NEW YORK--()--At a time when US and global marketers are striving to “connect the dots” across a growing variety of efforts, GfK has reconfigured its US brand, customer experience, and innovation teams to give clients greater access to a broad range of the company’s expertise. Eric Villain has joined GfK as Managing Director of the US Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE) division, which now incorporates Customer Loyalty and Brand & Communications; and three other GfK leaders – Audrey Rosen, Gary Schanzer, and Don Simons – have assumed expanded roles.
“He and our other division leaders will bring exceptional focus to our efforts as we strive to deliver the research excellence and integrated insights that marketers need today.”
“Marketers and researchers need a one-stop source of expertise on their key business issues, supported by solutions that can ‘go global’ on demand,” said David Krajicek, CEO of GfK Consumer Experiences North America. “We have reconfigured our organization to deliver both depth of insight and greater simplicity in addressing a broad range of marketing challenges. Our new leadership is committed to helping clients take a holistic view of their marketing efforts, and our solutions are fully aligned with GfK’s unmatched global resources.”
Villain comes to GfK with over 25 years of experience in business leadership, brand consulting, and marketing insight; most recently, he was President, Media and Technology, at Ipsos Media CT. Villain’s expertise spans a wide array of brand management disciplines, including innovation, positioning, communication development, tracking, brand equity, market segmentation and customer satisfaction. His previous roles also include leading positions at Added Value and Millward Brown.
“Eric has deep experience in the issues facing brand and consumer marketers today, as well as proven leadership skills,” said Holly Jarrell, Chief Client Services Officer for GfK Consumer Experiences North America. “He and our other division leaders will bring exceptional focus to our efforts as we strive to deliver the research excellence and integrated insights that marketers need today.”
“Understanding the extent to which people define themselves by the brands they are loyal to or discard, as well as the content they view and the technologies they adopt, is incredibly rich and complex territory,” said Villain. “I look forward to contributing to GfK’s disciplined innovation in addressing these topics, as we help clients grow their brands and increase their market share.”
In addition, as part of the realignment, three key GfK leaders are assuming new, expanded roles:
Audrey Rosen becomes Managing Director of Market Opportunities and Innovation, which now incorporates our Strategic Innovation, Consumer Trends and Multicultural teams. Rosen, who most recently led GfK’s Shopper and Retail Strategy group, brings over 25 years of client management and market research experience to her new role. She has extensive experience with brand analysis (product optimization), consumer analysis (segmentation and A&U), and shopper insights.
Gary Schanzer is the new Managing Director of Shopper and Retail Strategy. As a founder of Interscope – a shopper insights consultancy acquired by GfK in 2010 – and a leader in GfK Shopper and Retail Strategy, he has spearheaded insights and analytics incorporating shopper research, category management, and in-store ROI. Schanzer has run a wide range of analytically driven engagements across diverse industries, including food, healthcare, beauty, office, and appliances.
Don Simons is Managing Director of Consumer Goods and Consumer Healthcare. Simons joined GfK in 1995 and has been responsible for managing some of GfK’s largest studies, specializing in customer satisfaction and loyalty and in custom research. He has worked with clients in retail, automotive, transportation, package delivery, petroleum, energy, wireless communications, financial, convenience, and fast food.
GfK is one of the world’s largest research companies, with more than 12,000 experts working to discover new insights into the way people live, think and shop, in over 100 markets, every day. GfK is constantly innovating and using the latest technologies and the smartest methodologies to give its clients the clearest understanding of the most important people in the world: their customers. In 2011, GfK’s sales amounted to EUR 1.37 billion.