FEATURE1 November 2011

Ups and downs – Jami Pulley


Research Now vice president Jami Pulley wants to quicken the pace of technology adoption in market research.

The best advice I’ve had is…
to always work at the level of the position you want and not just the position you have. With this in mind I keep both my personal and professional goals handy so I can remind myself what I’m continually working towards.

…and the worst advice I’ve had is
to never let your kids sleep in the same bed as you. Snuggle time is important.

“The FBI lifestyle intrigued me when I was younger, but the only bad guys I’m catching these days are those who provide poor quality responses while taking surveys”

A campaign that grabbed me recently is…
the Snickers 2010 Super Bowl commercial with the Golden Girls’ Betty White. Not only did it capitalise on White’s popularity, but it showed that even though brands may fail in the past they can still succeed in the future.

…and a campaign that needed more research was
the Snickers 2007 Super Bowl ad, which caused controversy among the gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender community and was pulled. [It showed two men accidently kissing while eating through opposite ends of a Snickers bar, and ends with them pulling out their chest hair in order to “do something manly”.] The USA Today Admeter rankings named the 2010 Snickers campaign as the most popular Super Bowl ad while the 2007 campaign ranked ninth. Snickers still marked the 2007 commercial as successful because their target audience responded positively, but I don’t think that trumps garnering a negative brand perception.

One thing this industry could use more of is…
innovation. The way consumers and business professionals communicate is changing rapidly, and the research industry tends to be one of the last to migrate to new methodologies. We need to embrace technology and new communication modes but continue to provide quality research to our clients.

…and one thing this industry could use less of is
surveys over 25 minutes in length. It has been shown through research-on-research projects that data quality suffers when we administer long surveys. Let’s set our clients and the survey respondents up for success, and have reasonable expectations of those that provide information to us.

One thing I hope to do is…
help the large number of children who are typically ignored by our society and ensure they have a chance to further their education, see value in themselves and know they are loved. I am fortunate enough to work for a company that has made it possible to maintain a career while raising three children and giving back through various corporate-supported charity programmes.

…and one thing I wish I?hadn’t done is
showed up to a client meeting with three men and my zipper down. I received a call from a local prospect that required an in-person meeting the day after my first day back from maternity leave. I explained that I had been out of the office for three months and everyone else on the sales side was travelling. As soon as they informed me we’d be out of the running if we didn’t show up, I knew I’d be there at the scheduled time. As I was still focused on baby schedules and suffering from a lack of sleep, the meeting started out rocky and took a turn for the worse when I realised my zipper had been down the entire time. It wasn’t an ideal way to get back in the swing of things, but realising that I never wanted to go through that experience again quickly brought me back up to speed. To end on a positive note, the prospect has been a client of ours now for more than five years.

If I hadn’t become a researcher…
I would be an undercover FBI agent. My thirst for the truth serves me well in the research industry but I also love adventure. Not that we don’t get our fair share of adventure in this industry, with late nights, rush projects and solutions that we have to pull out of a hat that work in record speed. The FBI lifestyle intrigued me when I was younger because I thought you could dress up, play a character, find the truth and get the bad guys. The only bad guys I’m catching these days are those who provide poor quality responses while taking surveys.

…and on the other hand if I hadn’t become a researcher
I wouldn’t have the great friends that I do, feel passionate about my career or have the opportunity to work with such incredible talent.