I’m actually an anthropologist turned market researcher, so through my entire consumer insights career I have consistently brought a passion for deeper human insight work. I was always trying to get brand teams and senior leadership out of their offices for meaningful 1:1 discussions with their consumers, championing the deeper strategic foundational insights work that would benefit full portfolios of brands, and starting innovation with a consumer-first focus on unmet needs and pain points. Also, I made sure that no matter how far I progressed in the company, I was regularly taking time to personally get out and talk with consumers in their homes and local stores. This type of work leads to richer, emotional insights that are much more differentiated and ownable, but it also nourishes my soul and reminds me that service to the consumer is why I got into market research in the first place.
Even while I was on the client side, I recognized a clear gap in the marketplace where deep human insights meet agile research and technologies. It’s stunning to me how many companies still rely on in-person focus groups for research – even when consumers don’t have to touch or taste something. That facility setting is about the most unnatural one we could imagine for consumers, and I firmly believe in talking with people in their native, natural environment if we truly want to get into their hearts and minds. When I was doing some industry exploratory work in the agile deep insight space, I caught up with Rob Wengel at GutCheck, and what he shared about the company’s vision literally gave me goosebumps.
GutCheck’s ambitions around Heart+Tech and “the power of AND” are completely in line with my own dreams for the market research industry, and address the tradeoffs between lean and deep insights head on. I knew I had to be a part of it, which is why I joined the Product team at GutCheck in May.