teams & talent

How Does the Digital Environment Impact Advertising Creativity?


Does the digital environment support or constrain advertising creativity? The answer is both. But how? Researchers in Australia relied on two seminal methods—the rigorous Delphi recruitment method through which research queried creative experts worldwide, and the Four P’s model of creativity. These were applied to investigate “place” (the digital environment) and its impact on the remaining P's: process, person and product. What they found was that technology both enhances and represses creativity.  

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The Post-Pandemic Jobs Recovery by Industry

Data from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) show that the total number of U.S. jobs isn't back to pre-pandemic levels — but some sectors are already bigger than in February 2020, Emily Peck writes for Axios Markets. Most ARF members are in sectors that are on the plus side, namely “Information” and “Professional and Business Services.” Source: Peck, E. (2022, May 9). Pandemic jobs recovery, by industry. Axios. Data: The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

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The Only Number that Matters to CEOs

Proving the value of marketing means showing that the investment is paying off in faster business growth. The only number a CEO cares to hear is the incremental growth rate attributable to marketing. The rest is mumbo jumbo. Today most marketing budgets are a fixed expense, typically about 11% of the overall budget, and regularly subjected to quarterly trimming depending on how sales are performing against target. The size of that budget is often dictated by what was spent in the previous fiscal period and approval above that figure always requires some fancy tap dancing in front of the CFO. To escape this financial straight jacket, marketers need to convincingly link corporate growth ambitions to the mandatory investments required to achieve them. In the end, that means emphatically answering the most burning question on the mind of the CEO: Is marketing worth the expense? Source: Shaw, S. (2022, April). The Only Number that Matters. Customer first thinking.

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Can Virtual Communication Curb Creativity?

A study tried to assess the impact of working from home and the use of videoconferencing on generating creative ideas. The researchers concluded that videoconferencing interferes with idea generation.   The study was prompted by what the researchers call a “COVID-19 accelerated decade-long shift to remote work,” which normalized working from home on a large scale. They cite research showing that 75% of US employees in a 2021 survey reported a personal preference for working remotely at least one day per week, and studies estimate that 20% of US workdays will take place at home after the pandemic ends. The study examined how this shift away from in-person interaction affects innovation, which relies on collaborative idea generation as the foundation of commercial and scientific progress.

  • The findings of a laboratory study and a field experiment across five countries (in Europe, the Middle East and South Asia), indicate that videoconferencing inhibits the production of creative ideas. By contrast, when it comes to selecting which idea to pursue, the researchers found no evidence that videoconferencing groups are less effective than in-person groups.
Departing from previous theories that focus on how oral and written technologies limit the synchronicity and extent of information exchanged, the researchers conclude that effects are driven by differences in the physical nature of videoconferencing and in-person interactions. Specifically, using eye-gaze and recall measures, as well as latent semantic analysis, the research demonstrated that videoconferencing hampers idea generation because it focuses communicators on a screen, which prompts a narrower cognitive focus. Our results suggest that virtual interaction comes with a cognitive cost for creative idea generation. Source: Brucks, M. and Levav, J. (2022, April 27). Virtual communication curbs creative idea generation. Nature.

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Strategies for Managing Internal and External Relationships


On April 7, the Women in Analytics Group held a mentoring meet-up about strategies for managing internal and external relationships. Ramla Jarrar, Founder & CEO of Mass Analytics and Therese Glennon, VP at Bristol Myers Squibb, shared best practices for building and maintaining relationships in-person and remotely. After the mini talks, each speaker met with half of the attendees and then switched groups to meet with the other half of the attendees.

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Are Consumers in a Global Political Malaise?

Morning Consult surveys indicate widespread dissatisfaction with political leaders. Does this affect consumer sentiment? “Global Leader Approval Ratings” from Morning Consult Political Intelligence are based on surveys about government leaders in Australia, Brazil, Canada, France, Germany, India, Italy, Japan, Mexico, South Korea, Spain, the United Kingdom and the United States. They are updated weekly with the latest data for all 13 countries, offering real-time insights into the shifting political dynamics across the globe. The latest approval ratings are based on data collected March 9-15, 2022 and are based on a seven-day moving average of adult residents in each country, with sample sizes varying by country. Editor’s Note: The data show that only three of 13 government leaders have approval ratings over 50%. Looking at the 10 who have been in office for more than 14 months, we find that eight are politically “underwater”, that is, their approval rating is at least minus 10%.

  • The “underwater” group includes those on the political Right, Middle and Left and leaders in North America, Europe and Asia: Biden (USA) 41/51 -10%; Trudeau (Canada) 42/52 -10%; Marcon (France) 41/52 -11%; Morrison (Australia) -12%; Moon (Korea) 40/54 -14%; Bolsonaro (Brazil) 39/53 -15%; Sanchez (Spain) 38/56 -18%; Johnson (UK) 33/61 -27%.
  • Only two leaders achieved positive ratings, despite the pandemic and current developments: López Obrador of Mexico (63/29) and Modi of India with an amazing 77/17 approval rating.
Beyond the obvious political implications, we think the data raise questions about the impact of these sentiments on consumers’ state of mind and behaviors. Source: Morning Consult. (2022, March 17). Global Leader Approval Ratings. Morning Consult.

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How You Can Get Involved with ARF WIDE

ARF WIDE is working to create pathways for talented college students with an interest in research and insights who come with lived experiences and perspectives not currently well-represented in the industry. Our goal is to help build a diverse talent pipeline that represents today’s consumer, filled with those who understand varying cultural backgrounds and are able to connect with them through their own experiences and ultimately be more effective at generating new research insights and outcomes. ARF Members can help make this goal a reality by helping in various ways:

  • Make a donation - financial contributions to ARF WIDE are fully tax-deductible
  • Provide an introduction to CSR and/or DEI contacts within your organizations
  • Help promote WIDE to colleagues within the industry
  • Become a WIDE Mentor
  • Encourage ARF Young Pros within your organization to become a WIDE Young Pro Coach
  • Host an intern
Learn more about WIDE from our scholars. To get involved, please email wide@thearf.org

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Mentoring Meet-up — Three Leaders, Three Stories (Event Summary)


At our first ARF Women in Analytics Mentoring Meet-Up of the year, we heard from three industry trailblazers on the “what”, “why” and “how” of their careers. Colleen Funkey of The Estée Lauder Companies, Gloria Cox of The Cambridge Group and Renata Policicio of WarnerMedia reflected on their unique journeys and shared the steps they took and lessons they learned. From what inspired them to originally go into market research to how they now navigate their careers at a senior level, speakers gave attendees advice on what they can do to ensure their careers are satisfying and successful. Attendees also participated in small breakout groups with the speakers to connect, ask questions and share their own personal reflections.

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NYCU: CEOs See Challenges and Opportunities in 2022

Fortune assembled roughly 100 CEOs who focused on identifying the challenges and opportunities that businesses face in the year ahead. The topmost challenge: the battle for talent. The top opportunity? A chance to reinvent.  

  • “Labor, broadly speaking, and the workforce, are the biggest challenge. Getting people back to work, building trust, figuring out how we’re going to live and work in a world with remote work.”
—Stephanie Linnartz, President, Marriott
  • “These prognostications that all the innovation and the deployment of new technologies would be a big net destroyer of jobs…are proving wrong. Digital transformation is driving a ton of growth, and it is creating a need for more great people.”
—Joe Ucuzoglu, CEO, Deloitte U.S.
  • “There are so many of these conversations that went from talking about making a big shift to the cloud to actually happening or planning it during (the past two years). If anything, it probably accelerated people moving to the cloud by a few years.”
—Andy Jassy, CEO, Amazon
  • “Innovation can come from digitization of markets or rethinking supply chains, or from closing the say-do gap on environmental sustainability.”
—Adena Friedman, CEO, Nasdaq
  • “There’s an opportunity to redefine who you are and what you’re doing as a business…and even redefining who you are as a CEO.”
—Hans Vestberg, CEO, Verizon
  • “One of the major opportunities… is increased focus on environmental, social and governance goals, and the rapid change of technology helping to enable a lot of those goals.”
—Lynn Martin, President, New York Stock Exchange
  • “When you look at how many big companies have a net zero commitment for 2030, 2040 and the changeover that’s going to cause in their supply chain, which is really where it starts to get out to the middle-market size companies, it is unbelievable. I think there’s a lack of appreciation for the movement in the private sector.”
—Brian Moynihan, CEO, Bank of America
  • “Environmental concerns are more and more important for consumers… More than two-thirds of them say they would change a brand or a product to buy a product that’s more sustainable. But today, probably around 10% actually do it, because at this point in time, they do not want really to pay more, and more importantly, they do not want to sacrifice anything in terms of product quality.”
—Nicolas Hieronimus, CEO, L’Oreal
  • “The business community is doing more than we’ve ever done before. But the gap between what is needed and what we are doing is getting bigger.”
—Paul Polman, former CEO, Unilever  Source: Murray, A. and Meyer, D. (2022, January 21). CEOs See Challenges and Opportunities in 2022. Fortune.  

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NYCU: New Skills for Women in Analytics

At this ARF Women in Analytics event, Keynote Speaker Alexandra Samuel, co-author of Remote, Inc.: How to Thrive at Work…Wherever You Are, drew on her extensive remote work research and experience to share how to build an organizational model and culture that enables employees to shift between lively collaboration and solo focus on work.   Key findings:

  • Everyone reported they were at least as productive at home, and more than half said they were more productive.
  • Remote work is a learned skill and folks who already worked at home already had a chance to develop the skills needed.
  • As we shift to hybrid, there are three aspects that we should focus on: think about objectives and shift towards measurable KPIs, rethink your approach to collaboration, and get clarity around communication.
A panel discussion was held to discuss Alexandra’s presentation, as well as share experiences shifting to a hybrid model. The participants were: Jackie Day, Senior Partner, Director Multicultural Marketing & Analytics, GroupM; Neelima Panuganti, Consumer & Growth Insights Sr. Manager, NA, General Mills; Audrey Rusch, Sr. Director of Activation Product Development, Oracle; and Ann Semeraro, Sr. Director of Consumer and Customer Insights, Twitter. Rachael Feigenbaum, SVP Events, ARF, moderated. All panelists work at companies that have some form of flexible hybrid working format. Here are leadership tips shared for a modern hybrid working environment:
  • Properly manage objectives.
  • Set clear boundaries when it comes to time and projects, and only say yes to those that have clear business impact.
  • Reinforce messaging for priorities throughout the week to break through the clutter.
  • Shift from process-oriented meetings to open communication.
  • Develop relationships in a “safe space” and contribute to initiatives that promote healthy states of minds and support allies in the workplace.
  • Be a good coach to team members.
  • Consider new employees and integrate them into team culture.
  • Avoid burnout by implementing no meeting times.
  • Be more agile as the world is changing.
  • Stay true to yourself and be authentic.
  • Embrace and recognize the benefits of having more of a human connection with your colleagues.
Source: ARF Women in Analytics. (2021, December 7). Modern Leadership: New Skills for a New Era. The ARF.  

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