Barbara Zamolsky

Head of Qual

Myrtle Beach, SC

Barbara is an essential part of the leadership team at Smarty Pants. Her primary role as Insights Sage is to establish, lead and grow relationships with many of the agency’s flagship clients. From 48-hour ethnographies, to new product play parties, to virtual journaling, Barbara leverages unique research tools that match consumers’ lifestage and abilities with client informational needs.

Barbara also serves as Smarty Pants’ Head of Qualitative Practices responsible for elevating the organization’s qualitative research. The position includes establishing and standardizing qual best practices, helping teams push qualitative research into more innovative territories and ensuring Smarty Pants remains an industry-leading qualitative provider.

Barbara’s expertise lies in both in-person and virtual qual research. She is a highly-relatable moderator and ethnographer with great intuition and a natural ability to connect no matter the topic. From riding roller coasters with kids at their favorite amusement parks, to meticulously dissecting social media user interfaces with Millennials at their kitchen table, to exploring social determinants of health with seniors at community centers, Barbara makes it her business to creatively study consumers where the answers lie. In fact, there might be no one more willing than Barbara to do whatever it takes to unearth rich insights.

Barbara is a Riva-certified moderator with intensive training in the theory and practice of special tools and techniques of qualitative research. She also holds a certification in Advanced Moderator Techniques. She has logged more than 5,000 hours of in-person research around the globe and has the tools and experience to connect with people across ages, cultures and subject matter. Research participants love her, and so do Smarty Pants clients.


Over the past 18 years at Smarty Pants, Barbara has led countless youth-and family-focused qualitative initiatives for clients such as Kraft Heinz, Unilever, Girl Scouts, The Ad Council, Cartoon Network, Dick’s Sporting Goods, Schleich, Mars, St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital, Meta and Kimberly Clark. She has considerable insight into the lives, lifestyles, preferences and behaviors of Gen Alpha through Gen X.

Barbara began her research career as a recruiter and consultant at a qualitative research firm in Stamford, CT. There, she grew to become a master of identifying quality research respondents and ensuring fieldwork is successful for clients and participants.


Barbara is a graduate of Boston University. She holds a Bachelor of Arts in psychology.


When not on the road, Barbara can be found either enjoying the beaches in sunny Myrtle Beach, SC, or strolling along the Potomac in Washington, D.C. She is the proud mother of a son who is beginning his second year of residency as a surgeon.

Fun Facts

  • Is a certified Sky and Scuba diver
  • Boston Red Sox fan-atic!
  • Loves to work out… often at 5am!
  • Has a secret crush on Gordon Ramsay and wants to audition for Master Chef some day