Shannon Marrs | Crain's Dallas

In this ongoing series, we ask executives, entrepreneurs and business leaders about mistakes that have shaped their business philosophy.

Shannon Marrs


Chirp Research is a Plano-based market research company that works with Fortune 100 companies all the way to small startups to help them develop advertising campaigns. Shannon Marrs founded the company in the summer of 2016. Their clients include airlines, auto manufacturers and food and beverage companies. They use a mixture of data analytics and psychology to see what strategies will resonate with consumers. Chirp Research is also a supporter of charities and local nonprofits.


The Mistake:

I was insecure in my abilities and the value I brought to the company. I feared other people in the room were smarter than me.

I work alongside some brilliant and accomplished people in the research field. People with doctorate level educations in mathematics, psychology and statistics. They have a deep understand of human behavior after years of schooling. I have always focused on the touchy feely side of psychology. My strength has always been about forming relationships and connecting with people.

Early on in my career I worked for The Nielsen Company where I had to make a presentation to the head of research.

I had it in my head that my education paled in comparison to theirs so what value could I bring?

I learned there’s more than one type of intelligence.

The Lesson:

To this day, I’m still surrounded by intelligent people even as the founder and chief client advocate for my own company.

But it no longer bothers me.

Over time, I learned there’s more than one type of intelligence. My emotional quotient and street smarts can be just as valuable as someone’s intelligence quotient.

Everyone has their own unique skills and I use my strengths to my advantage as the top executive of Chirp Research.

I’m a great listener. I know how to pair the client with the right researcher on my team to get the best results. I bring positivity. And I see the potential in others before they even see it. In many ways, I’m like a casting director, as someone on my team remarked.

My job is to orchestrate and let the experts shine. And for the clients, I listen to their needs and they trust me to deliver results. I have the ability to come up with creative outside the box solutions. I wish I had known this sooner. This insight helps you focus on the things that you do really well and not worry about areas where you aren’t as strong.


Chirp Research is on Twitter at @ChirpResearch.

Photo courtesy of Chirp Research.

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