Meet the Staff: Amy Nichols

I joined Marketing Sciences in 2006 after a couple of years in London working for GfK NOP. I soon settled into life working in beautiful Winchester – working a stone’s throw away from such a magnificent cathedral certainly has its plus side!

I work in retail and shopper research which means that every day is different in such a fast moving industry. The very fact that shoppers are constantly making decisions as to what products to buy, where to shop and how much to spend, means that we have to keep on our toes when researching. Much of our work is really fast paced, responding quickly to changing needs of our clients, but I obviously respond well to a deadline as it’s what I love about the job (that wasn’t the case so much at uni, but I guess we all grow up!)

From co-ordinating and reporting monthly trackers to moderating focus groups, each day holds a new challenge. It’s also important to keep the bigger picture in mind and understand what role our research plays in our clients’ organisations. This is the bit I really enjoy – seeing things in the ‘real world’ that we have played a role in helping our clients with.

My degree was in French and Music – so perhaps not a typical route in to Market Research (although what is?) – but I’ve found that my role at Marketing Sciences is all about being creative, being curious, listening to others, understanding how language is used, and then applying this in a business context.

A day in the life: Amy Nichols

If it’s not a day out of the office conducting qualitative research or meeting up with a client, my day might go as follows:

08:30am –Arrive in the office and do a quick check through of new emails.

09:30am – have a quick team meeting to see what everyone else has got on, identify who needs support and who has time to help out

10am – get a quick update on all research projects out in fieldwork at the moment. Deal with any queries from interviewers, panellists, scripters, data processers, coders – make sure everything is running as smoothly as possible

11am – sit down and think about how to answer a research brief that has just come in. What are the main issues for our client? Do a quick read up on other things going on in the market that may impact on our client and their product or service. Start jotting down some ideas to talk to our client about before writing a proposal

12pm – have a teleconference about another new piece of research the client would like us to help them with. We will probably figure out during this meeting that the timings are actually really tight, and we need to get things moving asap!

1pm – lunchbreak – if it’s a sunny day a stroll around by the cathedral, it works wonders at refreshing the mind!

2pm – Start drafting a questionnaire for an online survey going live next week. Think about ways to get the most out of the answers respondents will give. Send over to the client for first thoughts

3pm – write a summary of recommendations for a client debrief coming up. How can they use our research to make changes to how they are doing things? What is the key message from our research?

4pm – have a look at some data just in from fieldwork for a different research project, and start identifying key findings and any key trends emerging. Decide how to show any quantitative & qualitative findings in a visually engaging way, and prioritise which findings are most relevant

5pm – Finish up on all tasks, check for meetings and appointments throughout the rest of the week. Dash to get the train home. Hope I haven’t missed it!

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Amy Nichols
01962 842211
Article date - 04/05/2012
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