Three decades of marketing research.
Susan Saurage-Altenloh, PhDSusan Saurage-Altenloh
Chief Insights Officer

Susan specializes in designing innovative research strategies and producing results that meet clients’ information needs – completely and exactly. Her 20+ years of experience include facilitating more than 17,500 qualitative sessions, completing thousands of quantitative survey and hybrid projects, and securing a reputation for producing reliable, timely, applicable results.

The firm, which stays on the early adoption curve of new techniques and methodologies, has won several national and regional awards for its creative and unique research approaches to secure critical, usable information for marketing and strategic planning purposes. Susan has gathered actionable data for a client list that includes nationally known healthcare systems, large manufacturers and refineries, prominent financial institutions, municipal and national governmental agencies, and advertising / marketing firms. The most notable ones—Tenet Healthcare, Conoco, Environmental Protection Agency, HP, State of Louisiana, State of Texas, BP, Exxon, Dow, Cameron, BVAA, M.D. Anderson Cancer Center, and McDonald’s—include several Fortune 500 companies.

Dr. Susan’s corporate experience includes thousands of research projects that required understanding and coordinating the needs, perceptions, and resources of multiple entities into a cohesive plan for marketing, service line development, and message strategy development. Most of these information-gathering efforts include insight from consumers, CEOs, influential opinion leaders, or major employers. Her firm has developed special expertise in research issues related to the environment, legislation, academic institutions, health care, municipal infrastructure, and marketing strategy.

Dr. Susan earned a PhD in Marketing followed by an MS in Analytics. Prior to these degrees, Susan earned her MBA at The University of Texas at Austin. Before establishing Saurage Research in 1987, Susan served as vice-president of a large southeastern region research firm.

Dr. Susan has authored several articles appearing in national business publications. She regularly publishes in scholarly journals and has co-authored book chapters. Dr. Susan is in demand as a speaker on marketing, academic, and research trends and as a judge for national business campaign and marketing entries.

Susan has authored several articles appearing in national and regional business publications including AMA’s Marketing News, Quirk’s Marketing Research Review, Enterprising Women, Houston Business Journal, and QRCA’s VIEWS Magazine. She regularly appears on television and as a speaker on market information and research trends. Susan authors her own independent blog, Factastics.

Erin KeatingErin Keating
Project Manager

Erin specializes in client service and project management. With over 10 years of marketing communications experience, Erin has managed project teams of cross-channel experts to assure optimal marketing objectives. From rebranding to negotiating valuable media placements, Erin delivers results oriented service to clients. With strong attention to detail and a genuine desire to provide unparalleled service, Erin makes it a priority to gain first-hand insight into clients’ products and services. She has divers account category knowledge with a primary focus on B2B, including financial, telecommunications, insurance and technology.

At Saurage Research, Erin specializes in project management and designing and applying research solutions to help clients achieve their goals.

Erin is a member of the Houston chapter of the American Marketing Association and serves ton the Communications and Special Services committee of the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo. One of the primary functions of this committee is to conduct telephone and performance on-site surveys to provide entertainer preference information and audience demographics.

Erin earned her Bachelor of Arts in Advertising from Texas Tech University.

Mohammed ZakirMohammed Zakir
Data Analytics Partner Principal

Mohammed Zakir is the founder and principal of Acustrategy Analytics, an advanced analytics and pricing research company with a dedicated team of research analysts and data scientists experienced with Fortune 100, mid-market, startup, and private equity companies as well as government agencies and non-profits. Clients include Alcon, Apple, CVS Health, Ericsson, Novartis, Syngenta, Qualcomm, Thomson Reuters, the City of Houston, and the Gates Foundation while the team serves as trusted project partner with Deloitte, McKinsey & Company, and Saurage Research.

Areas of research expertise include pricing strategy and optimization, product strategy, portfolio optimization and bundling, and sales strategy.

Team members provide advanced analytics, big / unstructured data analytics, predictive analytics, data visualization, and digital transformation.

Mohammed has more than 20 years of consulting experience and currently serves as an external advisor to Simon-Kucher & Partners, the world’s leading pricing and marketing strategy consultancy.


  • Master of Business Administration, Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT)
  • Bachelor or Arts, Mathematics and Economics, Middlebury College (Vermont)
Brad LarsonBrad Larson
Data Collection Partner President

As the company founder, Brad brings 30 years of marketing research experience to Ironwood. Prior to founding Ironwood Insights Group, his leadership skills during his eight years at Thoroughbred Research Group resulted in the firm becoming a recognized brand in the research community. His oversight included strategic planning, client development, as well as research design. Prior to joining Thoroughbred, Brad spent 13 years growing the research arm of ICT Group into a $20+ Million-dollar division producing significant revenues and profit for the company. Before joining ICT Group, Brad honed his skills in a smaller research company where he learned the industry, managed call centers, developed sales and marketing plans and progressed from part-time interviewer to VP of Marketing.

Brad graduated with a BA degree in Economics from Brigham Young University. Brad is very active in the marketing research community and is currently serving on the Past Presidents Advisory Council of the Insights Association (formerly the Marketing Research Association). He is also active in PMRG, AMA (currently the VP of Surveys for the Phoenix chapter), AAPOR and LIMRA.


  • Bachelor of Arts, Brigham Young University, Utah
  • Professional Researcher Certification, Certified Expert Level, Marketing Research Association
  • More than twenty years of experience in quantitative field research


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