Laura Hay

Insights Know-It-All

Cincinnati, OH

Laura is a passionate researcher driven by an innate desire to understand how people think and behave. She is energized by the discovery of insights and creatively bringing them to life. Not surprisingly, her work with Smarty Pants’ top entertainment, CPG and retail clients is rich in consumer inspiration and business impact. ​

Laura joined Smarty Pants as an Insights Brainiac in the fall of 2022. She came to the role with a robust quantitative background and deep experience working across an array of industries – including CPG, food and beverage, alcohol, tech and hospitality. Within four months she was promoted to a manager level Insights Know-It-All. ​

Currently, Laura spearheads quantitative research studies, employing a wide range of methodologies and approaches. She is particularly passionate about studies that leverage advanced analytical techniques, such as segmentations, DCM, and drivers’ analysis. She has played an integral role on projects with many of Smarty Pants’ key clients, including Google, Ulta Beauty, Bazooka, and Medline. Laura works to build trust with her clients by ensuring that no insight is missing in her visually compelling and story-based reports. ​


​Laura’s journey to Smarty Pants was untraditional. After earning a degree in chemistry, she began working as a R&D Lab Tech at Kao Brands, where she developed and reformulated John Frieda hair care products. She also assisted the market research team as they conducted qualitative interviews, video diaries and secondary research on haircare trends. The experience ignited her love for studying consumer behavior.​

​Eager for a career change, Laura returned to college to earn a master’s degree in marketing. During her graduate school studies, she held an internship as a retail brand strategist at Interbrand – one of the world’s leading brand consultancies.​

Laura expanded her market research skills at Ipsos, where she learned the ins and outs of study design, project management and research operations. She excelled as an analyst and was quickly promoted to research manager. A year later, she was upped again to senior research manager responsible for all stages of research – including design, implementation, insights mining, report writing and presentation.​


Laura earned both her Bachelor of Science in chemistry and Master of Science in marketing at University of Cincinnati. She also received her graduate certificate in market research at the University of Cincinnati.


Laura grew up in Columbus, Ohio, but moved to Cincinnati in 2012. Still a Cincinnatian over a decade later, Laura is living her best, Skyline Chili-filled life. When she isn’t crunching numbers, she enjoys snuggling with her two pups, watching Bravo, volunteering at a local animal rescue, and taking in the local craft brewery scene.​

Fun Facts

  • Was a gymnast from ages 2-18​
  • Teaches dance classes for adults​
  • Is a Diet Coke addict who can’t go a full day without one… or two​
  • Is happiest relaxing on the beach and dreams of having her very own beach house – ideally outside the US​