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ARF Launches Shopper Insights Council

February 25, 2009

New York, NY – February 25, 2009

In its latest industry initiative, The ARF hosted the inaugural meeting Monday, February 23rd, of its Shopper Insights Council, a thought-leadership group devoted to the challenge of reshaping industry thinking about shopping as an integral part of the brand experience.  Over 100 shopper insights and shopper marketing leaders participated.

Co-chaired by Peter Hoyt, Executive Director, In-Store Marketing Institute; Robert Tomei, President, Consumer and Shopper Insights, Information Resources, Inc.; Michael Twitty, Director, Shopper Insights The Americas, Unilever, and Joel Rubinson, Chief Research Officer The ARF, this prestigious group will be defining the emerging discipline of Shopper Insights research, as well as developing best demonstrated practices.

“Understanding the shopper experience is a critical part of true integrated marketing,” said Rubinson, “which will dramatically improve the flow of marketing spending as marketers, retailers and agency partners learn how to bring value to people via the shopping processes and experiences they engage in.”

“This Council could not have come at a better time,” observed Hoyt, “because the whole idea of retail and shopper insights is exploding and, while explosive growth is exciting, it also brings with it the very real likelihood of unqualified practitioners and shoddy work appearing on the scene.  That’s why we are excited to play a role in helping The ARF set high standards and establish best practices across the wide spectrum of approaches to gaining a better understanding of shoppers, their thought processes and their behavior.”

“We also see this as a tremendous opportunity,” added Tomei, “as The ARF is giving us a forum where both marketers (of diverse vertical markets) and retailers come together with a common purpose – to better understand and serve their consumers/shoppers.”

Attendees included advertisers, ad agencies, media companies and market research firms such as Kimberly-Clarke, Campbell Soup, Kraft, PepsiCo, Macy’s, Colgate-Palmolive, Toyota, J&J, Saatchi & Saatchi, Tracey Locke and Starcom Mediavest Group, both in-person and online.  Monday’s initial session was highlighted by these presentations:

  • “Defining the Power and the Importance of Shopper Insights Research” – by Mike Twitty, Unilever;
  • “Understanding the Role of Media’s Influence of the Path to Purchase” – by Jeff Froud, Strategic Planning Director, Ogilvy Action;
  • “Virtual Shopping – What Is Known” – by Peter Breen, Editor and Director/Content, In-Store Marketing Institute;
  • “Validation of Virtual Shopping Experiments” – by Alex Sodek, EVP, Decision Insight

(NOTE:  Copies of these presentations are available on request).

“It is most gratifying to see The ARF take the lead to define the emerging principles of Shopper Insights research in a way that is not limited to what goes on inside the store,” noted Twitty.  “From this bold initiative will come the ideas and actions so critically needed if our industry is to continue to be ahead of the curve.”

Summing up the inaugural session, Rubinson observed that “understanding people as shoppers is as important as understanding them as consumers if marketers are serious about putting the human at the center of their thinking.  We plan to reinforce this message with four significant sessions in three thought-provoking days at our annual conference – March 30th through April 1st.”

A Shopper's Transformation: Old Habits Dying Faster, Is Marketing Keeping Pace?
IRI's Thom Blischok, President of Consulting and Innovation and J.P. Beauchamp, SVP of Consumer and Shopper Insights present new, original research that reveals the attitudes, behaviors, and biases of New American Shoppers and the next generation rewiring strategies marketers must employ to survive.  The presentation will include a distinguished panel of industry thought leaders and subject matter experts in the areas of changing shopping behaviors, social media, and online marketing.

Nielsen In-Store Shopper Insights
Retailers and manufacturers who embrace shopper marketing are growing faster than competitors. Learn about the work of Nielsen In-Store on creating a common industry metric that turns the store into a measured marketing medium.
Frank Piotrowski - SVP, Measurement Science, The Nielsen Company
George Wishart - Global Managing Director, The Nielsen Company

Measuring Persuasive Power Through Leveraging Virtual Survey Technology
Learn how virtual survey technologies that have fueled innovation in gathering shopper insights have been extended into other verticals including technology, media, advertising and healthcare.
Andrew Reid - President and Founder, Vision Critical Solutions

Women and their Digital Domain - Microsoft Shows Women
Learn how Microsoft's Women in their Digital Domain studies show how digital media influence the consideration and shopping for packaged goods among women principal household shoppers.
Beth Uyenco - Global Research Director, Microsoft Advertising
Debbie Solomon - Managing Partner Business Planning, Mindshare Worldwide
Graceann Bennett - Managing Partner Strategic Planning, Ogilvy Chicago

Learn more about Re:think 2009.

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