A day in the life of a Client Manager at System 1 Research

Attention to detail, an analytical mind and great people skills are all crucial to Laura Johnson’s role as Client Manager at System 1 Research. And, the best part about it is “playing a crucial role in shaping a brand’s decision and direction”.

System 1 Research, formerly BrainJuicer, was founded in 2000 and focuses on behavioural science to predict and inform on better innovation, packaging, advertising and shopper marketing to generate profitable growth. It’s been named ‘Most Innovative Company’ by GreenBook (6 years in a row), Best Research Agency by Marketing magazine and ESOMAR’s Best Methodology award.

We chatted to her about what her role involves:

What’s a typical day for you?

A large proportion of my work day is scheduled. We produce monthly and weekly reports, so we know when these need to go out, what data we’ll have and when.  So, a large section of the day is spent fulfilling these.   We then might have an ad hoc project, such as some ad testing for example and I’ll usually be working with the Senior team on the next piece of new business that we’re pitching for.

Tell us about your approach. How do you add value to your clients?

We focus on behavioural science and how people really make decisions.  Our famous 5-Star Marketing focuses on the three mental shortcuts that drive profitable growth: Fame, Feeling & Fluency.

I look after trackers that allow clients to measure brand health. It involves constant scrutiny and the ability to identify trends and changes, and what may be causing and affecting them.

What skills are important in your role?

Attention to detail is obviously key; there is no room for mistakes. It’s also really important to understand the industry you’re working in; you need to be knowledgeable so you can spot trends and changes. Clients are looking for explanation and rationale so we have to be able to provide it.

Presenting skills are also really important. We need to present our findings to our clients in an engaging way; it’s about telling a story. We’re operating in a highly competitive market, so we have to stand out from the crowd.

Great people skills are an absolute must.  Clients put their trust in us and our insight, so we have to be able to give them the support and counsel that they need.

What do you love most about what you do?

Playing a role in informing decisions and seeing results.  During the World Cup, we did some TV ad testing for one of our clients. They’d based the content around the success of the England team and wanted to see how it would be received. The audience loved it and it scored the full five out of five on our scoring system.  At 2pm we presented the results to the client, at 7pm I saw the ad air on TV before the game.  That was pretty satisfying.

What’s your background?

I was studying Business Studies at uni and spent a year working at TNS as my industry placement year.  I really enjoyed it and realised it was the sector I wanted to work in.  I stayed in touch with contacts I’d made and secured a role at Hall & Partners when I graduated.  I joined System 1 in January this year and am loving every minute. I learnt a lot while I was at Hall & Partners, but I’m really enjoying the inclusive and entrepreneurial culture here. It’s a really close-knit team.


Nicholson Glover is a UK-based recruitment consultancy, specialising in market research, insights and analytical specialists.  We resource only the top talent across all industry sectors client-side and to agencies and consultancies.  Established in 2002, we have built a reputation for our expertise and unrivalled networks in the sector.

We recruit all experience levels from Junior Executive to Managing Director for both the UK and overseas.

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