Market Research Industry Legend Jack Honomichl Passes Away

A legend in the Market Research Industry, Jack Honomichl, 85, passed away on December 8 in Barrington, IL, after a long illness, and comforted by family and friends.

Jack will be remembered for his ultimate achievement: defining market research as an industry through his writings and publishing over a period of 30 years. Before, it was a disparate group of businesses and activities, shrouded in the fog of obscurity. Just a few had name recognition: Nielsen, Yankelovich, Gallup. He described to the business world what it was and its critical value to business strategy and success.

Among his many journalistic accomplishments, Jack wrote as a columnist for AMA’s Marketing News for several years. In 1990 he founded the newsletter INSIDE RESEARCH, now in its 24st year. The financial paper Barron’s thought enough to call it “The Bible of the Market Research Industry.” Jack wrote nearly 400 articles about market research. His writing includes books such as Honomichl on Market Research in 1978, Marketing Research People: Their Behind-The-Scenes Stories in 1984, and The Market Research Industry: As the Old Order Crumbles, A New Version Takes Place in 2003. Through the years, Jack spoke widely about the industry at conferences and universities.

The most vivid expression of Jack’s work is his creation of the Honomichl Top 50 U.S. ranking of market research firms, now in its 40th year. This focused attention, as nothing before, on a cohesive set of businesses and their activities worthy of merit and use, conferring financial, business and social benefits on the entire industry. In 1986, the separate Honomichl Global Top 25 was created among the world’s largest research firms.

Jack was elected to the Market Research Council’s Market Research Hall of Fame in 2002, joining research industry luminaries such as Arthur C. Nielsen Sr., George H. Gallup Sr., David Ogilvy, Marion Harper, Daniel Yankelovich, Daniel Starch, Ernest Dichter, Alfred Politz, and Elmo Roper.

In 2011 Jack was honored by The Council of American Survey Research Organizations with its Lifetime Achievement Award, only the second time in CASRO’s history that this award has been given, describing Honomichl as a legend in his own time in the market research industry.

Jack was married to his late wife Frances for 50 years and is survived by three daughters, a son and eight grandchildren. A memorial/celebration service will be planned next year.

Information contributed by:Laurence N. Gold, Editor & Publisher, INSIDE RESEARCH

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