Esther Thomas
Who We Are

Esther Thomas

Senior Director, Insights & Strategy

With a passion for creative investigation and a rigorous background in quantitative and qualitative methods, Esther brings a rare mix of sharp analytics and infectious personality to her role as Senior Director of Research & Strategy. With degrees in both mathematics and statistics combined with experience in innovation and exploratory research assignments, Esther’s an asset on any robust insights engagement.  She has worked on projects for many of Kelton’s largest global clients, including Pfizer and Target. Esther’s enthusiasm for identifying meaningful human connections within data makes her an enthusiastic and dynamic client partner.

Prior to Kelton, Esther conducted quantitative research for NASA aboard the NASA DC-8. During her time with NASA, Esther was in charge of managing both independent and group research, including sampling design, data collection, analysis and presentation. She was competitively selected to present her research findings at the 2011 American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco where she presented among 20,000 interdisciplinary geophysicists from around the world. Esther received a Bachelor’s degree in Mathematics from Louisiana State University and a Master’s degree in Statistics from the University of New Orleans, where she was a graduate instructor during her tenure.

Esther is a music/dance enthusiast. When not crunching numbers or talking with respondents, she is most likely dancing tango. She never leaves the city without her tango shoes and enjoys traveling to festivals around the country to pursue this passion.

Perspectives from Esther

Big data and big dating: The algorithm of attraction

We all know someone who has met their significant other online, or have heard some of the tragic/romantic/off-the-wall stories of someone who has dated online. At the very least, you’ve seen the proliferation of online dating sites such as OKCupid, eHarmony, Tinder, Hinge, and the more tailored platforms such as JDate, ChristianMingle, and (yes, this exists). A recent Kelton study about online dating found that a third of Americans have used on online dating site or app – that’s three times as many people when compared to stats from 2013. Yes, that means over 80 million people have likely poured hours into crafting their profiles while questioning every detail – is this funny? Do I come off as well-traveled? Is it ‘your’ or ‘you’re’? How many selfies are too many? And it’s not just those digitally-savvy Millennials; about 1 in 5 adults age 45+ have used digital dating sources to find love.


Beer & Empathy: The New Currency of Innovation

While we are all wired for empathy, we as marketers and researchers often suffer the "game dynamic" which prevents us from being empathetic when we need to be. For brands that practice an empathetic design and research structure, transformation in how the internal marketing and product teams think about their consumers occurs. This has ultimately allowed them to develop new insight-driven ideas and fill their pipeline with innovative products that are not just focused on optimizing, but also keen on connecting with the human who will eventually be enjoying them.


An Overview: TURF Analysis for Range Optimization

Variety is not always the best option. And before you throw in everything and the kitchen sink (and your budget) into your product portfolio or your marketing mix, consider conducting Range Optimization with TURF analysis.