I study what people want — to build products and brands that matter

A consumer insights innovator with a focus on consumers' needs and wants, and a track record of building, leading, and mentoring multi-disciplinary research teams, managing complex research projects, and delivering actionable insights to Fortune 500 marketers. 

SVP, Director Of Consumer Insights

Hill Holliday, 2011-2017



Built a full-service in-house insights and innovation group

Recruited and mentored a team of world-class researchers with backgrounds in cognitive psychology, behavioral economics, information design, statistics and data science, and engineering.  Built and managed a cost-effective supply chain of data sources, tools, and vendors to save the agency $1M+ a year in research costs. Optimized and automated major parts of the process to reach record-short turnaround times in a fast-paced agency environment with tight deadlines.


Created a social data practice

Created a social listening & computational anthropology practice that created and sold a suite of syndicated intelligence products based on advanced social media research methods: graph analysis to identity interest clusters, audience engineering, purchase barrier analysis, influencer targeting, consumer needs profiling, and motivation analysis.


Conducted or directed more than 200 national and global research projects

Designed, conducted, or directed segmentation studies, brand evaluation and tracking, brand association studies, creative testing, social media monitoring, and analysis of online reviews for Fortune 500 clients.



  • Identified drivers of brand choice and measured performance of regional portfolio brands relative to competition for a national brand of auto-repair stores.
  • Planned and executed a 10-country brand tracker for a global fashion brand.
  • Led research to identify core patient motives that supported an award-winning advertising campaign for a national pharmaceutical brand.
  • Conducted product and packaging testing for a national confectionery brand.
  • Designed and executed research to understand the reasons for under-performance of individual properties for a national destination brand using a combination of search trend data, social media, and surveys.
  • Studied how customers' in-store usage of smart phones influenced their shopping behavior for a global retailer.
  • Identified core motivating emotional needs of affluent individuals for a global wealth management company.
  • Pinpointed the difference in subconscious motivations between loyals and switchers for a global QSR brand.
  • Created and delivered social media intelligence products for a broad range of national and global brands: from a fashion label to an insurance company.

A chart of methods I use to answer some of the most commonly asked questions about marketing communications. (Click to make larger)

Developed and implemented innovative research methods

Developed proprietary methodology for:

  • Assessing consumers’ emotional and functional needs
  • Pre-testing creative assets
  • Evaluating brand equity
  • Assessing online attitudes toward a brand
  • Measuring yield of marketing efforts
  • Using social media data in brand research
  • Analyzing online product reviews for businesses with large retail footprint

VP, Research & Development

Hill Holliday, 2009-2011

Co-founded a content/native advertising practice.

Studied TV consumption and cord-cutting through a series of deprivation experiments that received national press coverage.

Conducted experiments in viral media to measure propagation potential of various channels.

Introduced social media ethnography as a consumer research methodology. 

Identified the insight that reframed Major League Baseball as a modern entertainment property, leading to the creation of the Fan Cave (Webby, Bronze Cannes Lion, One Show Merit.

Emerging Media Strategist

Hill Holliday, 2006-2009

Developed new-media engagement strategies for the agency’s clients.

Won a One Show Merit Award for Operation Hoodsie Cup, a community outreach project for the Boston Police Department that handed out 120,000 free ice-cream cups since launch.

For a major retailer, created one of the first-ever corporate blogs guest-written by customers. The blog is still running and was recently mentioned in People magazine.  

Built the case for an award-winning content program for an insurance client (Silver Cannes Lion, Webby Award).

Advised clients and senior executives on changes in the digital media landscape; lead media innovation workshops.

Massachusetts Institute of Technology

MSc in Comparative Media Studies (2004-2006)
Co-founded the Convergence Cultures Consortium to advise brands on emerging media practices

Directed national advertising for P&G and Wyeth brands.

Designed and executed a national mystery shopper campaign for P&G, earning a top agency evaluation from the client.   

Planned interactive campaigns with a response rate of 25% above the category average.

Account Executive

Grey Sofia, 2003-2004

Planned, budgeted and implemented comprehensive communication programs for European and American offices of a leading web design studio. Generated front-page coverage in the national press. 

Directed company’s university programs.

Introduced social media listening as tool for corporate reputation research.

Adopted paid search – Overture and, later, AdWords – as a major part of the paid media mix.   

PR Director

Netage Solutions, 2000-2003

American University in Bulgaria

BA in Business Administration and International Relations (1996-2000)

Research Expertise

Types of Research

  • consumer needs and motivations
  • user experience
  • consumer journeys
  • purchase intent and barriers
  • sources of influence and competitive analysis
  • segmentation
  • testing (concepts, products, packaging, names, ads)
  • pricing and price elasticity
  • brand positioning and brand equity
  • brand tracking
  • campaign effectiveness
  • customer experience
  • voice of the customer research
  • NPS and other key metrics
  • media research  


Data Collection Methods

  • qualitative
  • quantitative
  • observational
  • experimental
  • conjoint
  • projective techniques
  • subconscious / neuro methods
  • surveys (online, mobile, street, mail-in)
  • card sorts
  • web intercepts
  • field research
  • lab-based research
  • ethnographies
  • interviews
  • deprivation studies
  • web analytics
  • social data
  • web scraping
  • location analytics


Technical Skills

  • Design of questionnaires, experiments, diaries, interview scripts, and moderator guides
  • Creation of research stimuli
  • Survey programming, UX, and optimization for online, mobile, street, and mail-in
  • Advanced digital and social media research methods: graph analysis, photo analysis, and digital ethnography
  • Clickstream and search query analysis