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Assistant Director, Market Research

At Northwestern Mutual, we are strong, innovative and growing. We invest in our people. We care and make a positive difference.


Influences Company strategy and initiatives. Provides strategic market research and consumer insights to shape company strategy, direction and senior management decision-making and action, along with departmental goals and plans. Understands multiple functional and departmental as well as corporate strategies to ensure research supports the company's overall business strategies and goals. Synthesizes existing research findings and makes recommendations; leads testing and evaluation of proposed pivotal initiatives requiring large corporate investments. Directs fact-based, research driven decision-making, planning and strategic solutions to senior leaders. Partners with senior executives within the business units and corporate functions to understand their business objectives, develops research strategies to support their goals, and ensures integration with company strategy. Develops recommendations for senior management to use in business decisions. Develops and maintains the processes, systems and methodologies to provide executive management with impactful insights into consumer and field behavior. Uses discretion in prioritizing research initiatives. Initiates and implements new market research studies.

Primary Duties and Responsibilities

  • Shapes and executes research strategy.

  • Initiates proactive research and obtains executive sponsorship to support company strategy, direction and business objectives.

  • Explores new market research approaches and technologies.

  • Leads research design and methodology decisions; conducts and/or is responsible for quantitative analysis and analysis plan design; collaborates with Analytics teams on quantitative analyses.

  • Responsible for consumer and field analyses to identify new opportunities for the company, and enhancements to the current business model.

  • Initiates thought leadership research for its communication internally and externally to support company branding and outreach.

  • Presents and socializes strategic research insights throughout the organization.

  • Participates in cross-functional teams that support the company's initiatives.

  • Provides project leadership, direction and mentoring to project team.

  • Develops a network of outside resources and suppliers and directs vendor relationships.

  • Assumes responsibility for vendor selection, negotiation, performance and quality control. Ensure effective management of a $1 million plus vendor budget for optimal impact.

  • Conducts research that is objective, reliable and ethical.

  • Represents company within industry and professional associations and maintains a network of peer relationships.

  • Responsible for providing direction and developing and mentoring project team.

Bring Your Best!

What this role needs:

  • Ten or more years of market research experience. Experience should include budgetary resource oversight, and vendor management.

  • Strong market research skills that include multiple of the following quantitative, qualitative, primary, and secondary.

  • Degree in business, social sciences, statistics or related field.

  • Strong eye for business.

  • Deep insurance and financial services industry knowledge, including products, markets and competitors.

  • Able to be both strategic and tactical, with strong analytical, problem solving and conceptual skills.

  • Must have, or acquire soon after, deep knowledge of NM field, markets, clients and products.

  • Ability to unite key colleagues and cross-functional partners by gaining trust through demonstrating business expertise.

  • Superb communication skills.

  • Demonstrated ability to communicate complex concepts in a compelling, concise and creative way.

  • Able to partner comfortably with more senior management on business issues.

  • Proven ability to work collaboratively with individuals and teams.

  • Demonstrates the highest standards of professionalism, ethics and integrity.

  • Consistently displays professional courage to research design, analysis and interpretation to deliver credible work product free of bias.

  • Acts in the best interest of customers and the company.

  • Master's degree or MBA.



This job is not covered by the existing Collective Bargaining Agreement.

Required Certifications:

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We are an equal opportunity/affirmative action employer and all qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender identity or expression, sexual orientation, national origin, disability, age or status as a protected veteran, or any other characteristic protected by law.


We’re excited about the potential people bring to Northwestern Mutual. You can grow your career here while enjoying first-class perks, benefits, and commitment to diversity and inclusion.