Why I Love MR: An Interview with Vanessa Giraldo

Posted by AMC Global on May 25, 2024 9:30:37 AM

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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 Vanessa Giraldo, Director of Qualitative Insights at AMC Global, 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? 

VANESSA: Honestly, I wasn’t even aware of market research as a field until later on in my college career. I needed to take a handful of elective classes to satiate the credits required for my double major, and landed in a market research class. Thereafter, I applied for market research internships, and found one (that was mostly quantitative healthcare research). While I knew that area of research wasn’t exactly what I wanted to do, I knew I was very interested in primary/custom research, and applied for a number of jobs in the industry when I graduated. I started out as an analyst for a boutique firm and pretty quickly leaned into qualitative, which I absolutely love to this day!

What has surprised you most about working in market research and insights?

VANESSA: Since the beginning, I’ve found it fascinating to see all of the work that goes into products. packaging, pricing, etc. behind the scenes before products/services even hit the market (or are later tracked, optimized, and so forth)—every little detail. It is also exciting to watch products/services you have worked on come to life. It is something that my family and friends also find fascinating when I talk to them about what I do, which is fun :)

Surprise! You’ve been given unlimited resources to study anything in the world. What does this passion project look like? What would you discover? 

VANESSA: I’m always intrigued when studying similar products in different markets to understand what makes people tick based on their backgrounds, culture, personal situations, etc. I love to test anything with the same company/brand across different countries/continents and enjoy being tasked with how to ask the right questions to get the right answers with different populations. I find the upfront work as challenging and exciting as the analysis, and always look forward to these type of projects.

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?

VANESSA: I think there is a right methodology/approach for every study, so I can’t say that I have one in particular, but I think there is something special about in-person ethnography studies (especially in-home). Not only do you get to talk to individuals in their comfort zone/safest space, but you get to see into their lives, and can take a lot of that into the analysis, which can provide particularly powerful outcomes.

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?

VANESSA: I think AI is something that is here and cannot be ignored, so I’m truly excited to see how this will change and shape the future of research! Beyond that, I think that there is a lot to be said for the human piece in setting up the research, doing the research and analyzing the research. I’m looking forward to marrying the best that technology can offer with the skills that researchers bring to the table (those skills that cannot be replaced by AI). This will yield the greatest results.

What would you tell someone who is considering a career in market research? 

VANESSA: Do it! I’ve never regretted it for a minute, and 12 years into my career, I still love “going” to work every day :) Personally, staying agency-side (versus client-side) has been my passion because it keeps everyday interesting without as much concern about the potential of things getting monotonous—that is more of my personal preference. I’ve truly enjoyed expanding my knowledge and skill set with a wide variety of clients in different industries over the years.

Thank you, Vanessa!


Why do YOU love market research? Let us know, and maybe you can be our next guest in this series!