Market Strategies International Reviews | Glassdoor

Market Strategies International Reviews

Updated April 7, 2017
69 reviews

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Full-time Part-time

69 Employee Reviews

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Pros
  • Flexible, good people, work from home options and really understanding with schedule (in 4 reviews)

  • The people at Market Strategies are great people, some of the best I have ever worked with (in 6 reviews)

Cons
  • Lots of "fire drills", long hours and it was no secret the benefits were subpar (in 5 reviews)

  • Flattery provides faster career advancement than job skills (in 3 reviews)

More Pros and Cons

  1. "Monotonous"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Market Research Agent in London, ON (Canada)
    Current Employee - Market Research Agent in London, ON (Canada)

    I have been working at Market Strategies International (Less than a year)

    Pros

    Relaxed atmosphere, good people, chill

    Cons

    Extremely boring and repetitive, no incentive for surpassing quotas

    Advice to Management

    Add bonuses


  2. "Not for everyone."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    Pros

    Extremely flexible. You can call in essentially whenever you want and book off time for however long you want within reason. Monotonous work if that is your thing. Training is okay.

    Cons

    I went into this hearing about how it's very flexible and monotonous so I figured this would fit okay with my schedule.

    I intended to go to days but I was placed on nights upon hiring which means calling residential numbers to get them to do surveys mostly for their energy companies. Initially it's bearable as you can focus your time at your desk doing whatever but after awhile you kind of get sick of being told off or listen to some guy rant about why we're calling. I prefer days so when I shifted to that, it's when things became a little messy.

    Upon switching, I enjoyed the routine schedule and full time hours as I'm a 9-5 person. The day employees were a lot more easy going and most of the supervisors were approachable. There was however a huge shift in policy because you call businesses during the day hours which means less outright hostility but more condescending comments and general run arounds just to try and find the person to talk to.

    Days went well for a bit until the rules started to become unusually strict. A common supervisor that I usually had quality assessments from took a bit of leave and suddenly I found myself getting written up for "idling" between calls and not reading verbatim among other minor offences. None of this appears to cause issue in the months before but it became extremely strict when they would tally up my idle time down to the very second to make it seem like I wasn't doing any work. For a 7 hour shift with maybe 45 minutes of break total, idling for a grand total of 18 minutes cannot possibly be this bad?

    Over time I found myself beginning to really hate work. I began to look at these surveys critically and found them all to be nothing short of an advertising ploy. When you call on behalf of energy companies in the US, most people have absolutely no choice and question why their company wants feedback in the first place. This is obvious at the usual end of a survey where will try to mention certain efficiency programs or occasionally get them to sign up for things. While they were repetitive nonsense, these surveys were apparently written by university graduates but I have a hard time believing that when there are grammatical errors and needlessly complicated wordings designed for online surveys and not over the phone ones. They're also blatantly copy and pasted templates so you expect to read the same shtick over and over. Some of these calls would literally ask the same question twice in a survey as if the respondent would be too stupid to pick up on that and I found it very aggravating. Time was also an issue. I wouldn't mind reading the poorly written scripts verbatim if they were short but when a survey can take anywhere from 20-30 minutes, (Some go for an entire hour...) you get antsy because if they hang up on you, that's a wasted survey unless you can somehow convince them to finish it at some other date.

    So with all this in mind, I tried to do the best job I could. Most completes I had were due to someone feeling pity for me or someone being so bored that they actually had nothing else to do with their time for almost a half hour. Despite this, I got more write ups again for idling or missing certain words (i.e not saying the phrase "exceeded your expectations" three times in two sentences.) and eventually for minor stuff like dispositioning the call wrong or not asking for a person the right way or being too friendly or sniffling? It put me in a bit of a panic mode when I saw that I was being recorded during a call so I tried my best to be as robotic as possible but it just felt like it didn't matter anymore since I was getting nixed for the smallest of things. I somehow went from getting a QA every couple weeks to getting multiple ones in a week from the same two supervisors who rated me 0 or very low meanwhile every other one previously had given me average to good ratings.

    I feel that turnover is the major driving force for productivity in this field as it's extremely high and not many can do this for years. Most of the people who are there for long periods of time are there because they are some of the rare ones who can handle this kind of work and if you think that's you, go for it. I feel that the company will put the stress on QA's and such around major slow down times to get new blood in and get the numbers back up to where they want them. Of course this is me being paranoid but when I went from being just another employee to "looks like I'm failing at everything again this week", what am I supposed to think?

    All together, this industry needs to be downsized and ignored. Energy monopolies simply want feedback that makes them look good and covertly counts as advertising here and there. Legitimate market research should be compelling and interesting, something you want to do. In some of the "better" centres, you at least get variety by sometimes doing political surveys or other stuff that can help in company and best of all, they aren't wasting people's time but this was almost all the same, all the time.

    In terms of what you get out of this job, you get very few breaks (Basically the minimum they can give you which is not enough considering the draining factor of this work.) the lowest required wages, and very little opportunity for growth or development. It's literally a filler point for your life and a point that many former employees reflect on as "so bad it was ridiculous". I know some people who work there for even a few months get incredibly depressed, anxious, and exhausted because the job itself largely attracts people of that nature that find other employment difficult.

    So to wrap this lengthy word soup up, MSI is not uniquely bad and it's perks can be quite handy in a pinch but my experience shows that it's not something you want to remain at for more than three months at max else you'll feel stuck. It's

    Advice to Management

    Management first and foremost needs to tend to the degrading mental health of this industry which is notoriously bad as a whole. People are absolutely miserable and it's really effecting lives. Stop unleashing these rules which penalize people for taking a few minutes here and there to collect their thoughts or use the bathroom. I'd say stop penalizing people for trying to make the surveys logical for respondents but that would require an overhaul which may or may not be in the company's best interest. Every once in awhile, check up on your employees and get THEM to do a survey so you can do better at your location.

    Surveys need to be rerouted to be more compelling and useful because I'm not buying the "we care about your opinion" junk and neither are respondents whom by the way should be treated as people and not as just another voice on the end of the phone.

    For all the luxury schedule options that lets you work essentially whenever you want, I would trade all of that in (I showed up on time, very rarely late) for better quality of work that doesn't completely drain and depress me.

  3. Helpful (1)

    "Standard marketing research firm, but stable and growing opportunity in otherwise economically depressed area"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Marketing Scientist in Portland, OR
    Former Employee - Senior Marketing Scientist in Portland, OR
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    MSI is a stable and growing company, which seems to be unusual in Detroit. They have a strong and growing position in tracking research.

    Cons

    As with many marketing research companies their employees tend to lack business acumen. Lower level employees seem to feel there are few growth opportunities, with many employees stagnating in place for extended periods. For employees, lacks the breadth of experience found at other companies for which I have worked.

    Advice to Management

    Word on the street is that lower level employees are frustrated with an inability to grow professionally. I've heard this from several people.


  4. Helpful (1)

    "Good company to learn market research"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Senior Supervisor in South Bend, IN
    Former Employee - Senior Supervisor in South Bend, IN
    Recommends
    No opinion of CEO

    I worked at Market Strategies International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Yo get to cross-train, and learn different aspects of supervisory positions.

    Cons

    Sometimes long, unpredictable work shcedule.

    Advice to Management

    Show more respect to hourly workers; many times, they have more experience and education that the managers do. If not for them, no one would have a job!


  5. Helpful (1)

    "Great people, poor management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee in Livonia, MI
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    They tend to hire very knowledgeable people, some have extensive industry experience.

    Cons

    Smart people don't always make good managers. Overall, company lacks quality staff managers; no consistent systems to develop employee talent across the company; no clear career path for employees.


  6. "It is very monotonous and there is no motivation."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Surveyor in North Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Surveyor in North Little Rock, AR
    Recommends
    Neutral Outlook
    Approves of CEO

    I have been working at Market Strategies International part-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    Flexible hours
    No physical strain
    Can work extra hours

    Cons

    Sitting for long periods of time
    Very monotonous
    Place is not appealing
    Advancement through favoritism
    At the end of the month there is not enough work for everyone. Many are sent home very early
    Unsteady pay when it comes to the end of the month

    Advice to Management

    Give more motivation to employees
    Pay more attention to those who really do work


  7. Helpful (1)

    "Expanded Insights."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Telephone Research Interviewer in North Little Rock, AR
    Current Employee - Telephone Research Interviewer in North Little Rock, AR
    Recommends
    Positive Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    I have been working at Market Strategies International part-time (More than 3 years)

    Pros

    The work force at MSI actually represents a dynamic portion of a transitional society.

    Cons

    Market Strategies can and does possess the capability of having a dynamic work force that can further accommodate eligible employees to home-based and/or virtual offices; therefore, I believe a cost versus benefit analysis should be seriously researched.

    Advice to Management

    During down times, a well-organized face-to-face meeting to communicate employee and management concerns would be a valuable asset to achieving the company's short and long term goals.

  8. "Promising company; needs to pay attention to non-management"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Former Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Neutral Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Market Strategies International full-time (More than 5 years)

    Pros

    Great people in the Portland office but the Livonia office is highly corporate and very stuffy. Decent work life balance. Occasional training. Some managers are flexible with work at home and flex time.

    Cons

    No good / clear career paths. Lower than average industry pay. Very cut-throat environment; not at all collaborative. Very top heavy (upper management/vps) which leads to a great workload on analysts.

    Advice to Management

    Being top heavy hurts the organization. Need to recognize people for their work and make the company a much more collaborative environment which will promote greater teamwork and more innovation. Listen to your analysts, they are in the trenches everyday and have the 'spark' to take the company further.


  9. Helpful (2)

    "Great place to start your career."

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Former Employee - User Support in Livonia, MI
    Former Employee - User Support in Livonia, MI
    Recommends
    Negative Outlook
    Disapproves of CEO

    I worked at Market Strategies International full-time (More than a year)

    Pros

    This is a great place for anyone starting out, especially if you're interested in a career in research. There is much experience to be gained and many of the people are intelligent, hard working, and kind. I will admit that Market Strategies unlike many companies of it's size provides a sense of camaraderie amongst its employees.

    Cons

    Compensation and personal growth varies depending on position/department. While some departments offer guaranteed upward movement in as little as one or two years, it may be common for others to have employees with 6+ years of experience with zero career momentum. The largest complaint is the decrease in moral due to the steady increase in work load, in relation to the steady decrease in raises.

    Advice to Management

    Encourage communication and listen to what your employee's are telling you.


  10. Helpful (1)

    "Good place to learn about quantitative research"

    Star Star Star Star Star
    • Work/Life Balance
    • Culture & Values
    • Career Opportunities
    • Comp & Benefits
    • Senior Management
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Current Employee - Anonymous Employee
    Doesn't Recommend
    Negative Outlook
    No opinion of CEO

    Pros

    High standards for primary research. People with good experience who are willing to mentor

    Cons

    Poor work-life balance. All other functions except business development is under valued. Flattery provides faster career advancement than job skills

    Advice to Management

    Consider investing in analysts and research managers.


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