Perspectives Episode 01 – How did you get started in Market Research?

How did you get started in Market Research?

Welcome to Episode 01 of Perspectives!

This episodes contributors

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In this inaugural episode, sixteen hand-picked top-tier thinkers from all corners of the globe are asked to talk about how their career began and to share their market research story with you. How did they get to where they are? Was it planning or luck?

For some, the path ahead was mapped out, for others they were soldiers of fortune and a few felt it was a mishap. Listening to the experience of your peers can be entertaining, educational and therapeutic. Enjoy the vlog above and record your own video response if you have a question.

Excerpts from the vlog

I knew that marketing research was the life for me when I was working on a project for a large packaged goods company and we were researching wet wipe toilet paper. – Kerry Hecht Labsuirs @Kerryhecht

If I had to think about a single event that’s really shaped my career I would say it was really when I made the decision to leave traditional offline research, which is what it was in 1998, and really get into the more the tech side of the business.  – Kristin Luck @kristinluck

I had sold my company in Bristol and moved to London to work as a magazine publisher and I was buying measurement data for our websites to give me an idea of how many people were visiting, who they were, where they were coming from. – Ben Hogg @Sn00pHogg

My love of psychology, coupled with a love of statistics that followed later in graduate school, that happened to be during an election year, I found out a lot about what polling and market research and that kind of thing were about. After graduate school I went and begged the only research game in town for a job. – Baileigh Allen @baileighallen

It was really a baptism of fire coming into a completely new industry with so many, you know, great people and smart people already in this space. – Dave Carruthers @DaveCarruthers

I am one of those crazy people that, you know… I graduated in maths and stats, and I wanted to be in an environment where data insight and information really spoke to the core of commercial decision making. – Babita Earle @earle_babita

I’m not a researcher in any sense of the word. From the point of view of my skills or talents even, I’m not. I’m a designer, I should have been studying fine art. The way I got into this profession was that I got my degree in industrial design and engineering at Bristol. Came to London, started working for a consultancy and hated it. And it just so happened that this consultancy was part of the WPP group of companies. – Siamack Salari @SiamackSalari

First got involved in market research when I was at university. It was a module on my course, and I enjoyed it so much that I applied to market research agencies and was looking up to get the job with ORC International and the finance team. – Andy Buckley @andybuckers

I got a job right after graduating college in the states for a non-profit, which I really enjoyed. But I got burnt out really fast, I lasted about a year. And then suddenly I found myself without a job all over again, and that went on for a bit longer than I had hoped. And so at some point, I was ready to just take the first job that wanted me. And it turned out to be market research  – Nikki Lavoie @mindsparklab

I started my career in the animation and video game industry, actually being a producer for animated TV series created with computers. So, an intersection of creativity and computer science. Then I joined the internet revolution, joining a digital agency back in the late 90’s and bringing brands for the first time online. – François Pétavy @fpetavy

It was actually a bit of an accident. I went to a great university in Leicester to play rugby, I was a great rugby player. And that was where British Psychological Society was based. So I also got into psychology and from psychology got into research. – Dan Foreman @winifredatwell

I had no clue that market research even existed. My plan was to go into psychometrics and develop personality tests, that sort of thing, but while I was in grad school, I was flipping through that good ole course calendar and I happened to notice so many great courses in research methodology in the business and marketing department which kind of got me thinking and by the time I found myself in government doing psychometric testing I realised it’s a very focused industry and I figured I want to switch back over to marketing research – Annie Pettit @LoveStats

After I graduated in social psychology, I started working as a market research consultant. As I started pursuing my PhD, I also did a PhD in cognitive neuroscience, and I’ve been working on one hand as a researcher in cognitive neuroscience, especially in the field of the electrophysiology of emotion, and in tandem as a market research consultant. – Pedro Almeida @Pedro_R_Almeida

My background came from Procter and Gamble. So, we came into this world, really wanted to help supplier teams and retailers understand the shopper a little better. So shopper research, shopper marketing. And from that in the pre-selfie days, we did a lot of hands on work and work out in the field. When the smartphone came along we knew that technology is something that would enable us, and be able to help us change the way people were capturing data and insights in the field. – Rick West @RickWest01

To begin with people were very surprised that we were capturing data using people’s mobile phones, but by 2012 Harvard Business Review had talked about the real time experience tracking approach as a new tool that radically improves marketing research, so as a result of that we gained credibility.  – Fiona Blades @FionaMESH

Throughout my university career, I was hugely intrigued by the problems that businesses faced. Marketing, production, commercial etc… suddenly I happened upon this industry that was designed to learn in depth about what companies problems were, and design solutions. – Finn Raben @Finn01

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