Q&A with a corporate 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 market research?  

I’m passionate about insights! Because of this my career has been focused on research, data analytics and insights.  

My journey as a researcher started in middle school, when I realized that I would like to specialize in the field of economics. While a very early age, I really loved all aspects of research. At university I was the first to sign up to any possible research project, and all my professors were confident that I would pursue an academic career. And so did I! But while I was finalizing my bachelor dissertation, I realized that I couldn’t provide a lot of details on the “So what?” question.

Since then, I’ve been through many stages in my industry research career and in my academic journey, but the passion has stayed the same: combining academic research and marketers’ challenges to ensure that best-in-class research methodologies and methods are applied when identifying business opportunities and addressing them in a consumer-centric way.

What is the biggest challenge you’ve faced when creating the EU research and insights department in marketing science at TikTok? 

Building a team remotely across the whole of Europe has been a challenging journey, and I feel extremely humbled to have had this opportunity. The main focus I had when I started the journey was to build a diverse, collaborative and high performing team from day one. Some of the key values for my team are to support our business to be data-driven, provide best in-class research and data analytics and, of course, continue learning and celebrating our success. A lot has been accomplished on this journey, and there is much more to come! 

As a company with users across the globe, what research methodologies do you find most useful for authentically representing consumer voices? 

I’m a true believer in the power of mixed methods research. By “mixed methods,” I mean a blend of various research methodologies and methods, starting from traditional qualitative and quantitative research and following with more agile methods, social intelligence and ending up with consumer neuroscience.

Consumer neuroscience is one of my biggest passion areas, sparked by neuroscience modules at university and continued with my Ph.D. research in behavioral science and consumer neuroscience. 

As my team consists of both researchers and data analysts, I also appreciate the quality of analytical output which comes when we blend high-quality research with rigorous expertise in data analytics.

Where do you find your inspiration and new ideas?

There are several areas where I find my inspiration. First of all, my team. I truly appreciate the diversity of our team and how different ideas and thoughts get realized into strategic topics and initiatives. Second, and very importantly, our business stakeholders across the whole organization. It’s such a privilege to work daily with so many thought leaders, experts and just amazing individuals. Third, our research partners. The support, guidance and expertise they provide is invaluable. 

Could you share a new research project and/or methodology will you be focusing on in 2022? 

My team’s focus for this year is to continue producing high-quality research and insights, leveraging different tools and methodologies. As in my team we have both researchers and data analysts, I envision a lot of in-depth insights to come from this collaboration, where we blend analysis of internal data and external data sources with results of ad-hoc research conducted in collaboration with our research partners. My team will continue building thought leadership in the areas such as commerce, creative best practices and the role of TikTok across the whole marketing funnel.