30Under30 Honouree: Harriet Walton

Great to hear from our 2023 Global 30-under30 honouree, Harriet Walton who is passionate about Bringing an analytical mind and an academic background in forensic psychology to FlexMR, Harriet is a voice of authority, trusted by research teams to deliver robust, impactful and lasting insight.

A career in market research was never a future I had envisioned for myself. Throughout high school, I was driven to understand what influences human behaviour, our choices and opinions which lead me into studying for my Bachelors and Masters degree in Psychology. When Covid-19 derailed my post-graduation plans, I decided to open myself to other opportunities and found FlexMR advertising for research executives! After speaking to family members who are experienced in the industry, I realised I could not turn down an opportunity to work for an SME that would afford me an incredible learning experience!

I have contributed to several high-level changes in client organisations that have been publicly recognised and lauded. I am continually implementing creative strategies and driving better business decision-making. I make a point of educating stakeholders on the value and power of insights and helping client-side insight teams lay strong foundations in their organisation to enable easier insight-based decisions-making across all stakeholder teams. Throughout all of this, I also advocate for environmental, social and governance practices; so I’m not only helping to improve brand strategy and business offering, but I also greatly encourage ethical and sustainable research and business operations. Outside of this, I am passionate about extending research to the 3rd sector. I am currently assisting with research for a national charitable organisation and will be taking on a larger research management role for another regional charity organisation focused on end-of-life care.

Finding ways to integrate your passions into your work can help bring more enthusiasm and take the stress off of navigating busier, less successful periods of work. Also, allowing clients to get to know you personally is crucial to establishing a positive working relationship in which you are trusted, empowered to influence business decisions and feel more rewarded when completing work for that client!

I know first hand that for many of us, the thought of a career that involves computer-based desk work can seem dull and uninspiring – I certainly felt that way before starting my journey in market research. However, from the time I have now spent in the industry, I can safely say that no two days in market research are the same. Working for a research agency provides opportunities to work with an enormous range of people from a range of sectors and across the world.

As artificial intelligence becomes more common in many sectors, we must not forget the human skills we possess that cannot be fully replaced by technology. Interpersonal skills such as building rapport with participants and interpreting emotions can unlock the next level of insights and achieve stronger customer salience for businesses.

I will forever be grateful for having begun my journey in market research working under Gareth Bowden who has ensured our working environment is welcoming, considerate of all members and encouraging me to pursue every opportunity, even outside of my comfort zone!