Q&A with a client-side researcher

Editor's note: If you're an end-client researcher and interested in participating in a Q&A with Quirk's, please e-mail me at emilyk@quirks.com

What led you to a career in marketing research and insights?

I have always enjoyed work involving mathematical models, big data and investigative research. Therefore, I chose to pursue a career in this field for various reasons. 

One reason is the opportunity to work with data and technology.

When I joined PepsiCo in Saudi Arabia in 2005, I was blessed to have leaders who saw my potential and helped me grow and build my career path. PepsiCo is a global organization with systematic tools and processes for employees to choose their path forward, and the company facilities their journey.  

I had the privilege to gain critical experience through taking cross-functional roles on the ladder from brand marketing, revenue management strategy, analytics and consumer insights across multiple geographies and territories. In addition, as I progressed through my career journey, I had the opportunity to work closely with our global insights capability teams and became the go-to person for local deployment of PepsiCo proprietary tools. My curiosity about transforming data to create meaningful stories increased during this time. Marketing research and insights are fascinating fields that combine data analysis, consumer behavior and strategic thinking to help businesses make informed decisions. 

You've worked at PepsiCo for more than 17 years. Describe one of your most rewarding experiences so far.

I think my current role at PepsiCo is the most rewarding experience. I help the PepsiCo Multicultural organization through strategic and foundational research to create more smiles in the communities we serve and support small business owners. But I believe the entire journey based out of Saudi Arabia and Dubai gave me foundational knowledge through a profound understanding of market dynamics and consumer knowledge of more than 50 countries and territories in the Middle East, North Africa, APAC, India and China.

Is your team planning on leveraging any new methodologies or techniques in the next year? 

Yes! As consumer behavior evolves, the need for new methodology becomes a must. Marketing research and insights professionals must stay current on the latest trends and tools.

What is the best career advice you've received and why?

The best career advice I have received was always to be open about where you want to grow and seek new opportunities.

  1. Be open to new opportunities. Keep an open mind and be willing to consider opportunities outside of your comfort zone or current field of expertise. 
  2. Be willing to learn. Continuous learning is vital to career success. Be open to new ideas, take classes or workshops to develop new skills, and stay current with industry trends and technology.
  3. Be proactive in building your skills and network. Don't wait for opportunities to come; take the initiative to build your skills and network. 
  4. Have a clear understanding of what you want to achieve. Understand your values, strengths, interests, and goals. 
  5. Stay resilient. Career paths are not always straightforward. Be persistent, stay positive and keep learning from your experiences.

Being open-minded, proactive and willing to learn can help you to build a fulfilling and successful career. Remember to stay focused on your goals, be resilient and never stop learning.