Sr. Market Research Manager, client
While Walt’s experience is predominantly in the multi-faceted world of automotive, he regularly conducts research in other industries, too. He has successfully applied his qualitative and analytical skills to healthcare, financial, technology, home construction, retail, utilities, and other industries.
Because of the industry’s sheer scope, working in automotive qualitative marketing research means Walt has addressed a wide range of topics, tangential industries, and disciplines: voice-of-the-customer, ideation, design, brand positioning, advertising, new features, electrification/alt-fuels, emerging technologies, driving dynamics, the customer experience, finance, aftermarket… the list is endless. Many of these issues are directly applicable to other industries.
Within financial, Walt has conducted qualitative research on credit-card statement design, retail consumer bank loyalty and switching behavior, new retail banking concepts, and products targeted at high net-worth investors. Financial is also a key example of how far-reaching the relevance of auto research experience can be. While at J.D. Power, Walt led the creation of the firm’s auto finance practice, and he created its annual Dealer Financing Satisfaction Study. He has also interviewed dealership management on lender branding and credit-rating service concepts.
Between the ACA and COVID, the importance of understanding consumer experiences with healthcare over the past decade or so has heightened even further. Since 2014, Walt has conducted an annual qualitative initiative to explore communication materials with insurance plan members, as well as with small- and large-group decision-makers, to learn how to make those communication materials clearer and more purposeful. He has also explored in-depth healthcare consumers’ expectations and requirements of their care providers and insurers.
Walt’s clients have been impressed by his ability to transfer his qualitative and analytical skills, honed in automotive, to other industries. Those include financial and healthcare – but they also include tech/telecom, new home construction and home remodeling, large appliances, fast food/QSR, shopping/retail, consumer packaged goods, utilities, hospitality, and beverages, among others. Chances are, they’ll transfer to your industry, too.
A successful research project requires communication, attention to detail, and mutual trust. Walt has worked closely with multiple full-service research consulting agencies, who will turn to him for qualitative research support. Over the years, they have jointly crafted working partnerships where he has become their go-to qualitative partner. Too, when clients ask Walt to recommend a research firm, he will try to align the client’s needs with capable research firms that he has worked with and trust.