Chief Research Officer + Partner

Tait Martin, PhD

Started: 2011 Hometown: Cut Off, LA

Tait Martin

Tait leads Taproot’s research and insight efforts. He bridges the gap between massive amounts of data and messages that will spur action in a population. If you ask, he’ll tell you that he gets paid to “figure out how to get people to do stuff.”

Tait has spent over two decades as a research and marketing professional, and now serves as the Chief Research Officer of The Taproot Agency. His primary function is to decipher the thoughts and motivations of a population and translate the results into strategies for our creative team.

In addition to his work at Taproot, Tait lends his expertise to teaching the next generation of marketers and researchers. He currently is an affiliate professor of social marketing research in the College of Public Health at the University of South Florida and International Academic Colleague in the Research Center for Health, Environment and Education at the University of Cologne in Germany.

A winner of some of the industry’s most prestigious awards (including the Emmy® and Silver Anvil®), Tait‘s past positions have included stints as vice president of national social marketing and advertising firm; faculty member at four top-tier higher education institutions; communication director for one of the largest United Way organizations in the South; spokesperson for a major state government agency in Florida; and a morning radio talk show host.

When Tait isn’t working at Taproot, he enjoys playing with fire, striking hot iron and breaking glass. Tait is an avid glass artist and sculptor having studied at the prestigious Pilchuck Glass School in Stanhope, Washington. Next up on his list things to learn: artistic blacksmithing.

Widely cited in both academic and applied research circles, Tait holds a Ph.D. in Communication Theory and Research with a focus on Cognitive Processing from Florida State University, as well as a Masters in Organizational and Interpersonal Communication from the University of Louisiana, Lafayette. His undergraduate degree in public relations and journalism comes from Northwestern State University. His wife Emily is a saint.

The Dirt

  • Source of my creativity is: Insomnia and/or conversation
  • Biggest pet peeve: A tie: Researchers generalizing people based on incomplete data and the inconsistent use of the Oxford comma
  • First college major: Poultry Science – I received a full scholarship to Northwestern State University to study chickens. When I realized they didn’t talk back, I switched to communication.
  • Alternate career choice: Mechanical Engineer or Sculptor
  • Among my friends, I’m known for: Accidentally meeting famous people
  • Brakes for: In no particular order: a cup of coffee, a joke or a cocktail
  • Weirdest candy-related behavior: When eating M&Ms or Skittles, I calculate the probability of selecting a specific color before I take the first bite.
  • Favorite description of self that was supposed to be an insult: “He’s like a foul-mouthed teddy bear.”

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