No two days in the life of a researcher at Yes& are exactly the same, but there are certainly common themes: curiosity, problem-solving, data, storytelling… and more data.
At Yes& our research department is integrated within the Strategy group, which means that everything we do is based on a foundation of research. One of my favorite aspects of my role is how closely I work with Yes&ers from all areas of the organization—business development, account, strategy, digital, and creative—to contribute to client success. In tackling clients’ research questions, we design an approach that is tailored to their objectives and needs—thus no two research efforts are 100% the same.
Here's a snapshot of one of my recent days to give a sense of the types of research we’re actively engaged in to support our clients.
After attending daily agile check-ins for a couple workstreams I support, I dig into cleaning up focus group notes. I was traveling with one of our strategists and clients last week for the groups to test creative concepts for an upcoming campaign. We still have another location to travel to; in the meantime, we received great feedback from the target audience and we’re prepping for an internal debrief with the creative team. We’ll be leveraging the findings to select a creative direction and optimize the concept before heading into production.
Next, I pop into our survey platform to check on fielding status on a formative survey for a rebrand effort with our client’s prospective clients, current clients, and employees. In conjunction with a brand and competitive audit, the insights will form the basis for the strategy team’s rebrand approach. We’re making good progress and will be moving into analysis soon after closing the survey. I make a note for my to do list tomorrow to make sure we’re prepped to get data crunching.
Speaking of data crunching, my coffee is kicking in so it’s the perfect time to dig into data. On my plate for today is a secondary analysis of existing survey data we are conducting to derive data-driven audience segments for one of our association clients. The resulting segment profiles will be the cornerstone of future marketing and outreach strategy and a blueprint for understanding member needs and journeys.
I take a break from analysis to hop on a new business call with a potential client who is a higher education institution. They are interested in developing updated brand messaging to attract prospective students as well as engage with their important influencers like parents and guidance counselors. We have a great conversation to learn more about their objectives, ask a few questions, and align on timeline to share back a proposal. We connect as an internal team immediately after while our thoughts are still fresh to roadmap out an approach. On the research front we outline several efforts incorporated into the message development process including stakeholder discussion groups with university staff, students, and alumni; online qualitative boards with prospective students, parents, and guidance counselors; and a subsequent message copy testing survey.
To round out the day, I put my moderator hat on for an in-depth interview (IDI) with a target audience member. I take a few prep minutes to refresh on the discussion guide and then get connected. The 45 minutes fly by with engaging conversation and I quickly jot down some notes from the session that I can reference later when we have transcripts.
Although just a one-day view of the types of research we engage with, this is by no means comprehensive of all the tactics we have at our disposal. No two days are the same, which allows me to always be curious about what learnings we can uncover next. At Yes&, research is essential to ensure we are reaching and speaking with audiences in a relevant and resonate way for our clients. If you would like to learn more about how research could be a cornerstone to reaching your objectives, I would love to connect.