SHOPPER 2022:The 21st Century Shopper — Marketers and Retailers Adjust Their Insights Strategies
Melanie Babcock is the Vice President of Integrated Media and Retail Media+ at The Home Depot. She assumed this position in 2019 to change the strategy and role of marketing at The Home Depot. Over the last three years, Melanie led the transformation of the marketing strategy from a product-centric strategy to a customer-led strategy driven by personalization. She launched a new media company within The Home Depot called Retail Media+.
Melanie is modernizing Home Depot’s marketing strategy to a customer-driven marketing strategy from a product-driven marketing strategy, which requires a significant shift in organizational structure, use of customer data, measurement outcomes based on incremental sales and customer behaviors and change management. This includes in-housing the paid media function and delivering personalized customer experiences on HomeDepot.com.
She is responsible for building Retail Media+. Melanie leverages the assets of The Home Depot customer data, website and store traffic to build a media company for suppliers and brands to buy media on HomeDepot.com and through third-party media partners. Her work on Retail Media+ includes P&L management, sales, organization design, adtech/martech, data science, product offerings and reporting & insights development.
Melanie holds her B.S. undergraduate degree from The University of Michigan and M.S. degree from Ball State University. She serves on the brand advisory boards of Pinterest and Yahoo!. She serves as a leader for two Girl Scout troops and is an active fundraiser for Adopt a Greyhound in Atlanta, GA. On the weekends, you will find Melanie and her husband at the softball field with their two girls.
Jackie Barba leads digital content efforts for pathtopurchaseiq.com, covering shopper marketing activity and industry trends and news as well as identifying content crossover opportunities for Path to Purchase IQ magazine and overseeing several front-of-book departments.
Keith Bryan is the President of Best Buy Ads & SVP of Media Strategy & CRM at Best Buy. During his 18-year tenure at Best Buy, Keith has led category marketing teams, served as a Merchant Director—where he led the computing category and launched and scaled Best Buy’s successful Apple store-within-a-store, and even led the teams responsible for credit cards and membership like the My Best Buy loyalty program.
But ultimately, Keith had his sights set on transforming Best Buy’s media strategy and on building a retail media business for Best Buy—a business that he started 12 years ago and saw to fruition in January 2022 with the launch of Best Buy Ads. Keith believes that retail and publishing are converging into a powerful ecosystem with the power to positively impact both the customer experience and advertiser outcomes.
Before Best Buy, Keith was a CPG brand manager and corporate attorney, receiving his MBA from Duke University and his JD from Emory University. He dreams of being a better skier, more accomplished guitar player, and of writing a series of children’s books about secret phenomena within an old stone wall. Keith is the epitome of one of his favorite quotes, “this is what progress feels like.”
Paul Donato joined the ARF as Chief Research Officer in October 2017. Paul is a highly-regarded leader in media and advertising research with more than two decades of industry experience. Earlier in his career he co-founded WPP’s Media Research Business Unit, served as CEO of Kantar Media, and Technical Director of IBOPE Latin America. He was the EVP and CRO for The Nielsen Company for more than a decade, overseeing Nielsen retail, consumer, mobile, and media measurement methodologies. Upon leaving Nielsen, Paul founded Jatopond, a media and market research firm. He also has led business units at Simmons, and at Audits and Surveys Worldwide. He currently sits on the Future State Committee of the National Air and Space Museum. In addition to leading the research team, Paul will also play an active role in overall ARF leadership, helping to guide our future direction.
Kate Ginsburg is an experienced researcher and marketer in the social video and advertising effectiveness industry with a strong interest in understanding audiences and developing innovative solutions to industry problems. She currently leads content strategy and product marketing teams at Tubular Labs with a focus on supporting its social video measurement solutions on a global scale. She has written commentary on the impact of short-form video content, the future of a world without cookies and the importance of humor in ad campaigns. Kate has presented industry-defining thought leadership and has spoken at the ARF AudiencexScience and ARF Mobile Forum events.
Mara brings over 10 years of experience across the digital media landscape, including commerce, performance media, data and audience strategy. In her role at Mindshare, she oversees all biddable media, inclusive of commerce, social, and programmatic for a Fortune 500 CPG brand, and works closely with teams across other clients as well. Her commerce experience spans from DTC and retail direct to shopper and delivery partnerships across CPG and alcohol.
Prior to Mindshare, Mara held roles at agencies such as Wavemaker, Performics, and Omnicom. Throughout her career, she’s worked with brands including Unilever, White Claw, Kohl’s, Lenovo, Oracle, and Procter & Gamble, among others.
A respected industry thought leader, Mara’s insights have been featured in Ad Age, Adweek, Campaign, and more.
Caroline Liu is a Senior Director at Walgreens and leads insights and audience science for Walgreens Advertising Group (wag). Her team’s focus is on empowering brands to develop a deeper understanding of its customers and enabling an end-to-end connection from insights to activation through wag. Caroline is also a strong advocate for diversity, equity and inclusion and leads various DEI initiatives within Marketing globally at Walgreens. Prior to joining Walgreens, Caroline was a Principal at Bain & Company where she worked with various clients on customer strategy & marketing efforts.
Mike Mabey has more than 25 years of insights experience helping leading companies focus on strategy and competition in four areas: decision journeys; product development; omnichannel decision journeys, and brand positioning and messaging. Based in Atlanta, he currently leads SKIM’s digital commerce practice, including subscription strategies, in the US.
McGowan has over +25 years of experience in brand management, category development, sales strategy, shopper insights, category management, shopper marketing and shopper activation. His career has spanned across HJ Heinz, Cadbury, Kraft Foods and Mondelēz International. He has his BS from Carnegie-Mellon University and MBA from Wake Forest University. He resides in NJ with his wife and he has 4 daughters.
Head of Research & Insights, Global Business Marketing
Vita Molis has 10+ years of market research experience and is the Head of Research & Insights for Global Business Marketing at TikTok. Focusing on both audience and product research.
Over the course of her career, Vita has designed research programs to help global brands make informed business decisions to shape marketing direction. She has a diverse background in qualitative and quantitative research with a focus on thought leadership and advanced statistical analysis across a variety of industries: CPG, Beauty, Retail, eComm, Tech and Finance.
Prior to TikTok, Vita worked at both boutique and large-scale research firms. Most recently, she led the Nielsen Music research practice, now part of P-MRC, working with brands and labels on audience insight and brand sponsorship.
Global Brand Strategy
Ann Nguyen is a strategist on the Global Brand Strategy team at TikTok. Her focus is centered around trend & signal tracking, forecasting, and standardization. Ann keeps a constant pulse not only on what’s trending on TikTok but also long-term cultural shifts and implications for brands. As a TikTok Creator herself, @travelannnnn, she brings in a fresh perspective and personal passion for educating brands on the unique nuances of TikTok and best approaches.
Portfolio Investment Lead
Dominick Pace is a GroupM veteran who has led Investment across several accounts. As a digital native, Dominick’s experience has been rooted in shifting behaviors and delivering on outcomes across reserve and biddable forms of buying. Always curious, he’s most recently leaned into linear video and now leads Investment for Unilever.
Executive Vice President, Global Media Solutions
Jennifer Pelino advises the world’s top FMCG brands, retailers, media agencies and platforms on how integrated technology, analytics and data can significantly improve marketing effectiveness and efficiencies to drive marketing campaign performance and achieve measurable sales lift. She helps brands strategically plan, target, measure and optimize their media plans and campaigns across channels, saving them millions of dollars in the paid, owned and earned media space. Her global expertise crosses several critical business functions, including marketing, general management, innovation, analytics, and operations, offers a unique integrated perspective to improving business results.
In addition to her brand strategy work, Jennifer is a recognized industry thought leader, frequent contributor to top advertising publications and a sought-after speaker for key industry organizations, including ANA, ARF and WARC. She uses her industry position to champion diversity, inclusion and equity and specifically conducts research to help accelerate the achievement of gender equality promoting the economic benefits of a diverse ecosystem.
Jennifer has an MBA in marketing from Northwestern University’s Kellogg School of Management. Follow her on Twitter at @JenniferJPelino and read her points of view on Linkedin.
Brady Silva is a research manager, with a focus in optimizing subscription strategies. Based in Atlanta, she has a decade of market research experience and delivering consumer insights to clients across the CPG, technology, utilities, and retail industries. She holds a Master’s in Experimental Psychology and has a passion for turning data points into clear stories with actionable and strategic next steps.
Aaron leads media investment at Unilever and has a wealth of investment and partnership experience across all channels. Aaron’s 16+ years in media spans a range of categories and marketers, from Coke and Microsoft to Fiat Chrysler.
Ben Sylvan is General Manager for Retail Data Partnerships at The Trade Desk, responsible for building a global data marketplace that enables retailers and brands to collaborate on data-driven advertising. Before The Trade Desk, Ben spent eight years with the Oracle Data Cloud via its Datalogix acquisition, holding leadership roles across several functions, including strategy and sales. He spent the first half of his career in sports media, including more than seven years at ESPN.
Claire Tassin is the retail and e-commerce analyst at decision intelligence company Morning Consult, where she conducts research, authors analyst notes, and advises clients on emerging consumer shopping trends.
Prior to joining Morning Consult, she spent 14 years at Gartner, most recently as an analyst covering retail, loyalty programs, and personalization technology.
Claire graduated from Washington University in St. Louis with her Bachelor of Arts in Psychology and Anthropology, and currently resides in Chicago, IL.
Chief Knowledge Officer
Marketing Science Institute at the ARF
Earl is the Chief Knowledge Officer for the Marketing Science Institute at the ARF. Previously, he was Chief Marketing Officer of the Marketing Science Institute from 2004 to 2018. Earl also served as Senior Vice President and head of the US Branding and Communications Practice with WPP’s Research International (now part of Kantar) from 1985 to 2004.
With over 20 years insights experience, Pingping worked for top research agencies such as Nielsen and Ipsos prior to joining General Mills. Now leading the Customer Insights team for Walmart Inc, Pingping focuses on driving success with General Mills and customers with best-in-class shopper insights. The team builds and leverages a broad range of insights to steer teams with actionable insights: from consumer needs evolution to omni shopping behaviors, from category insights to retailer landscape, from Covid impact to Back to School.