Former Head, Commercial Research Division, Curtis Publishing Company

Charles Coolidge Parlin is often called the father of marketing and commercial research. In 1911 he organized and conducted for 27 years a commercial research division for the Curtis Publishing Company, the first marketing research organization in the United States.

In the beginning, Parlin had no precedents to follow, no laboratories for testing and few professional contemporaries with whom to consult. His initial equipment consisted largely of a teacher’s training, a flair for speaking, common sense and unbounded energy.

He was responsible in no small part for the techniques used today in marketing and advertising research as well as the methods of presenting to business executives the results of such techniques in a simple, understandable fashion.

His early studies of the farm implement, department store and automobile industries were complete and definitive; nothing of its sort had ever been produced in the history of American business. The results of his studies has a tremendous impact on marketing and advertising techniques.

Parlin was also a pioneer in promoting the value of advertising to American businesses. He introduced to American salesmen the impact that advertising could have on the sale of their products to wholesalers, retailers and consumers.