A Network of Partnerships

Defining the effective size of Step Research can be a little tricky somedays.    Since some of the many people working on each product are entrepreneurs, joint venture partners, consultants or experts volunteering their time it often feels like a large supportive work place.  As the needs of each project change over time then the specific people brought in to generate success varies.  Meetings are most frequently video conferences to accomodate the diverse and spread out work force.  Use of online tools that support communication and coordination are a key part of day to day operations.

Founder and CEO Sterling Bates

Interdisciplinary strategist, scientist and mathematician: his personal story

Sterling started at Disney in information technology doing technical support in one of the most famous landmarks in America, the Magic Kingdom.  After a brief tour in the Y2K teams he then moved to business intelligence (reporting strategies and executive dashboards) as the company-wide product manager.  He started as the only member of the team, but by the time he moved on it had grown to over 15 people and he had spoken at the International Business Objects User Conference representing Disney.

During his time working on all these technical projects Sterling became convinced that the reasons most projects failed was not because of the technology but because the people had not been properly accounted for.
apti photo
For personal development reasons and to understand the people around him he started pursing the world of psychological and personality typing.  After becoming certified in psychological exams, Sterling worked with organizational development and human resources briefly before making a major move within the company.  Sterling then spent three years with Disney marketing focused on marketing metrics, strategies and partnerships.  Finally, it was the right time and Sterling pursued full time entrepreneurship.

Sterling Bates has consulted since 1995 with Marketing, Organizational Development, Leadership Strategy and Psychometrics.
Sterling specializes in system thinking, understanding how different and diverse areas of a challenge impact each other and how to steer clear through the problems.  In recent years this has meant intimately understanding the world of online business and how it interacts with the customers, processes and offline business integration.  He has worked with a wide variety of clients both large and small from entertainment companies and large online businesses to the Department of Homeland Security.  He has worked inside the Fortune 50 corporate world and with growing entrepreneurs.

Recently Sterling presented at the 2011 APTi conference on the topic of personality and psychological Type in Sales and Marketing representing the research and development of the last several years working in the business world to properly understand how customers personality and behavior patterns affects sales and marketing efforts.

Sterling is no stranger to working with non-profits.  As early as high school he was donating time to the American Diabetes Association youth camps for kids with Diabetes.  By 21 he was on the Kansas State Board of Directors and had visited congress speaking with then Minority Leader Bob Dole about needs of children with Diabetes and funding for research.  Over the years Sterling has worked with and helped a variety of organizations.  Since late 2011 Sterling, is serving on the executive Board of Directors for the International Association of Psychological Type.

Finally, figuring out what he wanted to do with his life, Sterling created a broader corporate structure to support the holistic integration the interests that drive him.  Out of that was born Step Research as a Benefit Corporation (a combination between profit generation and non-profit goals) designed to support the difficult but rewarding integration of all the core skill sets and interests Sterling had developed over the years.


Gene Bellotti, Vice President, Behavior Insights

Experience and skills at the intersection of marketing and behavior.

Gene Bellotti is a hands-on marketer with over 30 years of experience developing and executing marketing campaigns to launch emerging businesses and their products, many of those spent as a creative partner in his own advertising agency.  His specialty is marketing strategy and communications for startup companies, helping them grow from zero to $80 million in sales, which he has done many times. He excels at strategically sound marketing communications that propel businesses to the next level: new markets, product line extensions, online presence, acquisition or IPO. Gene has worked with over 60 high technology companies and has broad experience in other markets including financial services and medical technologies.

Creative and organized, Gene has developed demand generation programs that opened new markets and has conceived, named and launched products by developing advertising concepts, direct mail, videos, inbound marketing websites and online ads.

An entrepreneur for most of his career, he is a founding partner at Step Research Corp. developing new ways to introduce behavior patterns and differences to people online.

Gene initially started his pursuit of identifying and understanding behavior patterns to improve marketing response.  He soon realized that mentioning personality and psychology tools in meetings with start-up CEOs and presidents led to an immediate dismissal of the concept and its application to their business.

That begged the question: in a marketing ecosphere that proliferates in customer behavior pattern analysis, click-tracking, all manner on on-line analytics and now big data, why was the most basic, innate behavior research on psychological type, which would be the ultimate guide for one-to-one marketing messages, routinely dismissed by these business executives? It was because these executives had been exposed to psychological type in a way that made it difficult to understand and to apply to business issues.

Gene set about to introduce more people to the fact that normal behavior patterns exist, they can be easily identified if you ask the right questions, there are many ways to understand different aspects of behavior, and that this knowledge helps each person understand their own behavior patterns, which makes them realize that not everyone gathers information and makes decisions the same way.  And it is extraordinarily important when dealing with customers.

Gene incorporates his educational background in organizational behavior and psychology into his pursuit of helping others identify and understanding behavior patterns. He has an MBA from Babson in Management and Organizational Behavior and an Ed.M from Harvard with a concentration in Counseling and Consulting Psychology.

“I believe that each customer should be treated as an individual and that each person’s specific set of natural decision-making behaviors can be identified. Once that is part of your marketing process, you’ll have a guide for business messages and strategies that are more likely to influence the customer and improve response. The most important part of CRM is the CR.”

Gene is serving as Director of Marketing and Membership Growth on the Board of Directors for the International Association of Psychological Type, a global organization of MBTI consultants, coaches and leadership trainers.