Welcome to our "Why I Love MR" Q&A Series! We have talked with both internal AMC Staff and some of our clients, so keep an eye out for fun interviews coming up exploring all the reasons why those of us who work in market research are so passionate about what we do! Interested in being interviewed and sharing why YOU love MR? Reach out to us.
Here we get a chance to know Dacey Mayhoff, Senior Director of Research and Insights at Stride, a little bit better...
A lot of little kids want to be astronauts, firefighters, or doctors when they grow up. Few five year olds would tell you, “When I get older, I want to be a market researcher!” How did you first get involved in market research, and what drew you to it?
DACEY: I love this question. I always say Market Research is the “Island of Misfit Toys.” We come from such a diverse background of studies and areas of passion, so we all have a story about how we got here.
I studied Journalism and then Communication, and I thought I’d end up in academic research. Then, I took a class on Persuasion and behavior change theories and became fascinated with the science behind how people make decisions.
Once I found out that I could make a career out of studying human behavior (and I wouldn’t have to write a dissertation), I was sold.
What has surprised you most about working in market research and insights?
DACEY: How tangible the impact of our work can be for a brand. I’ve seen messaging insights increase click and conversion rates. I’ve seen well-researched packaging or POS strategies increase sales. It will never stop being cool to me.
Surprise! You’ve been given unlimited resources to study anything in the world. What does this passion project look like? What would you discover?
DACEY: What’s the right way to serve a banana to a toddler? (Just kidding, I know the answer: you will literally always get it wrong).
Market research studies come in all shapes and sizes, from quick claims and message tests, to large and complex conjoint analysis, to getting your feet on the ground with in-depth qualitative interviews. What’s your favorite methodology or research approach?
DACEY: In CPG, my favorite approach was AMC Global’s Purchaser Follow-Up methodology. As data quality issues continue to plague our industry, PFU was always a breath of fresh air because it was full of in-depth reactions from real people. Plus, it provided such important, impactful insights.
(No – AMC did not pay me to say this. I’m just a lifelong PFU evangelist).
What do you feel are hot topics and cutting-edge innovations in the market research field today? How do you feel this will shape the future of insights careers?
DACEY: AI will do a lot of things in a lot of industries. I hope it shapes the future of insights by serving as a tool and a complement to our human skillsets. I hope that people don’t forget that our whole industry is designed to elevate the voice of the HUMAN consumer. We can’t lose that.
What would you tell someone who is considering a career in market research?
DACEY: You’re only as good as the people who train you. Find a home somewhere that TRULY values research for all that it can do. The term “quick and dirty” is a red flag. If you keep cutting corners, you’re going to end up going in circles. #geometry
Thank you, Dacey!
Why do YOU love market research? Let us know, and maybe you can be our next guest in this series!