Co-Founder & President
I want to share my enthusiasm for how uSamp™ is innovating and creating value with technology and new products. We’ve beefed up our technology team to deliver new and innovative products that the industry has not yet seen. Recently, we announced the beta release of SampleMarket™ 2.0, which allows clients to log on to our platform and access uSamp panelists in real-time.
I’ve talked about mobile in the past and I continue to believe that with four times as many mobile devices as computers, the time is ripe to enter the mobile arena. Smart phones are flourishing. The opportunity for market research to harness respondents with short surveys and customer experience responses is long overdue.
uSamp will continue to embrace new methodologies in mobile and online engagement. For example, our full-featured API provides seamless integration of SampleMarket™ 2.0 with users’ own products and technologies to drive panel access within their own website, application or administrative tools. Recently, we announced two partnerships that featured this technology with GutCheckIt and Ask Your Target Market.
uSamp will continue innovating and creating value with technology and new products to make business more efficient, provide better access, and embrace transparency for our clients. I look forward to sharing our new developments in the future.
|IIR Technology Driven Conference||May 2 - 3, Chicago|
|uSamp SampleMarket™ Webinar||May 11, 11:00 - Noon PDT|
|CASRO Technology Conference||June 2 - 3, New York City|
|MRA Annual Conference||June 6 - 8, Washington, DC|
|Insight Show||June 29 - 30, London|
All the best,
Co-Founder & President
Culture, Innovation, Communication
Although uSamp is a technology company, that doesn’t mean we can’t have a corporate culture that infuses fun into the work mix. This is the philosophy of uSamp’s new Director of Human Resources, Melissa Valenzuela. Valenzuela tells us how she plans to help keep the “human” in “resources.”
With a BA in Public Policy and History from Duke University in North Carolina, Valenzuela comes to uSamp by way of Chicago with an impressive background in human resources management for start-up environments and global organizations.
Q: How do you describe an entrepreneurial, technology company like uSamp?
A: Creative, nimble, aggressive and sharp. I’ve found that technical people tend to be naturally curious and want to know how things work. They are open to change, and are typically fast, flexible and focused on the future.
Q: How has recruiting the right talent become a challenge for a company serving the market research industry with such a strong technology focus?
A: More so than a challenge, our focus on technology is a great recruiting tool because we tend to appeal to talented professionals who value innovation, change, and new technologies. These individuals are interested in working with uSamp because our technology focus sets us apart from most of our competitors; we’re "different" in a very fascinating and forward-thinking way. When I think of our company and technology in general, I think of innovation and progressive thinking. The people we look for will naturally relate and appeal to this type of work environment.
We are living in the age of technology where our lives are impacted by the newest thing on a daily basis. With regard to recruitment selection, we tend to focus and invite those individuals who embrace technology inside and outside of work. If you’re proud to be "techy," we probably want to talk to you!
Q: You began working with uSamp in October 2010 and you’ve already accomplished quite a bit. What are some of the highlights?
A: On the team-building side of things, we have our "Resolution Revolution." We’re tracking everybody’s health goals throughout the year on a public board designed by uSamp. We’ll see which employees reach their goals at the end of the year!
We’ve held an Amazing Race, Xbox soccer tournament, dance contest and pumpkin decorating contest. We support involvement in charity events, such as running in marathons on behalf of nonprofits. For Thanksgiving, our potluck lunch included foods from the different cultures of our employees. We have quite a diverse crowd.
Q: For the more traditional side of human resources, what are your plans for uSamp?
A: With the backing of senior management, I’m formalizing hiring practices and carving out specific career path options with growth avenues for every role in the organization. While uSamp is growing exponentially, we still want to maintain the energy and enthusiasm of a start-up, and ensuring an open door policy.
Q: What does it take to motivate people to succeed and to move up?
A: I think the motivation to succeed comes primarily from internal drive and hunger for upward mobility. uSamp is doing an amazing job at creating a team-oriented work culture. This has a positive impact on people and their professional and personal success; in turn, it helps make uSamp successful. In short, we attempt to put the right people in the right positions and give them the tools and playground to be successful.
Q: What about social media and the workplace?
A: We just introduced yammer.com to uSamp, and although it’s not mandatory, just about everyone has jumped on. Essentially it’s a social network platform like Facebook but for the office; any uSamp staffer can share photos, post an informal poll, or even report what they had for lunch. It gives people a chance to get to know each other better â€“ whether they’re across the pond in London or down the hall in Encino, and keeps a small company feel.
Q: What are you reading now?
A: “Sombra Del Viento” by Carlos Ruiz Zafon, who is a Spanish writer of amazing fiction usually based in Barcelona. To satisfy my technical read, I’m a huge fan of Mashable and TechCrunch.
Q: What’s coming up in 2011?
A: I want to keep new initiatives under wraps until an official kick-off time. Surprise is a part of the fun.Back to top
Arriving from around the country and the world, uSamp leaders attended “Re:think2011” the ARF 75th Anniversary Annual Convention in New York City from March 20 - 23.
"It’s always a highlight of the year to attend this convention known for its thought leadership," said Matt Dusig, co-founder and CEO. “Not only does it provide a chance to showcase our newest products like SampleMarket™ 2.0, but we get to see our colleagues and customers — current and future.”
“That we’re a part of the association’s 75th anniversary celebration is an honor. It’s actually quite awesome,” he added. With over 2,000 attendees, it was exciting to be with a group so interested and dedicated to learning about the market research field.
“The Need for Speed" session moves audience”
uSamp, along with J.D. Power and Associates and NetBase, presented, “The Need for Speed: Use Social, Mobile and More to Accelerate Your Insight Strategy.” Moderated by Merrill Dubrow, President & CEO of M/A/R/C Research, the panel featured seven researchers from Taco Bell, Sesame Street, L’Oreal, Coca-Cola, J.D. Power, NetBase and uSamp. Chuck Miller, Chief Research Officer represented uSamp on the panel. These savvy researchers revealed their methods to gain faster, real-time insights in a very engaging format.
Miller and Courtright receive Great Mind Award
Most notably, Miller and Courtright were honored with a Great Mind Award Certificate for developing innovative new methods. READ MORE »