Director of Research - Communications Agency

"My job is about transforming customer data and information into a competitive advantage for our clients. In the Google age, information is a commodity; everyone has it, but very few know how to use it to drive their growth. My team’s work helps our clients to make better business decisions based on valid evidence, not only isolated anecdotes. Our expert analytics and findings create insight into the future. I’m part statistician, part anthropologist and all storyteller. My ability to blend the worlds of numbers and emotion is my currency."

Salary Range:

$108,000 - $137,000

The Tip

Your school major will not differentiate you academically, but your minor can. Pick your minors with a clear intention of signalling interest and expertise.

Priority Knowledge & Skills
Advanced Research & Analysis Skills
  • Formulating research questions

  • Ability to critically analyze literature

  • Ability to develop and execute qualitative research

  • Ability to synthesize key themes from multiple sources

 

Contextual Knowledge
  • Knowledge of human behaviour

  • Understanding of context and values of audiences

  • Essential understanding of topics and themes as they relate to an audience

 

Advanced Communication Skills
  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Sensitivity to how communications is shaped by circumstances, authorship and intended audience

  • Formulate and defend positions

  • Apply written vocabulary to audience

Evidence-based Storytelling Skills
  • Ability to use research to develop an evidence-based story

  • Ability to generate story ideas

  • Ability to identify target audiences

  • Ability to create compelling narratives across media

 

Additional Skills
  • Excel in defined core transferable skills with a focus on transdisciplinary systems thinking, adaptive thinking, communication, organizational and interpersonal skills

  • Fundamental business acumen

  • Expertise in all areas of research including qualitative, quantitative and mixed methods

Building Block Experiences
Education & Learning:
  • Bachelor of Arts (English) with minors in psychology and marketing

  • Master of Science (marketing)

  • Completed AMA Digital Marketing eLearning Certificate Module

  • VP of local chapter of Toastmasters

 

"When it comes to numbers and data analytics, people trust credentials. This required me to spend more time in a classroom. But once I had the credentials, plus deep experience, I became both unique and valuable. I’m an analytics guru, an anthropologist and a salesperson all in one. To be effective, I need to persuade senior people to take action on my recommendations because if they don’t, I’m just another data nerd."

 

Employment Experiences:
  • Worked as a bartender during university

  • Experiential marketing experience from summer jobs

  • Pursued sales positioning publishing out of university to understand role of data and metrics

  • Transitioned to a corporate marketing analytics position five-years into career

  • Transitioned to agency in Year 10 to apply both communications and analytical skills in advising clients

 

"Front-line experience interacting with real customers (e.g. hospitality, promotions) early in my career offered me a lens into consumer psychology. I love analytics and evidence, which led me into data-driven decision-making roles. This gave me expertise in using data to persuade and influence decisions. After a decade on the corporate side, I had the skills and legitimacy to move agency side to advise diverse clients on the role of evidence-based decision-making."

Community Experiences:
  • President of analytics club in university

  • Alumni mentor following graduation

  • Involved in local TEDx for nine years, including two years as board chair

 

"Real-world experience opened me up to people, stakeholders, responsibilities and industries. I got out early and often and met different people with different perspectives. I found that making an impact in my community made a giant difference to my career trajectory."

Contextual Experiences:
  • President of the debate club in university

 

"My debate experience developed the core skill of how to structure a persuasive, evidence-based argument. This experience, combined with my love for analytics, was foundational to my career."

Relationships:
  • Inquisitive personality contributed to proactive networking and pursuing diverse career mentors at all levels

 

"I built relationships with senior stakeholders early on. I found people naturally like to share their knowledge and impact others, so I made sure they knew the difference they made to me."