KS&R Blogs

jcscott@ksrinc.com

When I was growing up, I always wanted to be an astronaut. I made the mistake of sharing this little known fact with my kids a few months ago. Big mistake! They have hounded me relentlessly ever since. "Why would you want to be an astronaut?" I attribute it to my innate sense of curiosity; they attribute it to Dad being a "nerd".

The discussion usually ends with me lecturing them about how they should appreciate this "nerd" a little more. After their eyes roll back into their heads, we stop the conversation altogether.

It is that same sense of curiosity that ultimately led me to marketing research. Where else can you spend all day asking questions? Oh, and get paid for it, too!

I'll never forget the first time a new product I tested made it to the store shelf. It was blueberry-flavored rice cakes. We had completed a TURF analysis to determine the right mix of flavors for the brand, and blueberry-flavored rice cakes were the next best option. I don't think they are still on the shelf, but I will never forget seeing them there.

Not too long ago, the questions I was asking ended up pushing me out of a job. There was a time when people would use a "payphone" to make calls when they were out of the office or on the road - I was working for one of those payphone providers. Mobile phones were only available for the rich and famous, not average consumers. In the late 1990s, the price of mobile service started decreasing, and decreasing fast. I was asked to figure out what the inflection price would be when mobile service would overtake the use of payphones. After designing and executing marketing research, I learned, much to my chagrin, that the industry had already reached that point. Within months, the company was disbanding its payphone unit altogether.

More recently, these questions have become even more complex, focusing on the customer experience and business landscape. Who is my customer? How do I make them loyal? How can I improve the experience? What is the return on investment for making these changes?

To answer these questions, I have been forced to stretch my brain and become more creative... more observant... more analytic... more global... and more consultative. Ultimately, I find myself even more curious.

I have had the privilege of asking and answering many questions over the last 20+ years. It's this same sense of curiosity that keeps me excited about marketing research after all this time. I am always wondering what the next questions (and answers to them) might be.

I may have never made it to the moon, but I guess the "nerd" in me never really let go... Please don't tell my kids, they'll never let me live it down.


Jay Scott
Chairman

Jay Scott

Jay answers the tough questions. He believes better information leads to better understanding, and his clients come back because they trust him to get it right. He is an innovator, looking for new ways to expand the research toolbox, whether by technology or methodology. With a broad understanding of qualitative, quantitative and design techniques, Jay is passionate about identifying business opportunities, creating new products and services, and bringing them to market. This dates back nearly 30 years when he led research that extended the product mix for key CPG brands. The lessons learned are now applied more frequently in B2B situations, including answering tough questions in e-commerce, global transportation, supply chain and logistics. Jay holds a Master's of Marketing Research (MMR) from the University of Georgia. When not at work, you can often find Jay watching his daughter's soccer games or sneaking out of town to catch the Atlanta Braves.