Editor's note: Lynzie Riebling is a finalists of the 2022 Researcher of the Year (End-Client) Award which is a category in the Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards. To find out more about the awards click here.

Challenge and question EVERYTHING. Our industry is long overdue for a shake up and who better to do it than you?! 

Take the time to learn the traditional approaches, the scientifically sound way of doing things and the structure that’s been in place for centuries – and then go out and break it. Yes, of course there are standards to uphold and ethics to be honored, but once you check those boxes I encourage everyone to question the sterile environments – both physical and digital – we’ve conducted research in for so long. Sterile approaches garner sterile insights. If you want game-changing findings, create your own game-changing methodologies. 

If the next wave of Gen Z researchers take my advice a lot of things will be shaken up in the next five years! I don’t think change happens fast enough in our industry. My hope is someone reading this gets inspired and starts to create a ripple effect where we slowly see the scales start tipping more toward provocative qual research. Historically, qual has taken a back seat to quant – and many big brands invest in quant over qual, but I’m seeing that shift. One by one every client I expose to qual work, they want more of it. I’m currently trial running a new approach to brand lift studies that’s a hybrid of qual and quant and the client reaction has been over the moon excitement. On that note, I’m going to personally manifest more innovative qual research coming to the forefront in the next five years. 

I love two things – talking to strangers and going through people’s belongings, so this field is truly a dream for me. I remember sitting in a market research class my junior year of college and a light bulb went off in my head: “Wait,...