The world is full of open doors

What I do

Reality is a realm of possibilities. For humans and for marketing.

But the multitude of addressable human needs is variable, often nebulous, sometimes contradictory. Consumers don’t like to talk about that. Unless you talk to them a certain way. That’s my job.

Insight without empiricism is blind. Empiricism without craftsmanship is stupid. The choice of methods, but also creating a special kind of consumer contact decides whether doors can be opened. Whether the insights gained can pave the way for commercial success.


Tools of the Trade

Artistic craftwork

AI isn’t there yet

Quite often, I offer the tried and tested, eternally cool qualitative methods, e.g. interviews, focus groups or communities (online, offline). In addition, I also do more specific things, such as ethnographic home visits, brand films, or eye tracking shelf studies.

I also do semiotic analysis, strategic consulting, and concept development.

For a few years, I have been working as a methods lecturer at Fresenius University. Today I still enjoy helping customers develop their qualitative skills.

My offer: Short methodological advice is always free!



Many thanks, dear clients!

“We’ve worked with Maik for over 15 years. We come back to him again and again because we can rely on his insight, his perspective on Germany as a market and on German culture. We have literally no partners worldwide who are as surprising, as richly expressive, or as full of insightful references to obscure TV shows, trends, or German sub-cultures as Maik! He’s a global enigma and a delight to work with."

Charlotte Smith, Managing Partner, Basis (London)

"Working with Maik is extremely pleasant. He is a very experienced market researcher and he knows that you should approach everything with humor and optimism. He also knows a thing or two about football."

Max Becker, Geschäftsführer, ACTUALLY Research (München)

“There are so many aspects I appreciate of working with Maik. Most powerful is his unbiased view and his deep analysis which he set’s into the strategic context. He listens to every aspect of consumer voice, not just the loudest. He is connecting the dots and gives clear recommendations. Based on his broad experience, he’s very open and honest with his feedback, even though it might be uncomfortable. I worked with Maik on communication and concept development.”

Tanja Kindler, Category & Customer Development Lead Home Care, Unilever (Hamburg)

“With his expertise and his style, Maik has been my favorite researcher in Germany for 10 years now. The research results go deeper than with other agencies and can be directly implemented into strategies or measures. I have consulted him on various projects and have always been able to achieve direct commercial success for my clients.”

Antonie Glaser, Independent Strategy Consultant (Amsterdam)

"Maik is our favourite German researcher. Because he is so German: reliable, fast, deep. But also flexible and capable of adapting, when the need arises."

Raf Manna, Partner, Stream Brasil (Rio de Janeiro)

"I would like to mention two things: firstly, I carried out basic target group studies with Maik (e.g. on Generation Z) and it was a big wow to marvel at Maik's market research expertise and learn from him, e.g. the tips and tricks in the explorations. (Unforgettable also a fun 24-hour session during the production of a report!) Secondly, we collaborated in strategic projects (e.g. in developing a company purpose) and I think that he is almost even better in this field, because Maik usually has a whole lots of good ideas. They probably come from actually reading all the books you see behind him on Zoom calls."

Andreas Kratzer, Founder und Managing Director, A TRIBE CALLED HUMANS (Munich)

“The eye tracking studies conducted by Maik, combined with qualitative explorations, are always the most insightful and meaningful studies for us. Maik’s results preparation and advice are always top-notch – short, precise and tailored to the target group.”

Birga Scholz, Senior Category & Insight Manager D-A-CH, Unilever (Hamburg)

“I have known Maik for 20 years now. There is hardly a better qualitative researcher in Germany."

Ole Wassermann, Managing Director, Wassermann Consulting (Zürich)

“I have carried out several studies with Maik and have always been impressed by his competence, high quality of advice and work, his flexibility and an extremely high level of service. A clear recommendation!”

Joanna Weigelt, CMI Lead Home Care DACH, Unilever (Hamburg)

"Maik was a great colleague and is a great researcher. He can't always keep his mouth shut, but at least something really clever usually comes out of it."

Dorit Welzel, Unit Director, Meinecke & Rosengarten (Hamburg)

"We work a lot for Maik and the collaboration is always very pleasant and constructive, even in all the typical market research haste and the challenges of excellent, high-quality recruiting."

Tim Thelen, Managing Partner, Foerster & Thelen (Bochum)


Work Experience


All in all, I have been working for more than 90 brands, trying to understand many different markets, dealing with all kinds of research objectives.


Allianz · Asics · Axe · AOK


Babybel · Bacardi · Bankhaus Lenz · Barcleycard · Bauknecht · Bayer HealthCare · Becel · Bertolli · BiFi · Bombay Sapphire · Boss · BP · Braun · Bridgestone · Brunch


Cardinal · Carlos I · Calvin Klein · Ciba Vision · Cremissimo · Coral · Cornetto


DeutschlandCard · Dextro Energy · Disney · Discovery Chanel · Domestos · Dove · Du Darfst


Edelweiss · Escada


FedEx · Feldschlösschen · Flame Fireplaces · Fox · funny-frisch


Georg Thieme Verlag · Golden Kaan · Grey Goose


Hermes · Hilcona · Hormocenta · Husqvarna · Hypovereinsbank


iglo · IDEXX · Illumina


Jack Link‘s


Karstadt · Kiri · Knorr · Kühne


Lätta · Landliebe · Langnese · Lipton · Little Moons · Londa · L'Oréal · Love Beauty and Planet


Magnum · Martini · McDonalds · Merlin Entertainments Group · Michelin · Miele · Mirácoli · Mon Chéri · Mondamin


Nespresso · Nestlé · Nivea · Noilly Prat · Norton




Pfanni · Pepe · Pilsner Urquell · Pirelli · Procter & Gamble


Randstad · Respect Energy · Rexona · Roche · RWE


Sage · Sony Playstation · Stiftung Alsterdorf


Tchibo · Timotei · TKMaxx · Toni&Guy · Tuffi · TUI




Velivery · Viennetta · Visa · Viss · Vodafone



How I work






If something is true, it resonates. Therefore, empirical research and strategic concepts must always keep reality in mind – which is easier said than done. For example, many people see and describe themselves as ecological, but behave unecologically. You think the 'I'm a Celeb' is stupid, but you watch it anyway.

Therefore, in encounters with consumers I try to create optimal conditions for honest Innerlichkeit (e.g. by modelling humorous self-distancing). Nothing is more worthless than reflexive, rationalizing comments about somebody‘s own behavior. Nothing is more boring than a superficially articulated ‚opinion‘.

Realistic insights are possible through strategies from psychotherapy: real encounters, obvious curiosity and appreciation, and if necessary, empathic probing. In addition, 22 years of market research have revealed many other opening tactics (e.g. casualness, legitimizations, or subtle provocation).

In addition to psychological sensitivity in the exploration, I think it is necessary (and often neglected) to see the collected data in the context of our time and culture(s). For example, the color beige means something (slightly) different before and after the Kardashians.

Of course, a good analysis also takes into account eternal truths in various disciplines, e.g. that dark blue is more of a premium color than light blue.

Despite all the depth and thoroughness: today's marketing life requires speed. That's why I'm very much in favor of agile and economic research approaches.

Oh, how many questions can be answered if you only do 15 interviews!

Home | Publications


Some articles

“KI im Käfig”

About AI which produces output which will be input for future AI.
Planung & Analyse (Mai 2023) – click here to read the article

“Ein kleines Leuchten”

The role of interpretation for the future of research.
Planung & Analyse (June 2017) – click here to read the article

“Entschleunigt die Marktforschung”

About being agitated or cool in marketing research.
Planung & Analyse (February 2017) – click here to read the article

“Im Bureau d‘esprit”

The art of conversation in marketing research.
Research & Results (December 2014) – click here to read the article

“Das schillernde Wesen der (Kult)Urbilder”

Thoughts on the hot topic of archetypes.
Planung & Analyse (February 2012) – click here to read the article

“Messen Apparate Phantasien?”

About neuromarketing and implicit measures.
Planung & Analyse (May 2011) – click here to read the article

“Natural Born Talkers”

Product narratives instead of verbal concepts.
Research & Results (January 2011) – click here to read the article

“10 Praxis-Tipps für TV-Konzeptforschung“

Tips for more validity of TV concept testing..
Planung & Analyse Online (Juli 2011) – bitte hier klicken

“10 Praxis-Tipps zur Moderatorenauswahl”

Tips on the optimal selection of moderators.
Planung & Analyse Online (July 2011) – click here to read the article