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The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) today announced the hire of former P&G digital innovation leader Ted McConnell as EVP, Digital. The newly-created research position reflects the ARF’s commitment to strengthen their focus on digital measurement. McConnell, who recently retired from P&G after 32 years, will commence work with the ARF in October, leading a new program to identify new measurement initiatives to support and validate digital marketing.
“This is nothing short of a coup for the ARF,” said ARF President and CEO Bob Barocci. “Several years ago, Ted was the cornerstone of our industry effort to move the industry toward an ‘engagement’ metric, and we now have tremendous opportunity to tap into his world-class thinking and leadership on a more sustained basis.”
“He’s been our go-to resource on so many fronts, and we are all thrilled to have him on board,” Barocci added. “In particular, his co-authoring of the industry manifesto on measurement – the Blueprint for Holistic Measurement – helped reinvigorate the industry dialog. We intend to build on that momentum.”
At P&G, McConnell spent the last 15 years presiding over digital innovation, partnering with brands and corporate groups to understand how these new methods could work with packaged goods brands.
Ted’s ARF role will entail building an agenda to focus on elements that will drive digital to the next level. “Measurement drives digital marketing”, he says, “but measurement should endeavor to correlate the quality of attention, and the quality of context – not just impressions. We also need to examine the balance between standards and proprietary methods and data if we are going for breakthrough, and I think we need to find ways to integrate behavioral segments and “sense and respond” loops into broader planning approaches”, adding, “planning is a different game when you have to make your decisions inside the 100 millisecond latency window”.
The appointment of Ted McConnell adds to the ARF’s reinvigorated team of research leaders including Dr. Todd Powers, Chief Research Officer, formerly of IBM; David Marans, EVP, Media; and Dr. William Cook, EVP, Research & Standards, who recently returned after a two-year sabbatical, further highlighting the ARF’s dedication to improved decision-making through knowledge.
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