Kathryn Korostoff of Research Rockstar – An Interview with a Market Research Expert

Kathryn Korostoff

Kathryn Korostoff has become well-known in the market research industry for her market research training courses, professional speaking engagements, and ongoing communications through Twitter. This interview was a great opportunity to learn and share more about what her company Research Rockstar really does.

NOTE: This is now my fifth interview with an expert in the international market research industry and I expect to publish many more in the coming months. If you’re a specialist in market research then I am more than happy to get your word out. Just take a moment to contact me and I’ll get back to you ASAP!

Today’s interview was conducted over email with Kathryn Korostoff, Founder & President of Research Rockstar

Kathryn Korostoff is a market research professional with a special interest in how organizations acquire, manage, and apply market research. Over the past 20 years, she has personally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 bylined articles in trade magazines. Currently, Kathryn spends her time assisting companies as they create market research departments, develop market research strategies, or otherwise optimize their use of market research. Prior to Research Rockstar, Kathryn completed the transition of Sage Research—an agency that she founded and led for 13 years— to its new parent company.ResearchRockstar.com

An interview with Kathryn Korostoff …


What is Research Rockstar?
“Research Rockstar is the only independent market research training company. By “independent” I mean this is not also a market research agency or software company that has something else it wants to sell you ;-)”
“I call it Research Rockstar because with training, anyone with an interest CAN be a Research Rockstar.  Does high end analytics take more than a “little” training? Yeah, but 90% of market research projects don’t use those methods–the methods that are appropriate for most projects are well within grasp of a motivated, intelligent, trained professional. A PhD in statistics is not required. Most market research methods and best practices are very teachable.”

“Research Rockstar delivers training to busy professionals seeking Market Research excellence—and we offer it all online or in-person.  We have 18 online, flash-based classes, and the list is growing.  Our clients are the actual users and buyers of market research services—people who need to find, buy and manage market research resources.  In some companies, this is a full-time researcher. In others, it is a person who is using research as part of another job.” – Kathryn

What types of training are offered?
“Our classes are all introductory to intermediate level classes.  For people who need a good grounding in the key topics. The content is very practical, real world stuff.”
“Topics include market segmentation, customer satisfaction, message testing, several related to project management, questionnaire design, reporting research results and more.” – Kathryn
How is the training different from what some of the associations offer?
“First, I think ESOMAR and MRIA are great organizations. But I have personally never taken one of their training classes.  Also, I don’t want to say much about what other organizations do for online training, BUT…. I have seen online training sessions from OTHER not-to-be-named groups that are really saved webinars, or sponsored “educational” seminars. I am not saying they don’t have value, but it is different.”
“Research Rockstar classes are designed purely as educational content. It is objective learning content designed for busy professionals looking to get up to speed on practical research topics. The content is appropriate for both client and agency-side professionals, and is friendly enough for those without a deep research background. Individual classes are $129, and that includes 30 day access (the student can watch a class as many times as they want for 30 days). Many of the classes include interactive quizzes so the student can test their knowledge. Class length varies from 20 minutes to 90 minutes (the 20 minute ones are free).”
“Memberships start at $600/year, and that includes unlimited access to all of the Research Rockstar classes. A free membership level is also available for access to those shorter classes.” – Kathryn
What are some of the most popular courses/offerings?
“Market segmentation is the most popular class -maybe because it is PRC certified.”
“The most popular offering overall is, no surprise, the Free membership. People can register for a free membership and this gives them full access to all of the mini classes (Flash based classes under 30 minutes in duration).” – Kathryn


What are your qualifications to train people in this industry?
“Over the past 25 years, I have personally directed more than 600 primary market research projects and published over 100 by-lined articles in various magazines.  For 13 years I ran Sage Research, a full service agency hat served high tech industry clients; I sold that firm to CMB (Chadwick, Martin, Bailey) in Boston 4 years ago. I am experienced with quantitative and qualitative methods (I’ve moderated over 200 focus groups), and I test new research methods. For example, in the past year I ran two prediction markets, have been testing Facebook polls, testing social media monitoring, and have also worked with clients to test the effectiveness of alternative reporting strategies. I don’t teach anything I haven’t used myself.”
“I also enjoy public speaking, and have presented at AMA and MRA conferences. Just this past fall I co-presented with Michaela Mora on using MaxDiff for market segmentation.” – Kathryn
What are the next big steps for Research Rockstar?
“My focus right now is on expanding the classes…and it takes time. I spend 4 to 6 solid weeks to develop a new class. I am also busy working with clients to develop internal employee training programs. In these cases, I use subsets of the Research Rockstar classes to custom tailor content for their unique needs. I do this for client-side market research departments, market research agencies, and software companies.”
“Side note: Given all of the talk about DIY research…the horse is out of the barn. Some MR pros are still upset about the trend, but it’s time for us to stop complaining and start working with it. I feel a responsibility as a long-term market research veteran to educate people–even and especially DIYers–so that market research quality stays as high as possible.” – Kathryn

If you’re new to the market research industry or want a solid foundation in a specific research method then I highly suggest you take a look at the memberships available with Research Rockstar.

Research Rockstar - Join Now!

Thanks again!


Sean Copeland is a certified marketing research professional (CMRP) known for his broad knowledge of the research workflow, his disruptive approach to problem solving and for building strong client relationships. In over 5 years Sean has developed, sold, executed, and managed hundreds of consumer research studies using a variety of new and traditional research methodologies.

Contact Sean Copeland:

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E: sean@abacusdata.ca

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