About Merrill

The Merrill Research Story

Merrill Research was founded in 1986 to serve the needs of high technology, healthcare, consumer and services companies. We provide a unique blend of research, marketing and industry-specific know-how. Today, Merrill Research is one of the most experienced independent custom marketing research companies in Northern California. Merrill offers a wide array of global, multi-methodological research services, both qualitative and quantitative. Our client base is comprised of some of the largest and most successful high technology and consumer companies worldwide. We specialize in strategic communications and positioning, new product development, product evaluation and customer satisfaction research.

Electronics and Wine? An Unlikely Pairing

Merrill Research is unique – a regional company with a global clientele. A diverse roll call of customers that are leaders in their fields and giants of their industries.

Located between the fabled Silicon Valley and the legendary Napa Valley, our clients have names professionals and consumer alike know, brands recognizable in both the high tech and beverage alcohol industries.

Though their products are as different as computer software is to a Sauvignon Blanc, they share some common traits – and needs. They all know that understanding their customers is paramount to the success of their businesses. To improve their products, services, and bottom line, they all use market research. That’s why they choose us; Merrill Research.

A History of Innovation—MarketTools/Zoomerang

In 1997, Merrill Research led a team of investors in forming MarketTools, the creator of the leading online research survey engines, Zoomerang™ and Survey Manager™. MarketTools was backed by Merrill Research, Proctor & Gamble, General Mills , WPP, and other private equity firms. In 2011, Survey Monkey, in a partnership with TPG Capital, purchased Zoomerang™ from MarketTools in a deal valued at $1 billion.

Industry Awards

Merrill holds several industry awards, including the prestigious Texas Instruments Supplier Excellence Award. Texas Instruments established the award in 1983 to honor businesses that provided exemplary service. The awards are a key vehicle for communicating the standards the company expects of its suppliers. Businesses are evaluated on six criteria including technology, responsiveness, assurance of supply, quality, cost and environmental responsibility.

TI recognizes 14 suppliers with annual excellence awards (PRNewsFoto/Texas Instruments Incorporated..)

Merrill Research Team

David M. Schneer, Ph.D.

Founding Partner & Chief Executive

Research Moderator/Ethnographer I Micro Expression Practitioner I Body Language Master

David has more than 30 years of experience conducting research in the global technology markets. He has worked with the world’s leading technology, medical and consumer electronics companies supporting such initiatives as new product development (concepts, models, working and non-working prototypes), strategic communications (advertising development, advertising evaluation, marketing, positioning, branding), ethnography (B2B and B2C), and customer satisfaction and loyalty.

A certified Micro Expression Practitioner and Body Language Master, he routinely engages the following audiences: hardware design engineers, software engineers, distribution channel members (VARs, Systems Integrators, wholesalers, retailers, industrial distribution, sophisticated end-users), IT community, senior executives, medical professionals, and consumer end-users.

David was also a pioneer in the online survey market, helping to found MarketTools in 1996, which led to the creation of Survey Manager™ and Zoomerang™ (later purchased by Survey Monkey).

David earned a Ph.D. in Religious Studies from Trinity College of the Bible and Trinity Theological Seminary. His Master’s degree is in modern American literature from the University of California at Berkeley and he holds a BA in Political Science and Journalism from San Diego State University.


Angela Burtch

Executive Vice President

Angela has been on the Merrill Research team for more than 18 years, starting as a project manager. In 2015 Angela was named Vice President.  Angela’s involvement with the company has been varied over the years, from the semiconductor and consumer electronics industries, to working alongside her partners and customers in online travel & tourism, wine & spirits, and health care.

Prior to Merrill Research, Angela worked as a market analyst for Chemical Bank in mergers and acquisitions, was a manager representing Microsoft for in-store channel marketing, as well as a marketing research consultant for political candidates from the local to federal level. Has she ever mentioned how much she loves what she does?

Angela originally hailed from the great white north, as in Canada (eh).  She has an Honours Bachelor of Commerce in Marketing from Carleton University and loves, loves, loves to continue to learn by reading and participating in seminars.  When she’s not on her laptop, Angela is a bit of a movie and live theater geek.  She tries to be outdoors as much as possible: in a kayak, on a trail, or on skates or skis (she’s originally a Canadian, right), and it’s even better when she’s blending all of the above with her family and friends (who are all better skaters than her).