Lany works ar Rakuten’s Research Management Department
I earned a masters degree in marketing and consumer behavior, and joined a marketing research company for my first job in 2006. I was in charge of Japan’s market research on toiletries, cosmetics and food/beverages. In 2008, I joined Rakuten Insight (formerly Rakuten Research) and worked as a researcher in the Research Management Department, Planning & Research Group, which undertakes various marketing research of Japan and overseas.
When I was a university student, I conducted a shelf allocation survey at a convenience store as a research theme for my seminar, which awakened my interest in marketing research, an interest I maintain to this day. At the marketing research company I used to work for, I learned the essence of research work, including quantitative and qualitative methods. Although I was satisfied with the environment, I happened to see a company brochure of Rakuten Insight and found that the company was undertaking overseas research, which appealed to me since I have also long wanted to utilize my language skills.
Before I joined, I had a strong image of Rakuten Insight as an internet research company, but I learned that it utilizes a wide range of research methods for various marketing processes, from product development to monitoring, including on-site surveys, home use testing (HUT), and qualitative research. I thought it was the perfect place to work if I wanted to improve my skills as a researcher.
One more thing that made me decide to join Rakuten is the atmosphere that I saw when I visited the office for the first time during a recruitment interview. About half of the floor was occupied by young women of the same age as me, so I decided to join the company because I thought I would be able to continue working here even after I got married and had a baby in the near future.
The appeal of working for Rakuten
Experiencing one’s daily growth among specialists.
Currently, I am in charge of specific clients in the commodities and pharmaceutical industries, fields that impact people’s daily lives. In some cases, I spend one to two years researching each product, from concept planning to naming, packaging, conducting surveys and into product testing and post-sale reviews. From the birth of a product to post-launch, we provide support for product improvement with as much love as if we were nurturing a child, and we are thrilled when we see the product in stores.
Recently, I have been assigned to analyze log data using the vast amount of data obtained in the “Rakuten Economic Zone” by the Rakuten Group’s many services, as well as a wide variety of research methods and analysis techniques. I feel that the workplace at Rakuten Insight, where I am required to learn new technologies, is a very blessed working place for me to improve my skills.
Within the group, we have many excellent researchers who are lecturers on marketing research outside the company. Mr. Yasuo Miki is now working within Rakuten Insight as an advisor. He deserves special mention because he has long been involved in market research at research companies/manufacturers and has conducted training for researchers at the Japan Marketing Research Association (JMRA). We are very grateful for the opportunity to seek guidance from specialists like him in various fields if we have any questions, and that there is an atmosphere within the company that encourages us to consult with such people.
In addition, the company provides for a full range of technical training and qualification acquisition support systems, such as presentation training and slide preparation training, which are required of researchers. It is this favorable environment where I feel my own growth unambiguously that continuously motivates me to work hard.
Mothers too can play an active role but still keep work-life balance.
There are five members in my team. Two of them, including myself, have kids, and the other team member recently went on maternity leave. Since multiple people are always in charge of a single client, there are no obstacles to our work even if we are suddenly late, leave early, or miss work due to a child’s unexpected illness or injury. Also, by thoroughly sharing information, we build a system in place where someone is always ready to respond. This has been very helpful for mothers in balancing work and motherhood. In addition, we have received very positive feedback from our clients, who say, “No matter when I call, someone will answer right away.”
I also experienced maternity leave, but after about a year, I was able to return to the same researcher position I had before my maternity leave. I am very grateful for the understanding and thoughtfulness of my superiors and colleagues, who diligently worked to avoid situations in which late-night work would be required. This is a truly wonderful workplace that taught me that “there is nothing you can’t do as a mother.”
To become the one and only specialist
I can find a lot of people around me who have been professionally engaged as researchers in a particular industry for decades. They are people I really admire and in whom I have a sense of trust that “they should know exactly what I need to know in this field.”
I would like to continue to accumulate experience as a researcher so that I can become a specialist who is trusted so people will say things about me, like “You can be sure if you ask Lany about this.”
*The affiliation and contents of the article are based on the contents at the time of the interview.
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