With the passing in March of such an industry legend, MRA reached out to a number of other industry veterans to provide their thoughts on him as a journalist, a researcher and a man.

Bill MacElroy, chairman, Socratic Technologies: “Larry was a great observer of life. He was always in his investigative reporting mode, challenging both the status quo and agents of change alike. He chided the successful and was a driver of continuous improvement and innovation in our industry. In the late 1990s, he told me ‘this Internet thing will be a short-lived fad.’ I didn’t always agree with him, but I liked Larry. I’ll miss him.”

Reg Baker, executive director, Marketing Research Institute International (MRII): “From time to time, I have been called a curmudgeon because of my disdain for much of the hype about the latest research method that promised to completely transform MR. Whenever I would meet up with Larry at a conference, he would ask me what I thought about what we were hearing and more often than not took the same dim view. Two grumpy old men. I will miss those little chats.”

Jim Bryson, CEO, 20|20 Research: “Larry was a pioneering voice for our industry. ‘Inside Research’ was widely read for its insights into the marketing research industry and Larry’s ability to identify trends. Larry’s presence and voice will be missed.”

Tony Jarvis, research architect, Olympic Media Consultancy: “The market and media research industry is unquestionably less informed about itself and its business without the crisp, comprehensive monthly news compendium that was ‘Inside Research.’ Expressing a sincere thanks to you, Larry and Jack, for such an amazing run seems totally inadequate. That you had such a short time to enjoy your retirement is so terribly sad. Few in our research industry have deserved our gratitude more for the ‘inside’ business insights you provided for so long.“

Bob Lederer, owner, RFL Communications: “Larry was a friendly competitor for over 20 years; we mutually respected each other – and I told him when he discontinued ‘Inside Research’ last September that someone needed to take the mantle of industry curmudgeon. I guess it could be left to me by default, but I will never do it as well as he did, or with the ‘it’s for the good of the industry’ attitude that he brought to it. Larry was a trusted reporter and journalist of the first order. I was always impressed how he refused to participate in conference sessions, roundtables, etc. because he did not see that as the proper role for a journalist.”

Jeffrey Henning, president, Researchscape International: “Larry was passionate about the research industry and was always generous with me in sharing his time and knowledge. And he was always patient with me when I didn’t get back to him as quickly as I should have. I’m deeply saddened that he did not get to enjoy a long and well-earned retirement. We lost him too soon.”

Tod Johnson, chairman and CEO, the NPD Group: “Over the years, Larry has been my competitor, good friend, and respected seer of what was going on in the market research business. Working with Jack Honomichl and then taking over ‘Inside Research’ made him a key player in the industry. He will certainly be missed, but he will not be forgotten for all that he has done for this industry.”

Bob Moran, partner, Brunswick Group: “Larry’s knowledge of the business of consumer insights was unparalleled. Whenever I’d meet him for coffee or pick his brain at an industry event, I came away from the discussion with layer upon layer of knowledge. I greatly valued his sage advice and (always) kind counsel. A great light has gone out.”

Joel Rubinson, president, Rubinson Partners: “Larry had a gravitational pull. I sought him out at conferences and sought his insight on various issues. Larry’s impact was not just on a business or an employee; it was on a whole industry. Larry was also a very pleasant person to spend an evening with. I had dinner with him once many years ago that was so enjoyable and relaxed, I remember it to this day.”

Jon Last, president, Sports & Leisure Research Group: “Larry was always one that could be relied upon to provide a candid, pragmatic, no-holds-barred perspective on the idiosyncrasies of our industry. Personally, I always enjoyed the forum that he provided to speak my mind and challenge a lot of the hyperbole found elsewhere.”

Merrill Dubrow, president & CEO, M/A/R/C Research: “Over the years, I have always enjoyed reading ‘Inside Research’ and speaking with Larry at industry conferences. Without question, Larry had his hand on the pulse of the market research industry and was always available to share his knowledge with so many people.”

Kristin Luck, founder, Kristin Luck Consulting: “‘Inside Research’ has been THE industry news source for many years. Larry was a great advocate and mentor for me throughout my career. He sat in the front row of my very first conference presentation and afterward I asked him how he thought it went. He said, ‘It was the first time I’ve seen someone present so eloquently while chewing gum.’ Lesson learned. Larry’s insights and feedback, both one on one and in the industry at large, have been invaluable to me. He will be sorely missed.”

Don Marek, former executive director, Marketing Research Institute International (MRII): “In the nine years I was at MRII, I grew to know Larry Gold as we were both regulars on the marketing research conference circuit. ‘Inside Research’ provided excellent industry information and statistics. Larry very much valued marketing research education and supported the University of Georgia’s online Principles of Marketing Research courses. At the last ARF conference I attended in New York City before I retired, I had the privilege of sitting and talking to him for a long time about a wide range of topics from the state of our industry to personal matters. Despite his many achievements, the most important thing about Larry was he was a nice guy. Like the rest of the industry, I will miss him very much.”

Kevin Lonnie, president, KL Communications: “Paraphrasing a recurring conversation we used to share: Larry would ask me what I thought of conference X. I’d tell him I thought it was OK, but I wasn’t sure how many takeaways I was leaving with. Larry would respond that the conference stunk – ‘A bunch of rehashed ideas masquerading as change agents.’ I will miss his directness and total candor.”

Dan Foreman, chairman of the board, Zappistore: “I grew up in this industry reading with interest the Honomichl report and always looked forward to reading and hearing Larry’s views. Influential beyond any meaningful measure, he will be greatly missed and his foundational work will continue, I hope, for many generations. RIP.”

Annie Pettit, chief research officer, Peanut Labs: “It’s a sad time for our industry. Reports can be replaced, but people can’t.”

Gian Fulgoni, cofounder and chairman emeritus, Comscore: “I knew Larry for 40 years and, along with many others, I will miss him. He was, first and foremost, a market researcher. In the 70s, I remember him working at MRCA analyzing diary panel data. In the 80s, he worked at Nielsen where he ran a service called ERIM that used POS scanners to collect purchase data and competed with IRI’s BehaviorScan service. Later, Jack Honomichl recruited Larry to manage the ‘Inside Research’ newsletter. With his research knowledge and industry contacts, Larry was able to help Jack build ‘Inside Research’ into the preeminent publication for market researchers. Now Larry, Jack and the newsletter are each gone and the market research industry is the poorer for it.“

Jude Olinger, CEO, the Olinger Group: “Larry was a fixture at market research industry conferences and I always made an effort to seek him out for his point of view on the state of our industry. He always had a position on the health of the industry and I felt like I needed to hear it…even when I didn’t want to hear it! I knew that Larry and Jack cast a wide net and that they had a unique pulse on our industry that no one else had. We lost a wise (and informed) voice.”

David Almy, CEO, the Marketing Research Association (MRA): “It is of course impossible to condense down to a few words Larry’s remarkable contributions. To me, he was patient, optimistic, helpful, candid and wise. He also was open to new ideas while at the same time played the smiling skeptic really well. That perspective is valuable in any profession, but Larry’s brand of it already is missed. In this work, he played a key role in advancing marketing research over many decades, from which all benefited. I will miss him.“