Q. What was your background before joining Dig Insights?
I tried my hand at being a rock star, but when that didn’t pan out, I went back to school and became entrenched in academia. I pursued a Masters in Sociology, and from there made the jump into the corporate world and dug my way into market research. Sociology helped me develop some of the mechanics around learning about “stuff” and the corporate world allowed me to hone my skills. I started at a youth-oriented insights group where I dabbled in moderating online and in-person focus groups (with kids, which isn’t as easy as you may think) and writing in-depth research papers. From there I made my way to Ipsos where I worked on innovation and marketing research with many CPG clients, learning about a variety of methodological techniques that run the gamut from trade-off analysis to consumer segmentations. The client side was next on my journey, and the experience allowed me to develop my strategy and consulting skills. I work best in a collegial setting where I get to share ideas and learn from others. I’m in a constant state of wanting to grow and learn and develop to provide the best I can for my clients.
Q. How do you think market research will change in the next 3 years?
I think I echo the sentiments of my colleagues when I say that the integration of so many available data sources is a necessary part of the storytelling in market research. Not only can we leverage big data sets to help inform us about the behaviours of consumers, but so much secondary information is available that can smooth out the edges of our work, and we can complement it with web analytics as well. The challenge becomes the distillation of all these various disparate sources to make insights something palatable for clients. Being on the client side has taught me the importance of good storytelling in research. As a supplier, you may not be privy to the conversations that happen after the presentation, and if the report isn’t told in a cohesive and concise manner, where the rigour and depth is immediately apparent but doesn’t bog down the story, you run the risk of confusing clients who may not be familiar with the research process. As market researchers, we’re the filters for data, we take in all the information and leave behind something that is inviting and intuitive and interesting.
Q. If you were not in market research, what work would you want to do?
Well, I already mentioned that I tried to be a rock star, so probably that. If I had the monetary resources, I would hire a crack team of promoters and managers to propel me into stardom, and give myself the freedom to be creative and make music. It’s my first love, and something that I would never give up.