I'm Casey, and I'm an insight and strategy manager
Describe your job
I work with brands to help them understand more about who their audiences are (there’s never just one audience!). My work unpicks what the audiences' lives are like, how they interact with the world, and how this translates to their perception of, and drivers and barriers towards a brand.
I use qualitative research mainly, which focuses on what people say, and I work with data scientists to look at thousands of consumer conversations online, and analyse this human language for clues about how and what they think and feel.
I then translate these insights into a strategy that clients can use to inform their marketing content, targeted messaging, product development, and brand personality.
In short, I tell brands what people really think about them, so they can communicate effectively with their existing customers as well as identifying authentic opportunities for interactions with new customers.
What are the most important skills you need to do your job?
You definitely need curiosity (especially about your fellow humans) and a willingness to go down a rabbit hole to find something truly insightful and different which differentiates your client from their competitors.
Having a different perspective, critical thinking and being able to see more than one side of anything is also key. As is being able to empathise with human beings, if you’re to truly understand them and recommend ways that brands can speak more authentically to them.
You need to be able to organise a lot of detail into big conceptual frameworks, which can be difficult when there’s so many good things you want to include! An important part of my role is to create a strategy that a client can follow, be inspired by, and use to make real decisions which influence their business.
Finally, you need creativity and a flair for storytelling. Without this, you’ll end just presenting data, as opposed to genuine, idea-generating insights into how humans think and behave.
I left school and...
I went to university to study English. After I graduated I joined a graduate scheme at a big creative agency, and after doing a couple of years in account management, I settled into the data and insight department.
My boss in that department left to set up his own insight start-up business and I joined him a year later!
I’m most proud of...
This is a piece of research I worked on with the help of Izzy Mcfarland, Junior Data Scientist. The research looked into the current trend in popular culture – specifically Instagram culture – of glamorising anxiety.
We compared how those suffering with real anxiety and depression disorders spoke about their lived experiences, with the Instagram content that was meant to be “reflecting” that.
Work property of Human Theory
Before I started my career, I wish I knew…
I wish I knew that there is free opportunity everywhere.
Opportunity to meet new people, learn new things, develop your interests and your craft. There are lots and lots of free networking events, books in the library, online courses – you just have to look for them and have the dedication to see it through.
A mistake I made which you can avoid repeating is...
I probably stayed in a department I didn’t like being in for too long of a time. I knew account management was not for me, but I was too scared to consider other directions, because I felt settled.
While my time in that department allowed me to grow with skills only account management can give you, I should have tried to change roles sooner.
So, what’s next?
I want to continue perfecting my craft and expand my skillset to focus on the psychology of humans. I also want to conduct research into society and government social policies, to understand the impact of the way we live and help to find better solutions.