Working on a journey of discovery
For Ting Chin, a senior research executive with global market research firm Ipsos, every research project becomes a journey of discovery.
"I love the fact that my job is all about people and understanding them," says Chin. With a background in sociology and an interest in marketing, Chin says that as a qualitative market researcher, every project brings new eye-opening discoveries about people.
"Whether it's the reason people buy toothpaste, underwear or the way commercial cooking sauces make users feel like competent chefs,
I really enjoy finding out what drives the decision-making processes," says Chin, adding that a large amount psychology is involved in both talking to and understanding people.
In addition to communication and organisational skills and co-ordinating market research projects, Chin says it is important to be aware of evolving market trends.
"I try to stay informed through reading magazines and newspapers, and by talking to friends and family about consumer preferences and the things that interest them," says Chin, who hopes to work on more "what motivates" type projects in the future.
Ipsos colleague Hiroe Li, also a senior research executive, believes job satisfaction comes from being challenged on a daily basis. "In market research, it is almost impossible for knowledge or skill sets to reach a plateau," says Li, whose research work mainly focuses on luxury fashion brands, private banking and hospitality sector.
Li says the dynamic nature of market research, coupled with ever-changing client needs, expand the boundaries in finding solutions that work best. "Because each client and project is unique, I am exposed to a variety of experiences, which keep both my motivation and interest in my work at peak levels," she says.
For Ipsos research executive Sarah Li, whose research work revolves mainly around the healthcare industry, the job is all about curiosity.
"I can be the first to collect data and the first to find out the answers," says Li. "I like to understand the mindset and behaviour of people from different backgrounds towards a service or a product. For example, cultures, gender, income level all have influence on people's perception," she says.
Through interviews with physicians and healthcare professionals, Sarah Li says she has been able to expand her medical knowledge and understanding of the healthcare industry.
"Healthcare professionals are busy people, so we need to ensure appropriate questions provide comprehensive answers so we can offer useful insights to our clients," says Li, pointing out that in order to do her job well, she relies on a logical mindset and strong organisation and analytical skills.