Students Visit RazorFocus, Learn Marketing Research

The UConn Marketing Club in Stamford recently visited RazorFocus, a marketing research company located near the campus.

Hosted by company President Paul Jacobson, the group of eight students was given a tour and a presentation about the company’s work, which is to help consumer and business-to-business clients understand their customers, prospective customers and how they think, feel and what motivates them.

The trip was organized by Club President Sarah Papadopoulos, a senior. She coordinated the event with Stephanie Correa, a recruiting manager at RazorFocus and a 2018 alumna of UConn, who earned a bachelor’s degree in digital marketing and analytics in Stamford. The company has also offered internships to a number of UConn students.

“It was a great opportunity for students to see what a real, qualitative marketing research facility looks like, to ask questions, and to decide if that’s what they want to do for a living,” said Professor Kevin McEvoy, club adviser.

“The big take-away for many students was recognizing how big and how broad the marketing field really is, with experts in everything from brand management to sales to consumer research. Most students come in thinking it is just advertising and pricing, and discover that, ‘Wow! There is so much more.’ It is surprising how deep, complex and broad the marketing field is. I would say the trip was a resounding success.”

Papadopoulos, who had once participated in a RazorFocus study, said she was surprised at the breadth of what the company does, including working with health-care practitioners, educators and local government officials. She was impressed by how RazorFocus emphasizes the comfort of their research participants.

“When we toured RazorFocus, we were shown a room where they conduct focus groups for conversations that are more sensitive or on the personal side,” she said.

“This room basically looked like a living room; it had rugs, a coffee table, and couches. It had a very “homey” feel to it. And, of course, it’s to make sure the respondent is comfortable enough to actually share their thoughts and feelings.”

Jacobson was very honest, describing the frustrations of the business, such as clients who call with last-minute requests and others who cancel at the last second, McEvoy said.

The firm keeps a data base of potential marketing survey participants, and Correa’s responsibilities include matching clients with survey participants, who get paid for their time.