uncover both the conscious and non-conscious decision-making processes at play in a given situation. Whether integrating Facial Coding into a copy test or executing our Brand Health Score™, MDRG mines data – regardless of form – to uncover deeper meaning for our clients.


What are some of your most recent projects? Can you share with us a few surprising insights?

We recently conducted a study for a financial services client that sought to understand the influence of millennials on older generations when it comes to finance. Maybe unsurprisingly, we found that millennials have a big influence on the adoption of fintech to older generations, but not so much a direct influence on how they bank. Perhaps the most helpful insights we found were discovered through online anthropology analysis we did on millennial financial literacy prior to fielding the study. One of note was the trend for “#adulting” across the millennial generation. The undertone it carries is one of a lack of confidence when it comes to making fiscal decisions on topics like investments and large purchases. It’s this lack of confidence, coming of age during the Great Recession and on-demand consumerism brought on by the click-to-buy economy that’s really shaping millennial’s perspectives on finances.

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Jimmy Zollo is the Co-Founder and CEO of Collaborata -- a Chicago-based tech startup serving the insights and marketing research world. Collaborata is the first-ever platform that enables organizations to share research costs and insights. Collaborata was a finalist for the 2017 Midwest Digital Startup of the Year, the 2016 Insight Innovation Award and has been featured on Business Insider, BuiltInChicago, Greenbook, Quirks, Research Live, MRWeb, and Market Research World. For more information, please visit: Jimmy developed his passion and enthusiasm for the Chicago tech community, while driving growth at GrubHub for four years. He helped develop GrubHub's industry-leading restaurant network, traveling across the country to launch new markets and grow existing ones. Following GrubHub's IPO and merger with Seamless, Jimmy transitioned to the corporate team, leading partnerships between GrubHub and many of Chicago's leading law, consulting, tech, and marketing firms.