Q&A with a corporate researcher

Editor’s note: Ferrara’s insights team was awarded the 2021 Best Client-Side Team award and was recognized at the Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards Virtual Celebration. To learn more about the awards, visit quirksawards.com. 

What is your favorite brand to work with and why? 

Ali Beck: We can’t pick favorites! Though, Black Forest is a very interesting brand to work with because it spans both candy and fruit snacks categories. Understanding both categories, and the intersection of the two, has been a priority for us. It is very exciting to build out these foundational learnings. And, working to bring to life innovation for the Black Forest better-for-you candy consumer has been super interesting and insightful.  

The Ferrara Insights team partners with local universities to provide students with hands-on consumer research experience. How do these partnerships influence your work as researchers? 

Maia Chang: Ferrara has partnered with local business schools for the past few years to work with students on both quantitative and qualitative research. These partnerships have been fantastic in allowing us to work with brilliant minds – both students and professors! Because many of these students have never worked with insights they’re able to come in with a fresh perspective and ask creative question. It’s always inspiring to hear their excitement as they uncover unexpected insights. 

Could you share a recent win for your team and what you learned from it? 

BeckThe recent launch of Trolli Sour Bursting Crawlers has been a recent win for Ferrara, including our team. This idea was swiftly and efficiently tested, re-tested, developed and validated with clear indication of launch readiness within roughly a year. We’ve learned how to be even more agile with our approaches to the innovation research funnels – identifying where we can flex and not sacrifice confidence in consumer understanding. 

Will you be leveraging any new methodologies or tools in the next year? 

Chang: We’re always looking for methodologies and tools that will help deliver strong consumer insights! Like everyone else in the industry, we’re always faced with the challenge to deliver insights quicker. We’re also continuing to run into COVID-driven research challenges – e.g., more challenging to do in-person research – and recognize that consumer behavior continues to change quickly because of COVID-19, so being creative and open to new methodologies is critical to delivering insights to help our partners. 

Beck: Definitely! We’re always looking at new approaches to ensure we’re adapting to what is best-in-class in the industry and of course conducting our research most efficiently. There are many new solutions that offer quick, turn-key product research. Given the internal need for faster insights we are always evaluating these solutions with a close eye on research quality to ensure that we’re compromising where we can but not making any sacrifices to our data quality.