Meridith Jamin

Managing Partner-Director of Consumer Insights, Mediaedge:cia

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Meridith Jamin, managing partner-director of consumer insights at WPP's Mediaedge:cia, knows that a TiVo helped potty-train a 3-year-old boy. How? She managed a consumer research blog where a mom wrote, "It has helped with the toilet training since he is willing to walk away from the TV and know he's not missing anything."
Meridith Jamin, Managing Partner-Director of Consumer Insights, Mediaedge:cia
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The blog was part of a May 2005 project called Digital Moms. For Ms. Jamin, customized blogs have become the evolution of qualitative consumer research. For Mediaedge:cia it's a new research tool to offer clients such as Sony Ericsson.

It all started when Ms. Jamin, 39 and the mother of boys ages 2 and 4, asked moms to write their thoughts in a blog as the precursor to traditional ethnographic research. But instead ...

"The insights were just as rich and in some cases richer than what we would have gotten if we just dropped in on someone's life," she says.

Shortly after Digital Moms came DigiFaces, a tool marketers can use to do qualitative research via customized blogs. "What Meridith has done has sort of refocused the organization to recognize that it is all about the consumer," says Charles Courtier, CEO Global-North America.

And learning about the consumer may be the secret to engagement, Ms. Jamin says. "Because we're living in a media environment where there are so many more choices ... We just need to figure out ways to really engage people, and you can't engage someone if you don't know who they are."

Sony Ericsson was introduced to the Digital Moms project and later used DigiFaces to enhance some of its global research, says Frances Britchford, Sony Ericsson's VP-marketing for North America. "You know that when you get some feedback on a product through DigiFaces or on a thought or a proposition that you're getting their real thoughts," she says. "That is incredibly valuable to any marketer because the best marketing comes from really great insights."

DigiFaces doesn't replace quantitative data, Ms. Jamin says. "We still have to be led by the quantitative data because we're in a very ROI-driven business, and we're spending millions of dollars of client money," she says. But DigiFaces adds a level of insight, depth and richness to what is seen in numbers, she says.

* Account planner by trade, consumer- insight specialist by passion

* Adept at figuring out motivations
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