Meet Arianne Larimer, Vice President of Client Development. Based in New Orleans, Arianne leads the PureSpectrum US East Sales team. Today, she discusses her passion for market research and how she translates that into her leadership and sales roles.
Q: How did you get into market research?
A: I got started in market research by way of pizza. The post-Katrina New Orleans startup scene was very big and I worked for a start-up pizza company that was trying to use America’s favorite food as a conduit for a conversation about health. Ultimately in the US, that pizza chain did not end up being successful. But one of the questions that we wrestled within that business, was what were we selling; healthy pizza to people who ate pizza, or healthy pizza to people who ate healthily? The answer to that question affected many business decisions and truthfully, I don’t think we ever really learned the real answer. Not having access to these consumer insights probably contributed to the model’s eventual demise.
So when that startup folded, I started thinking about what would be my next step? I saw the need to have research to back up important business decisions. Interestingly, at the same time, Federated Sample/Lucid was starting up in New Orleans. It felt like kismet, another startup but this time in the market research industry. And so I started over there, eventually met Michael, and now I’m here at PureSpectrum!
Q: What excites you about this industry?
A: Looking at the market research that we’re doing today, we often focus on brand perception. But really what we’re talking about is much bigger. Market research is recording current opinions and perceptions of the time we live in. We often get separated from that idea and forget to look at the big picture.
I think it’s interesting when you can look at market research from a historical perspective. I love visiting the World War II Museum here in New Orleans. There’s a section that displays the Gallup Polls of that time period. You get this intimate view into the public perception of entering the war. It’s compelling to look at these poll results as another way to tell a story, a way history was recorded. The polls are a time capsule. You can witness how and when perceptions shifted. I think it’s a fascinating thing to see.
Q: How do you think market research has affected history?
A: America is a capitalist democracy. And because of that, we all participate in market research in almost everything that we do. The way that we vote in an election, vote with our dollars, and vote with what media we choose to consume. All of those choices or “votes” are connected to the history of the landscape that we live in.
Often, if you look back at the polls and surveys, you can often see the emotional, political, and health landscapes at the time. You see how those sentiments affected how people and our country made decisions. The cause and effect; how laws changed or even the freedoms that certain people were awarded… or not. Being able to look at a lot of data in reverse is very interesting to me.
Q: How do you think market research has changed or is changing?
A: Market research is changing as technology changes. It’s being forced by the respondent’s experience and preferences. Market research needs respondents and thus their availability ultimately dictates the technology that we need.
The first big change our industry saw was when respondents stopped answering the phone. As a result, surveys went online and were sent in emails. But eventually, those people stopped opening emails or taking surveys on their computers. And now it’s all about mobile surveys because fewer and fewer respondents are taking them on a desktop. It’s a cat and mouse game. As the world changes, as people change their behaviors, market research is forced to adapt. It’s an ever-evolving industry.
Q: What have been the most exciting aspects of your role at PureSpectrum?
A: Similar to what I said about the respondent experience evolving, I think that that’s happening in the workplace as well. I think the employee experience, particularly in the past two years, is starting to shape the world that we work in. If you want the people to work for your company, the employee experience is important, just like if you want people to take your surveys.
I think the most exciting aspect of my job at PureSpectrum is managing a team and focusing on that employee experience. I believe that customer service starts from within. It starts with how we treat our employees. If our team is happy, they’re going to have a much easier time sharing that same energy out with our customers and giving really good customer service. That’s the sort of holistic environment that I think we all strive for. And in a way, I’m doing my own market research within my team and with people that work at other companies. Trying to understand how we can make the best employee experience possible. Armed with that key information, I can grow my team. And in the process, I can help grow the company, support our clients, and in a meta sense, work to improve our industry as a whole.
Want to dive deeper into tracking sentiments through market research? Join Arianne at Quirk’s Chicago. With Dr. Aaron Reid, she will present and discuss the recent PureSpectrum/Sentient Decision Science Generational Emotion Study. This study’s goal is to unlock a deeper understanding of the generational mindset.
Can’t make it to Chicago? Reach out to Arianne below or connect with her on LinkedIn