Peter Grubb has more than 30 years of market research experience. He started with Reckner as a part-time recruiter, then worked his way up to Facility Director for all three Reckner locations (New York, Philadelphia, Milwaukee). Now, he is head of Business Development and Key Account Management for the Facilities Division. In that role, he supervises the operations of our facilities, as well as mentors younger project managers in customer service.
Q: What about your work do you enjoy the most?
A: I like to provide a high-touch service to our clients because I enjoy helping them solve their problems. I also enjoy traveling to our sites, to conferences, or to client sites to banter, and put eyes on, or faces to names… there’s nothing like working with clients in person.
Q: What challenges you the most in your work?
A: Helping clients understand that quality comes at a price. There seems to be so much pressure on market research budgets these days, that sometimes clients are tempted to short-change the quality of the results. Also, I want to help clients see the value behind conducting research in 2nd-3rd tier markets. I think everyone automatically thinks about the first-tier markets when they think about onsite research, but other markets can provide a very fine alternative with plenty of benefits in terms of respondents, service, and costs.
Q: You have said it’s “all about the family” for you. How does that fit with your work at Reckner?
A: Reckner is an incredibly family-friendly organization that offers a huge, very appreciated amount of flexibility when it comes to dealing with the everyday (and not so everyday) challenges of being a working parent of active children.
Q: Reckner is unusual because it has a very stable staff – you have been with Reckner for nearly 30 years, which is very uncommon in the MR industry. What is the “Reckner secret sauce”?
A: I think the secret sauce for Reckner is the family friendliness I spoke of earlier, as well as the talented and professional people I get to work with.
Q: We know you are an Eagles fan and that football is the only sport you follow. What is it about football – or the Eagles – that makes you so devoted? What do they have that other sports or teams are missing?
A: The Eagles and their fans show an unprecedented amount of grit, loyalty, and determination when it comes to challenges put in front of them. Other NFL towns quake in their boots when it comes to dealing with Philly because they lack the passion. While they may wish they could be like Philly, they are just not the same.
Q: 2021 was a great year for Reckner facilities – even though everyone is completely exhausted! You have said this was because you learned to pivot and change your business post-Covid. Can you explain what you did to pivot? What characteristics of Reckner Facilities made you more likely to pivot successfully?
A: It really comes down to being very creative and having a “Can Do” attitude. That, combined with our deep bench of experience and tech-forward way of doing business, we focused on what was able to be executed during this pandemic, rather than to focus on what we could not do. Then, we looked at how we could streamline the processes to make them more efficient.
Q: Tell us about the best vacation trip you have ever taken. Why was it so special for you?
A: While all of them are cherished in their own way, the time Kristen (my wife) and I spent in Verona, Venice, and Paris between conferences and client visits was very special. Being able to witness those cultures and history with my soulmate is forever etched in my heart.
Also, the first time we took our kids to Mexico in 2019 when they were all adults (basically) was an amazing trip. I had just recovered from surgery and I was so thankful to just be there. It was really amazing to witness the wonder in them as we traveled around to different sites and towns.
Q: What do you do for fun? Do you have any pets? What are your hobbies? Favorite show to binge-watch on Netflix?
A: I have been married 27 years, we have three adult kids, two dogs, and two cats. I keep busy with family, friends, my son Daniel’s lacrosse team, cigars, libations, and BBQ’d meats. I am also into classic cars, although I don’t own one – yet. Next on the bucket list is to get a classic motorcycle. And of course, travel is always fun!
Q: How was your business impacted by Covid?
A: Other than a 3-month pause on some in-person methodologies, it is hard to say. Business stayed flat-ish between 2019-2020, but then 2021 has been absolutely crazy. We did figure out how to work from home very quickly – and now that is permanent for a lot of us.
Q: Look into your crystal ball, and tell us your top three predictions for marketing research in 2022.
A: First, there will be a growing need for product testing. Next, iHUT methodologies will continue to be refined to be more efficient and effective. And finally, in-person qualitative will be significantly reduced, but in-person product testing will not.
Q: If you could give clients one piece of advice for doing Market Research well, what would that be?
A: Be sure to leverage the expertise your partners’ possess. There is a reason we have been in business for over 30 years, and that should be taken advantage of.
Pete and everyone on Reckner’s Facilities Team strive to deliver successful projects and a superior client experience. Contact us today to talk about your next project!