Stefanie Francis and Hootology*

Hootology.  A modernized market research agency, combining the art and science of information gathering for smarter business decisions.

Stefanie Francis prides herself on her ability to ask, ‘How can this be done better?’ As an answer to the question, Francis founded Hootology, an innovative market research firm.


Hootology is a merger of all of the passions which have motivated Francis throughout her career—quantitative analytics, creativity, fan/consumer experience and innovation. As founder and lead innovator for Hootology, she is blazing a trail with a new approach to market research. Gone are the days of secretive product research and lengthy phone interviews. This new approach entails a marrying of sound research principles and technology and is more holistic than ever before.

“When market research first began to take shape it was during the Mad Men era,” Francis said. “That was the time focus groups and phone research came to life. As society as a whole has evolved, research still remained entrenched in those standard practices and details that were important in that day and age.”

Traditionally, focus groups were shrouded in secrecy. Hootology focuses on removing the veil and analyzing the consumer experience. Rather than placing consumers in a private, sterile room and peppering them with questions, the Hootology team uses leading-edge technology and experiences to gauge perception and connection. For example, rather than asking people what they remember seeing at an event, Francis and her team use eye-tracking software which allows them to know exactly when people are motivated to do something on their mobile phones or when individuals look at certain elements.

“We create an experience around the information being gathered,” Francis said. “We bring in elements which make it an experience for the people who participate in our research, or it might be using AI in conjunction with a qualitative virtual discussion in a way that can get to the depth of loyalty quicker and in a more engaging way than an online survey. We are maximizing technology which exists to be able to gather better information.”


Supplier Diversity Impact Indicator (SDII)

The Supplier Diversity Impact Indicator (SDII) allows organizations to understand the impact of their diversity and supplier diversity initiatives on their brand’s bottom line.  The SDII moves far beyond traditional “impact” metrics (i.e. awards and recognition, spend and economic impact) to provide relevant data on brand perception and purchase funnel metrics that definitively support the business case for these important initiatives. This remarkable tool for diversity professionals has also been featured in HBR (August 2020) and Forbes (April 2020).  For the record BEQ Pride’s Spring 2018 Issue includes a cover feature of Stefanie (and Hootology).

Series (Pre)search

Recently, Stefanie the Hootology team have created another amazing offering, but this time the focus is on startups.  Series (Pre)search provides start up and small-to-medium sized businesses a cost and time effective way to uncover actionable insights about their customers, industries and competition to create meaningful strategy and increase likelihood of success.  Using their 60-second online assessment, company founders and business owners will receive one of their pre-designed research roadmaps to provide them a path to accessing the same type of information their Fortune 500 clients use to make their most important strategic decisions.

Join me for a discussion with Jose Delgado, VP of Partner Success at Hootology (WBE®/LGBTBE®). Jose brings us up to speed on the Supplier Diversity Impact Indicator (SDII) and we talk about their brand new Series(Pre)Search offering.  You’ll enjoy this conversation and if you’re a supplier diversity professional or you know of or have a startup, this conversation is for you.

To continue reading about Stefanie (and Hootology), to learn more about the SDII, Series(Pre)Search and to receive more articles about inspiring, self-empowered, LGBTQ+ business owners and change-makers Click Here