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Meet The DRG Team: Nikki Riggleman

Every now and then, we like to take the opportunity to introduce you to members of our DRG team. In previous articles, we talked with our President & CEO, Lanie Johnson, Shelley Ahrens, VP of Research Services, and Ron Rawski, our VP of Technology & Administrative Services. Recently, we sat down with Nikki Riggleman, our dedicated Senior Director of Business Development, to talk about her passion for marketing research and her role at The DRG.

Tell us about your role as Senior Director of Business Development, here at The DRG.

My role is to provide leadership to our Sales and Marketing teams as we work to meet our clients’ research needs, while reaching out to offer our consultation and services to potential new clients. As a result, I am closely involved in the research design and proposal development process, along with providing direction and feedback on our marketing content and campaigns. In addition, I manage ongoing, direct relationships with many clients, as their Account Director. That includes consulting with clients and overseeing our project teams throughout the research process from study design, data collection, and processing, to report development and final presentation of findings. As head of our Business Development group, I also meet regularly with our Senior Management Team to discuss our sales activity and strategies for growth.

What drew you to the field of marketing research?

Ever since college, I’ve always been fascinated by people and curious to understand what motivates them to make key decisions and act certain ways. That led me to first study Psychology and later Sociology. One of my professors suggested I consider marketing research as a career, to turn my passion for psychology into a career where I could research consumer behavior to help companies improve their products and services. I then added a business minor to my studies, took a few marketing research courses, and made some contacts with marketing research professionals. In doing so, I found that marketing research was definitely the right place for me, and I’ve never looked back.

How do you stay motivated and engaged at work?

It’s funny because I see myself as a somewhat introverted person, but I’m really energized by one-on-one interaction with my clients and colleagues. We foster a very collaborative work environment here at The DRG and it enables us to continually learn from and bounce ideas off each other. We believe that’s the best way to create smart solutions. Also, I work with amazing clients. It’s great being able to talk with them about their challenges and business objectives, then work together to design and conduct research that gives them information they need to make important business decisions. It is very gratifying to be able to help them improve their customers’ experiences and achieve their business goals.

Thinking about The DRG’s 7 core values, which one would you say speaks to you most personally?

The one that resonates most deeply for me is, Individual Excellence Fuels Collective Success. It blends the importance of dedicating oneself to doing the best we possibly can in our individual roles with the end goal of achieving collective success. You really can’t have one without the other. I also like that it’s not coming from a competitive perspective, but rather a mindset of wanting to deliver the best quality of work individually, in order to create the best quality product as the result. With everybody doing their absolute best, we are doing all we can to ensure our clients benefit from our work, which is the definition of ‘collective success’ for all involved.

Every workplace has its own unique culture and traditions. Is there a DRG tradition that you particularly look forward to and enjoy?

I love that our company gives employees so many ways to give back to our community through opportunities to support charitable organizations. Throughout the year we have food drives, clothing drives, and outings to volunteer at various organizations. That really adds up to make a positive impact. For example, we continuously collect plastic bags for an organization called Mercy Mats. The volunteers at Mercy Mats use the bags to crochet sleeping mats for the homeless. Another event that really shows the heart of our company is our ECAN event. In 2013, we lost our dear friend, colleague, and CFO, Robert Dieringer, Jr., to esophageal cancer. Since then, we hold an annual fundraising event in his honor where we get together for a reception on our patio and enjoy the beautiful summer weather. It is just a lovely evening, a good time of fellowship with colleagues, and a way to support a great cause.