a day in the life of a senior research director

meet Gav

Gav has worked in agency-side market research for the past fourteen years, spending the last six specialising in running online communities for a range of different clients, in categories such as retail, utilities, FMCG, education and entertainment. Prior to working at Join the Dots, Gav worked in agencies where he ran large scale ad hoc and continuous projects for a wide range of clients in differing sectors.

What is the first thing you do when you get in the office? Get my breakfast. Currently that’s my homemade granola dust from Jamie Oliver’s superfood book.

Who do you sit with? A bunch of lovely and talented people.

How many accounts do you work on at any one time? 2 – but I do many projects at once for them!

What is the bulk of your time is spent doing? 60-70% of my time is spent on client work.

How did you get into consumer insight? By accident. That’s probably the answer most people give! I got a temp job in a consumer insight agency 15 years ago and they really liked me and I really liked them. I came from a background in music and I guess the thing that struck me the most over the years about the allegiance between the two is curiosity. I was a record digger and as a musician (back then) also embraced tinkering with new tech to get new sounds. Bringing that all together and creating a song is not too dissimilar to creating a final output. That’s why I’ve stuck at it.

How has market research changed in the time you’ve been in it? Hugely from when I first started vs. now. More creative, inventive and people focussed. More important given the vast amount of content being created by people across the world. More modern – embracing technology to help better understand people.

What are the stepping stones that helped you progress at Join the Dots? Being surrounded by really forward-thinking talented people and embracing anything and everything with a positive and creative outlook – even if it took you out of your comfort zone!

What was the last personal development you did? Lots – I’ve just attended a ‘meet up’ skills training on Human Centred Design on Saturday and currently reading ‘Spark for the Fire: How Youthful Thinking Unlocks Creativity’ by Ian Whartan and just finished ‘Limitless: Leadership that endures’ by Ajaz Ahmed.

Where do you see your future at Join the Dots? Honestly I don’t know. But that’s the exciting bit isn’t it. I’ve been here for 8.5 years and in that time the company has changed so much. Who knows what we’ll be doing in 5 years from now.

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