By: Matthew Duddy
The Temple University American Marketing Association had the privilege of receiving valuable information from industries that target consumer insights. The panel included two Temple graduates, Abbey Harris from Ipsos, and Justin Lewis from GfK.
Abbey Harris received her Bachelor of Arts in Marketing, with a focus on Neuromarketing. She is a Research Analyst at Ipsos, which is the third largest global survey based research company in the world.
Abbey spoke about the concept of MAdTech, which Ipsos uses to explain that technology is reshaping the way advertising and media are implicated. MAdtech is used to determine how consumers consume media.
She also mentioned that Ipsos focuses on a shift from linear storytelling to systemic story-building. This involves the collaboration of social content, co-created content, owned content, and video commercials to form one larger story. This is tied to the overall topic of consumer insights, which revolves around developing the big picture.
Takeaway: Abbey explained to students, “always know it’s all about the people, stay in their mindset.” In gathering consumer insights this can’t be emphasized enough. It’s the focal point of what you do.
In terms of transitioning from college to the workplace, Abbey explains that in college you learn a particular way of achieving something. In the real world you learn about others and how they tie together. Referring to her specific position at Ipsos, she makes the comparison of being on the vendor side in her workplace, and being on the consumer side while in college. This is a critical concept because in college you don’t often get the experience of working with vendors or clients, unless you’re in active search of internships.
Justin is a 2013 graduate of Temple University, who majored in Marketing and took up a minor in Management Information Systems. He now works at GfK, which is the fourth largest marketing research company in the world.
At GfK, Justin works exclusively on the digital side of marketing. As a Research Manager, he leads groups to actively seek out research to gather behavioral patterns and figure out how that impacts sales. They run surveys monthly, which results in about 50,000 responses in the United States alone.
One of Justin’s larger projects include working with popular car brands to find out which are being purchased and the feelings attached to that purchase. This is an interesting task, as cars are expensive goods that some consumers become so attached to. With this being said, research may be a little challenging because cars aren’t purchased as often as most goods.
Takeaway: Justin states that, “There’s nothing like interviewing somebody in person.” I loved this statement because we forget sometimes that the most valuable information for surveys comes from sitting down and talking to somebody in person. It’s just hard to replicate in mass quantities.
Justin’s final point was that he works long hours as a research manager, but finds it very rewarding. This is important for college students to keep in mind because you don’t want to invest your time into something you don’t enjoy. Go out and get as much experience you can, working in various positions. This is one of the only ways you can truly find out if a position or field is the right fit for you.