Q&A with Researcher of the Year (end-client) award winner, Erika TenEyck 

Editor’s note: Erika TenEyck is the winner of the 2023 Researcher of the Year (end-client) Award, a category in the Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards. The award winners were announced during a virtual celebration on November 14, 2023. To learn more about the awards go to https://www.quirksawards.com/.

On November 14, 2023, during the virtual celebration of the Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards, Erika TenEyck, National Association of Electrical Distributors (NAED), was named the winner of the Researcher of the Year (end-client) award.  

TenEyck is currently the director of business intelligence programs and insight at NAED. She spearheaded a groundbreaking project to unravel the complexities of the product data journey from manufacturer to customer. This meticulous endeavor aimed to decipher the "typical" data journey, account for variations across different types, sizes and maturity levels of companies, and compare practices with other analogous industries. 

This project established an important baseline of processes that had not been formally published for the industry, including a deep dive of best practices prevalent within and outside the industry. Her focus on collecting diverse member input, using effective KPIs and leading the team to valuable outcomes is a testament to her strategic approach. 

Like so many researchers, TenEyck did not start her career in market research. She started as a historian and eventually found market research. Learn more about TenEyck and her journey in this Q&A. 

How did you get your start in the marketing research industry?  

It was not a straightforward path as I started as a historian, searching in various archives and libraries to document what happened long ago. It was more looking back to tell the story than focusing on the present and future.  

I made the transition when I started at NAED since my job was to help oversee research efforts which very much focused on present industry-specific topics and considerations for the future. In this role, I’ve been able to use a different set of skills to achieve those goals. 

What advice would you give to someone who is just starting out in marketing research? 

Be open to new ideas and tools to help achieve your objectives. Don’t be afraid to ask questions or take on a project that may seem to have a challenging aspect to it. They present great learning opportunities and a chance to expand your horizons.  

If you have the option, network with your peers to share suggestions, particularly if a project is not coming together or you need a fresh perspective to help overcome those hurdles. 

What has been your favorite part of being a researcher?  

It’s difficult to name just one thing! I enjoy the entire process of collecting information and data, analysis and telling the story of the results.  

If I have to name one thing, it would be that moment in the analysis when it all comes together, and you find a couple of points to anchor the findings.  

As well as the opportunity to continuously learn about new topics and trends, both from the research and NAED members.