Why Do People Do What They Do? Research and Strategy at Kelton

Jaclyn Jakuki

Jaclyn Jakucki has always had an insatiable curiosity about the world around her. Why do people do what they do and think what they think? She’s found that working as Director of Research and Strategy with market research firm Kelton is the perfect way to satisfy her inquisitive nature—and get paid to do it!

Can you transform your curiosity into a career? Read on to find out what Jaclyn’s job involves and whether market research could be a good industry for you.

What is your current job title? If your title has changed since you joined Kelton, what was it when you first joined?

I am currently Director of Research and Strategy. I was previously Associate Director of Quantitative.

How would you describe your role within Kelton? What does a typical day look like for you?

My primary day-to-day focus is being the Engagement and Account lead for all GE global work at Kelton. I oversee the ad and content effectiveness initiatives across all channels and markets. We are responsible for helping GE put in place a holistic measurement approach that can help it optimize its creative strategy and maximize its media spend.

My other key areas of focus include management and leadership responsibilities for Kelton’s New York office. I work with other Keltonites to successfully onboard new team members to the project. I am a key managerial touchpoint in the NY office and I’m directly responsible for the career development and growth of an analyst and account manager at Kelton.

No day is ever the same, but day-to-day tasks could include drafting proposals or POVs, presenting findings to clients, digging through data to find patterns and themes, developing and writing insights, having discussions with clients about potential research design modifications, and managing the internal team’s resources and time, to name just a few.

What drew you to your current profession? Which skills, education, and experience were necessary to get you there?

My innate curiosity for why people do what they do and think what they think. I’m fascinated by people around the world and have always been a natural observer in my environment.

Exploring and validating the attitudes and behaviors of people through research has allowed me to do what comes naturally to me. I’m also someone who is motivated by the bigger picture, meaning I want to contribute to how it all fits and impacts the end result and brand strategy helps fulfill that desire.

Through living and studying abroad (in Seville, Spain and Copenhagen, Denmark) I was able to learn how to quickly (and successfully) adapt to different social, academic, and working environments, which has been invaluable to my career when working for different companies, with different people, and for different brands.

What was your college major? How does it relate to your career path?

I was a double major in Marketing and International Business.

Marketing gave me the foundational business skills I needed to start my professional career with confidence and International Business gave me the global perspective and context to better interpret business challenges, issues, and data insights today.

How would you describe Kelton? How does it fit within your industry at large?

Kelton is a culture that encourages freedom, innovation, responsibility, and self-discipline with all of their employees. Kelton is a company of innovative thinkers who embody the following core values: Trust, Entrepreneurship, Clear Communication, Reflection, Honesty, and Passion.

Kelton is global consumer-insights consultancy that is made up of three key pillars: Research, Strategy, and Design. Founded by two journalists, we combine deep research expertise with strategic problem-solving capabilities and effective storytelling. We help our clients navigate change with the rapidly evolving relationships they have with their consumers to drive business. Communication is at the core of our work. Leveraging the power of language and visuals, we bring insights to life and make ideas actionable.

What are your favorite things about your job? Which aspects would you change if you could?

My favorite things about my job include:

  • The people I work with—smart, cool, fun, dynamic, and all VERY different!
  • The constant challenge (in a good way)—I always feel challenged in my work at Kelton as there is never a dull moment.
  • The variety of work—Kelton’s work consists of a wide portfolio of brands, industries, audiences, tools and methodologies, whether it be for research, strategy, or design, which always keeps things fresh.
  • The freedom to define your own path—Kelton encourages entrepreneurship and initiative in your role and career development/growth.
  • The brand/account that I work for, GE, is a thought leadership brand in every way possible. When it comes to brand research and strategy, specifically, it is a brand  that is on the cutting edge of advertising and media strategies, which results in new and up-and-coming research and strategy techniques to play with.

What I’d change if I could:

  • The lack of work/life balance (sometimes)
  • The stress and intensity of client service (sometimes)
  • The lack of frameworks/process

What advice would you give to college students interested in pursuing a job similar to yours?

  • Make sure to get exposure to a variety of marketing (and business) classes so you start to tease out what is more appealing to you within the broader umbrella category of “Marketing.”
  • Engage with professors, TAs, and even guest lecturers about potential opportunities and connections you can make while in school so you have a network to tap into after you graduate.
  • Think about the type of work environment that best suits your learning style. The biggest differences I have experienced in my various jobs have been directly related to size of the company (e.g. mid-size company vs. smaller company). Size does matter and everyone prefers something different based on their learning style! If you need structure in your learning process then mid-size to bigger companies are probably better suited for you. If you work better with an open canvas, then a smaller company is most likely a better fit.
  • Get digital, social, and mobile experience as soon as possible in your career.
  • Leverage your millennial mindset and perspective as an asset to companies since this is a core target audience that many brands are trying to gain more insight into by understanding their attitudes, needs, and behaviors.
  • Study, live, or travel abroad.

Homework time! Jaclyn talks about leveraging your millennial mindset to help you get a job. Do you identify with the term “millennial”? If so, think about how you can use your age and experience to your advantage in your job search. If you don’t, is there another demographic you consider yourself a part of and how can potential employers benefit from that?

Want to learn more about Kelton? Check out open Internships and Jobs in Kelton’s Los Angeles, New York, and London offices. Or just find out more by following Kelton on Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.


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