MRII Board Members Discuss Advancing Market Research Careers

Join MRII Board member Jon Last, President at Sports and Leisure Research Group, in a conversation with new MRII Board member Stan Sthanunathan, CEO i-Genie.AI and Past Executive Vice President, CMI at Unilever. 

Getting A Seat at the Table

In the video conversation, Jon and Stan discuss some topics and areas of interest to those seeking greater training and greater advancement in their marketing research careers. Given their strong and varied career histories in the insights industry—on the agency and client side—both Board members talk in the interview about the journey that led them to “have a seat at the table” and about how critical strategic decision-making is in research today.

Stan shares about how in the CPG business world, an “actively engaged consumer is at the center of everything.” He goes on to talk more about how insights professionals need to play a big role in the decision making process. “If insights are going to be used for inspiring and provoking big transformational actions, then they will call you to the table and you will be a part of the table.” 

The Need for Strategic Thinking in Market Research

Jon talks about the ability for market researchers to provide strategic perspective as a real impetus for greater involvement in decision making, and how curiosity and inquisitiveness serve those working in our industry well. Stan shares more about how to satisfy on both fronts by becoming an expert to have that seat at the table. This dovetails perfectly into what MRII does best: arm insights professionals with the education and training they need to gain traction in their careers and ensure their insights play into big strategies.

Building Trust and Impact

A helpful technique during Jon’s career was building trust, where he was trusted on knowing “how to do these things and get these answers for us.” Stan builds on that idea by explaining how for his teams, he says there is only one KPI which is important to measure whether you’re having an impact on the business or not: How many “Oh ****” moments you’ve created for your internal or external client. Take a whirl through the video to learn more about Stan’s explanation of “Oh ****” moments!

Your Personal Brand as a Researcher

Both Jon and Stan talk about creating a sense around yourself as a researcher that helps others realize that you’re someone they can go to for answers, and how we should be going and telling our internal partners that we have the answers.

MRII to Help Get That Seat at the Table 

Our Board members also discuss how the programs offered through MRII and the University of Georgia give market researchers and insights professionals the tools needed to be confident and effective. Through the training offered, you can be the one people turn to for getting those answers Stan and Jon talk about throughout the interview. The courses build confidence, and help pave your path to a seat at the table. View the video here.

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