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Sharon McCafferty
VP, Strategy

Sharon has extensive experience partnering with clients across categories like Healthcare (Ethicion-Endo Surgery, TriHealth), Packaged Goods (P&G Fabric and Home Care, Customer Business Development), and her personal favorite category, Food (Kraft, Nabisco, Frieda’s Specialty Produce) in Design, Advertising and Strategy functions.

Interview.

Sharon McCafferty
How do you approach Strategy?
I have very strong feelings about Strategy. I believe Strategy is about helping teams make choices. Simple right? We do this through leveraging Context, Culture and Consumers, and by being Curious. In considering how I like to set the stage for Strategy, I like to tap into the qualitative stories as much as I find pleasure in the quantitative data. The two have to work together to paint a fuller, deeper picture and engage the audience. And, finally, I believe strongly in the power of observation and accidental engagements for inspiration. The car-share driver, the person standing next to you at the crosswalk, the parent next to you at the doctor’s office. There are stories all around us and I love listening to them. I can’t get enough, honestly.
I believe Strategy is about helping teams make choices.
What’s been the most fascinating thing you’ve discovered about an audience with whom you are doing Research?
I love listening to the little nuggets that may or may not answer the question we are trying to understand, the side comments. We had a participant recently express relief over understanding a medical procedure was minimally invasive, “That’s good to know, I don’t have to worry about them opening me up.” That comment gave me pause – why did she worry about that - and helped inspire our team to make sure that we are as open and honest with how we communicate medical information to our audiences. I still think about her. I want us to be able to comfort her with our messaging.
What’s one quirk many don’t know about you?
I think most who know me really know me. I’m kind of an open book. But I credit all of that, all of me, to growing up in a modest home in Cleveland OH. I have 6 brothers, 6 Irish Catholic brothers. My parents, since passed, had the fullest, loudest house on the block. They have influenced me in so many ways, whether it was my oldest brother teaching me about factorial equations when I was not yet through Algebra, or my youngest brother doing a Triathlon with me, or even another brother giving me career advice as recently as 2 weeks ago (“Don’t let someone else change who you are.”). That’s also what I love about Empower and the work we do. We’re a big family, a big team. It’s how we all get a long and make the work great.