Data Gurus


The Role of Consumer Insights with Danielle Blugrind | Ep. 109

We are excited to have Danielle Blugrind, a Senior Consumer Insights Manager at Roku, joining us today. In today’s episode, Danielle talks to us about her journey in the field of market research. She discusses the difference between the client and the supplier sides of the industry, company culture, creative solutions, pivoting, how traditional survey research compares with big data, and how things have changed in the research space since Covid.

Danielle’s background

Danielle has a background in Consumer Behavior, which is very similar to psychology but is more focused on real-life behavior than on laboratory testing. She also loves math and statistics, and many years ago, several people suggested that she should look into a career in the field of market research.

Danielle looked into it, and she made a conscious decision to embark on a career in consumer research as soon as she completed her MBA.

Starting with fun brands with fun products

Danielle started working for Mattel, and she went straight into the fun or the client-side of the business. After about eight years, she left Mattel and went on to join Taco Bell, where she remained for the next eight years.

Doing her own thing

After leaving Taco Bell, Danielle became a consultant for a while, and then she went on to do some research on the supplier side of the industry.

Back on the client-side

After joining Roku, Danielle found herself back in her happy place on the client-side.

A love of research

Danielle feels that a love of research should be central to both the supplier and the client sides of the industry.

The client-side

Danielle explains that on the client-side, you get to go deeply into your industry, your brand, and the consumer. She loves that everything she does on the client-side builds on itself. And every time she does another project, she is adding to her knowledge base, and it is like adding another piece to the same puzzle. Everything comes together into one big picture, so she knows what happened before, and she knows the action that is resulting from her research.

The client-side versus the supplier side

On the client-side, you become an expert in an industry or a brand. On the supplier side, however, you become more of an expert in the methodology or the approach.

The consumer

The longer Danielle works at a brand, the more that consumer starts to come to life in her head.

The research piece

Danielle says she would always love the research piece, no matter which company she is working for or the industry she is in. She loves the feeling she gets when she hears from consumers who have an opinion about a brand that is meaningful to them.

Culture is important to Danielle

Culture is a big part of why Danielle chooses to work where she does. From the consumer point of view, if a company seems like a great place to work, but it gets run in an old-school or an unfriendly way, then it is not the right brand for her.


At Raku, Danielle is proactive in driving people to try new things.

Creative solutions

If a client needs something done urgently, Danielle is happy to do several different things to address their immediate needs and get them up and running as soon as possible. She then takes some time to develop a full report and a presentation, which she usually delivers a week or two later.

Talking things through is critical

After her presentation, Danielle talks everything through with all the relevant parties. That is critical because it ensures that her research has the most impact possible.

Accessing internal data

Danielle loves having access to the various pieces of data that have been collected internally over the years because it helps her to survey exactly the people she wants to and it also gives her some behavioral information to go with her survey data.

Traditional survey research versus big data

Danielle is not doing any less traditional online survey research because she has more behavioral data accessible to her. That is because, with big data, she cannot probe, follow up, or ask any more questions related to what she sees.

New product launches

Recently, Roku launched their new Ultra Player and Stream Bar, which is a soundbar and player in one. They always ask people about their experience, how happy they are with the product, and if they have encountered any issues with the product. All the data gets looked at daily, and any problems get addressed and solved as soon as possible.

Focus groups

At Roku, they love focus groups. To substitute for those during the pandemic, they pivoted to using online bulletin boards and one-on-one webcam interviews and focus groups.

Human behavior

Danielle has noticed that people are rising to the occasion and becoming adaptable. And they are making these changes with a good attitude.

Shifts in research since Covid

The number of projects has increased, but the content has shifted since Covid. More strategic projects about the state of the world and the way that people are shopping now have come up. And as a whole, there is more research getting done now than there was in February.

Danielle loves research

Danielle loves research as part of a bigger picture. She sees research as a combination of art and science, and she loves it that every project has a different balance of art and science aspects.


Danielle on LinkedIn

Email me your thoughts!



Sima is passionate about data and loves to share, learn, and help others that share that passion. If you love data as much as she does, subscribe on iTunes, and don’t forget to leave a rating and review!