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The 2013 Customer Insights Conference

Friday, May 3 2013 at 12:00 am - Saturday, May 4 2013 at 12:00 am EDT

55 Hillhouse Avenue (Horchow Hall)
New Haven, CT 06511
United States

Bringing together leaders in industry and academia to exchange insights on customer mindset and behavior.

Sessions include:
-Big Data
-Understanding Customer Choice
-Maximizing Brand Performance
-Social Media
-Competitive Marketing Strategies


  • Stan Sthanunathan - Keynote Speaker

    Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Insights

    Stan Sthanunathan is the Vice President of Marketing Strategy & Insights of The Coca-Cola Company in Atlanta heading up the function on a global basis. Prior to this role, Stan was Head of Knowledge & Insights for the Asia Group based in Hong Kong. He started his career fourteen years ago in The Coca-Cola Company as Research Manager of the Middle East and North Africa Division based in London. Before joining Coca-Cola, Stan was General Manager of NFO in their Middle East, North Africa office based out of Dubai for five years. His research career started in 1985 with Pathfinders: India with whom he was associated for almost seven years. Upon leaving, he was General Manager of the agency. Stan earned his Bachelor Degree in Mechanical Engineering from Bombay University and followed this with his MBA from India Institute of Management in Bangalore, India.

  • Mark Brooks

    Senior Vice President, Consumer & Market Intelligence
    L’Oreal USA

    Mark Brooks joined L’Oreal in 2002 and currently leads all consumer, shopper, and analytic insights activities for L’OREAL USA. Mark’s passion for beauty is reflected in his 15 years of expertise in this sector. Mark’s team is responsible for all creative /copy testing, innovation evaluation, market adoption, segmentation, social listening, shopper knowledge, and advanced analytics activities for the company. Prior to joining L’Oreal, Mark held insights positions at the NPD Group, IPSOS, and American Express. Mark attended the University of North Carolina and completed his MBA at Wake Forest.

  • Annette Diefenthaler

    Senior Design
    Researcher, IDEO

    Annette Diefenthaler is a Senior Design Researcher and Project Lead for award-winning global innovation consultancy IDEO. Her insatiable curiosity about people, their beliefs and behaviors leads her to identify human needs and desires that can inspire design strategies. She enjoys complex challenges that require deep thought. Yet in her mind, strategies are only as good as their applicability, and with a background as a carpenter and product designer, Annette is passionate about translating her findings into actionable opportunities and tangible design solutions. Since joining IDEO in January 2008, Annette has guided teams in designing bank branches, toys, hospital experiences, multiple services for chronic disease patients, and organizational change programs. She has extensive experience in designing solutions in the area of healthcare. Annette has shared her deep process understanding in countless workshops as well as in creating IDEO's publicly available Design Thinking Toolkit for Educators. She enjoys writing and is a contributor to the Design Dictionary (2008, Board of International Research in Design, Editors: M. Erlhoff, T. Marshall). Annette is passionate about bringing human-centered design to systemic challenges in education. She has recently focused on collaboratively working on new solutions will enable learners to thrive in the changing environments of the future. Annette is an Adjunct Assistant Professor of Public Policy at NYU Wagner's Graduate School of Public Service. She is currently developing a Fellowship Program at The New School of Public Engagement. Now based in New York, Annette grew up in Germany and has lived and worked in many cultural contexts, including Russia, the Middle East, Asia and Australia. Prior to IDEO, Annette worked with the Industrial Design Management Department of Vodafone Global in Germany and brand development company The One Centre in Sydney, Australia. She was engaged by the advisory board of the International Design Forum Ulm to develop the Promotion Program Designing Politics - The Politics of Design in 2006 and managed Stefan Ytterborn’s installation “unidentified” by rendel&spitz for the Cologne International Furniture Fair. She holds a masters degree from Koln International School of Design.

  • Carlos Fonseca

    SVP/ Group Head, Strategy, Operations and Analytics
    MasterCard Worldwide

    Carlos Jose Fonseca currently serves as Marketing SVP/ Group Head for Strategy, Planning and Analytics at MasterCard Worldwide. In this position he is responsible for articulating a consumer and insights led-strategy for MasterCard interacting with diverse regions and functions including products and finance. He also coordinates MasterCard’s worldwide marketing planning cycle and the use of analytics to guide strategy and monitor performance across initiatives and consumer segments. Carlos initially joined the MasterCard’s Latin America business where he created and structured its research and insights team. Following this assignment he moved to the International Markets division developing market strategies for countries as diverse as UK, Brazil, Kenya, UK, Canada and Japan. His experience before MasterCard includes brand management and financial analysis positions working for financial services and FMCG companies, including Procter & Gamble, BAT and Citigroup. Through his career, he has built a balanced background in marketing and finance, developing the ability to manage and motivate cross-functional teams in projects ranging from the M&A of a credit card’s portfolio to the semiotic analysis and testing of an advertising campaign. Carlos’ early exposure to emerging markets with assignments in Brazil, India, Venezuela, Argentina and Russia, among others, fueled his interest in understanding developmental economics and in gaining hands-on experience in launching and growing businesses in such environments. He is also very interested in the role that new technologies and media play in changing consumer behavior, particularly in the area of payments and applications to promote financial inclusion and community empowerment. Carlos is a member of the Board of the Grameen Foundation, an umbrella organization that works around the world to enable the poor to become financially self-sufficient by providing them with tools to break the cycle of poverty – actionable information, appropriate financial services, and unique business opportunities. He is a graduate in Industrial Engineering from Universidad de los Andes in Bogota, Colombia, with postgraduate studies at Georgetown University and Insead. Carlos lives with his family in Westchester County, New York, where he still finds time to practice triathlon, kayaking and squash.

  • Stephen Gold

    VP Worldwide Marketing
    IBM Watson Solutions

    Stephen Gold is Director WW Marketing, Watson Solutions, IBM Software Group. He has overall responsibility for the brands marketing strategy, marketing communications, social media, public relations, analyst relations, sales enablement, demand generation, and events. As a member of the senior leadership team he is working to help commercialize industry solutions based on IBM’s transformative Watson technology. Prior to joining IBM, Stephen was Vice President of Marketing (CMO) for SPSS, acquired by IBM in 2009. As President of the Aberdeen Group, a Harte-Hanks Company, Stephen oversaw all aspects of the publically traded market research organization, which covered twenty-six distinct technology markets. Previous to this Stephen successfully scaled and sold two Silicon Valley based startups; Azerity to ModelN in 2006 in the capacity as CEO and Digital Market to Agile (now Oracle), as its CMO. Stephen has a twenty-year winning track record of leading successful enterprises and building businesses across industries (technology, software and services) and geographies (domestic and international) for both high growth private and multi-billion dollar publicly traded corporations. Stephen holds a B.S. in Mechanical Engineering from the University of Illinois at Champaign-Urbana and graduated with distinction from Carnegie Mellon University with an MBA. The Pennsylvania Small Business Association and Carnegie Mellon have both recognized him as “Entrepreneur of the Year”. Stephen has appeared on CNN and is a featured speaker at various conferences and universities.

  • Pam Greer

    Vice President, Consumer Insights

    Pam Greer is vice president of consumer insights at Starbucks. She and her team are responsible for providing insights to support the Americas business and global product innovation. Their work is used to support areas such as product development, marketing, customer experience/service, store design, and the My Starbucks Rewards loyalty program. Prior to Starbucks, she served as Senior Director, Consumer Insights and Customer Marketing at Mattel, Inc.. Preceding Mattel, Inc., she held positions at The Walt Disney Company, Universal Studios Hollywood and Leo Burnett. Pam lives in rainy Seattle with her husband and three young, active and loud children.

  • Tamara Gruzbarg

    Senior Director of Analytics and Research
    Gilt Groupe

    Tamara Gruzbarg is a Senior Director of Customer Analytics and Research at Gilt Groupe, where she is responsible for the development of the analytic direction, roadmap, and insights distribution supporting the entire organization in the delivery of highly relevant personalized offerings to Gilt Groupe’s customers. Prior to Gilt Tamara held senior analytics positions at Experian Marketing Services and JP Morgan Chase. She led analytics teams providing innovative solutions in the areas of promotion and cross-sell, retention and loyalty, multi-channel optimization and test design. Tamara holds an M.A in Statistics and MBA from Columbia University, has had speaking engagements with marketing analytics conferences, conducted client webinars and has been interviewed by industry publications on the topics of e-mail, online marketing and data analytics.

  • Christian Kurz

    VP, Research, Insights and Reporting
    Viacom International Media Networks

    Based in New York, Christian Kurz is responsible for providing VIMN’s businesses and operations with strategic consumer-based research, as well as maintaining a consistent and strongly aligned research organization across VIMN. His guidance is used to inform international business decisions across all brands of the VIMN portfolio, such as MTV, Nickelodeon and Comedy Central, on all platforms. Christian holds more than 10 years of experience in research in the media industry. He first joined VIMN in January 2011 as Senior Director, Nickelodeon International Research and Insights, where he aligned Nickelodeon’s international reporting processes and launched key insight initiatives, including The Power of Kids’ Influence under the Nickelodeon Kids & Family GPS banner. Prior to joining VIMN, Christian worked at Discovery Networks as Insights Director, Emerging Markets. Before that, he was Director of Brand Strategy and Marketing Research in EMEA for Disney-ABC Networks Group. He has also held research roles at Warner Bros., Interpublic Group and ITV in the UK. Born in Austria, Christian holds degrees from the University of Economics and Business Administration in Vienna, Westminster University in London and the Chartered Institute of Marketing. Until his move to New York, he also lectured part time at the University of London’s Birkbeck College in the fields of business, marketing and media.

  • Abigail Posner

    Head of Strategic Planning, Agency Development

    Abigail Posner joined Google a year ago to head up the Strategic Planning Practice for the Agency team. She works closely with the advertising and marketing communities to help amplify their strategic and creative efforts in the digital space. While at Google, she has also launched a thought leadership series on human beings deep, emotional relationships with the digital space: Humanizing Digital. The first in the series is an anthropological study entitled: The Meaning of Mobile: How People Create meaning and Relate to the Mobile Space. Prior to joining Google, Abigail was executive vice president, strategy director at Publicis New York, where she directed strategic planning efforts for major new business pitches and provided thought leadership to key global clients, including L'Oreal, Nestlé and Coca-Cola. Before that, Abigail spent 11 years at DDB New York. There, she co-directed the strategic planning department and directed strategic efforts for a range of clients, from PepsiCo and Unilever to Hertz. Abigail has spoken on consumer trends and brand strategy, and blogs on beauty in our culture at She has published the following articles: Why Beauty Matters Today (Retail Online, September, 2011), Why Packaged-Goods Companies Should Market to Men (Advertising, February, 2009), Brand Management and Its Greater Purpose (Ad Map, November Issue 2007) and Why Your Mission Matters (Advertising Age, July, 2007). Abigail graduated from Harvard University with a bachelor’s degree in social anthropology.

  • Ashlea Powell

    Project Lead

    Ashlea is a multi-disciplinary Project Lead with a passion for translating human insights into design-led outcomes. With deep experience in design research and storytelling techniques, Ashlea's work at IDEO focuses on crafting experiences through Service Design and Brand Strategy. She is particularly excited by large-scale design problems, and considers a good day the kind that makes her brain hurt. During her time at IDEO, Ashlea has worked with clients from many sectors, ranging from Fortune 500 companies to start-ups, government agencies to academic institutions. Ashlea came to IDEO from the advertising world where she most recently spent a few years writing for Goodby, Silverstein & Partners. Her work has been recognized by a variety of awards and publications including Cannes, the One Show, the Effies, Creative Review and Luerzers Archive. Ashlea studied Business Administration and Spanish at UNC-Chapel Hill and spent a few years in management consulting before fine-tuning her writing skills at the Portfolio Center in Atlanta, GA. In her spare time, she practices yoga, tutors at 826 Valencia, talks to her sister on the phone and tries to reconcile her right and left brain.

  • Barbara Singer

    VP, Advertiser Insights & Strategy

    Barbara Singer joined ESPN as vice president, advertiser insights & strategy, in the research & sales development department in January 2010. In this role, she leads ESPN’s efforts to use all of the company’s research capabilities to develop effective sales insights and innovative solutions to drive revenue. As a key advisor to the customer marketing & sales management team, she seeks innovative measurement solutions to understand fans’ multimedia behavior. She also works with clients to optimize their use of ESPN platforms. Singer came to ESPN after more than 15 years at Kraft Foods in media planning and research, most recently serving as director, strategic media information. From 1985 – 1994, she worked at the J.Walter Thompson advertising agency in New York, rising to senior vice president, group media director. She guided such clients such as Kodak, the Wall Street Journal, Warner Lambert and Nestle. In that role Barbara won numerous awards for business results and creativity in media planning. A native of Galesburg, Ill., Singer was graduated with a bachelor of science degree in advertising from the University of Illinois in 1983. She received a master’s of science degree from the school in 1984.

  • David Terry

    Director of Strategic Planning

    David Terry was born and raised in Houston, Texas. He lasted two weeks at the University of Texas before reading an essay entitled “College Is a Waste of Time and Money.” Agreeing with its argument, David dropped out to pursue his passion for the outdoors and the freedom that comes with it. When the romance of being a dirtbag wore off, he went back to school to earn a master’s degree in post-structuralist philosophy. And when every PhD program he applied to rejected him, he decided he needed a career. His criteria for a career? That it be not stupid and not boring. He chose advertising based on Nike commercials because they weren’t stupid or boring. He went to New York City. David’s very first job in advertising was as a planner at Euro RSCG working on MCI. A year later he became Ogilvy’s worldwide planning supervisor for IBM, becoming part of the team that remade the aging behemoth’s image into that of a nimble company poised for the Internet age. In 1999 David was brought on as the first planner for the New York office of BBH. Over the next nine years, he was involved in winning and nurturing the business of Miller Lite, British Airways, Johnnie Walker and AXE, for which he transformed deodorant into a culturally relevant youth brand category. He worked at BBDO as the PepsiCo account director, an experience he credits with making him realize he’s a much better planner than account man. So after 14 years in the NYC advertising world, David finally came home to the agency that first inspired him to get an advertising “career.” He became Wieden+Kennedy’s director of strategic planning in 2008. He tells people that once he joined W+K, he stopped worrying about what he’s good at because he realizes he’s good at W+K. He loves W+K for the work it does, and the culture that that work creates. His department prides itself on making creatives’ lives easier by developing communication strategy that is both creatively inspiring and hard working for the clients’ business.

Additional Information

  • Conference Events

    Thursday, May 9, 2013
    Reception - The Study
    1157 Chapel Street
    6:00 to 8:00 pm
    Friday, May 10, 2013
    GM Room, Horchow House – 55 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven
    Registration and Breakfast
    8:15 to 8:45 am
    Welcome and Overview
    8:45 to 9:00 am
    Session One: Innovations
    Chair – Arun Sinha, Lecturer in the Practice of Marketing, Yale School of Management
    9:00 am to 9:25 am - Annette Diefenthaler, Senior Design Researcher & Ashlea Powell, Project Lead, IDEO
    9:25 am to 9:50 am - Gerard J. Tellis, USC
    9:50 to 10:15 am - Frank R. Lichtenberg, Courtney C. Brown Professor of Business, Columbia University
    10:15 to 10:40 am - Abigail Posner, Head of Strategic Planning, Agency Development, Google
    Break – 10:40 to 11:00
    Session Two: Big Data
    Chair – Stephen Gold, IBM
    11:00 to 11:25 am - Stephen Gold, VP Worldwide Marketing, IBM Watson Solutions
    11:25 to 11:50 am - Carlos Fonseca, Marketing SVP/ Group Head for Strategy, Planning and Analytics at MasterCard
    11:50 to 12:15 pm – Tamara Gruzbarg, Senior Director Analytics &Research, Gilt Groupe
    Lunch – 12:15 to 1:30
    Session Three: Maximizing Brand Performance
    Chair – Shane Frederick, Professor of Marketing, Yale School of Management
    1:30 to 1:55 pm - Pam Greer, Vice President, Consumer Insights, Starbucks
    1:55 to 2:20 pm - C. Miguel Brendl, Associate Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management
    2:20 to 2:45 pm - Barbara Singer, VP, Advertiser Insights & Strategy, ESPN
    2:45 to 3:10 pm - Duncan Simester, Professor, Sloan School of Management, MIT
    3:10 to 3:35 pm – David Terry, Director of Strategic Planning, Wieden+Kennedy
    Break – 3:35 to 3:50
    Session Four – Social Media
    Chair – K. Sudhir
    3:50 to 4:15 pm - Christian Kurz, VP, Research, Insights and Reporting, Viacom International Media Networks
    4:15 to 4:40 pm - David A. Schweidel, Goizueta Business School, Emory University
    4:40 to 5:05 pm - Mark Brooks, SVP of Consumer & Market Intelligence, L'Oreal USA
    5:05 to 5:30 pm - Georgios Zervas, Simons Postdoctoral Fellow in Computer Science, Yale University
    5:30 to 6:00 pm
    Transportation provided to Union League Café (1032 Chapel Street, New Haven)
    Drinks – 6:00 to 7:00 pm
    Dinner – 7:00 to 10:00 pm
    Keynote address preceding main course: Stan Sthanunathan, VP of Marketing Strategy & Insights, Coca-Cola
    Saturday, May 11, 2013
    GM Room, Horchow House – 55 Hillhouse Avenue, New Haven
    Breakfast - 8:00 to 8:30 am
    Session Five: Competitive Marketing Strategies
    Chair – Jiwoong Shin, Associate Professor of Marketing, Yale School of Management
    8:30 to 8:55 am - Liye Ma, Assistant Professor of Marketing at the Robert H. Smith School of Business, University of Maryland
    8:55 to 9:20 am - Upender Subramanian, Assistant Professor, Jindal School of Management, UT Dallas
    9:20 to 9:45 am - Florian Zettelmeyer, Nancy L. Ertle Professor of Marketing, Kellogg School of Management
    9:45 to 10:10 am - Michael Luca, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School
    Break – 10:10 to 10:30 am
    Session Six: Understanding Customer Choice
    Chair – Nathan Novemsky, Professor of Marketing, Yale School of Management
    10:30 to 10:55 am - Thales Teixeira, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School
    10:55 to 11:20 am - Uma R. Karmarkar, Assistant Professor of Business Administration, Harvard Business School
    11:20 to 11:45 am - Dipayan Biswas, Associate Professor of Marketing, University of South Florida
    11:45 to 12:10 pm - Thomas C. O’Guinn, Professor of Marketing, University of Wisconsin- Madison
    12:10 to 12:35 pm - William Putsis, Professor of Marketing, Economics and Business Strategy, Kenan-Flagler Business School, UNC Chapel Hill
    12:35 - Closing Remarks, Ravi Dhar
    12:40 - Lunch (take home)
  • Past Events

Shareable materials

Printable Agenda

Mark Brooks, SVP, L'Oreal USA
The Power of Social Listening: A L’Oréal Case Study
Stephen Gold, VP Worldwide Marketing, IBM Watson Solutions
Bending the Knowledge Curve with IBM Watson
Tamara Gruzbarg, Senior Director, Gilt Groupe
Using Big Data to Re-invent Shopping
Christian Kurz, VP, Viacom
The Next Normal – An Unprecedented Look at Millennials Worldwide
Frank Lichtenberg, Professor, Columbia University
The Impact of Pharmaceutical Innovation on Longevity and Medical Expenditure in France, 2000-2009
Michael Luca, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School
Digital Discrimination: The Case of
Thomas O'Guinn, Professor, University of Wisconsin, Madison
Looks Like a Bus Station: Shopper Density, Status Inferences, and Object Valuations by Consumers
Abigail Posner, Head of Strategic Planning, Agency Development, Google
Sense of Nonsense - Decoding the Visual Web
William Putsis, Professor, UNC Chapel Hill
Do as We Say or Do as We Do? Prediction, Mis-Prediction and Behavior
David Schweidel, Associate Professor, Emory University
The Perils of "Selective Listening" in Social Media Monitoring: Sentiment and Venue Choice in Social Media Posting Behavior
Duncan Simester, Professor, MIT Sloan School of Management
Deceptive Reviews
Barbara Singer, VP, ESPN
ESPN XP: A Surround Strategy for Cross Platform Research
Upender Subramanian, Assistant Professor, UT Dallas
A Theory of Social Coupons
Thales Teixeira, Assistant Professor, Harvard Business School
Why, When and How Much to Entertain Consumers in Advertisements? A Web-based Facial Tracking Field Study
Giorgos Zervas, Postdoctoral Fellow in Computer Science, Yale
The Groupon Effect on Yelp Ratings: A Root Cause Analysis