My name is Chris Bacon, and I'm a marketer. Consumer Insights geek, to be precise. I've been doing this for 30 years now.
I started my career at General Mills in 1988. We were called "market research." We were responsible for being "the voice of the consumer" in marketing. It's a philosophy I've stuck to these past three decades.
Since those cold and snowy days in Minneapolis, I've worked for five Fortune 500 companies (or the privately-owned equivalent). I've done consumer research in 30 countries. I've developed best practices in innovation and new brand development. I've launched a Shopper Insights function. I've rebuilt and led Consumer Insights departments. I have some notches on my belt.
In 2015, I gave up corporate life. I wanted to have an impact on our industry. So I joined the Advertising Research Foundation (ARF) as EVP of Global Research Quality & Innovation. In my three years with the ARF, I published a few journal articles, produced a dozen events on topics like mobile marketing, research quality, and shopper insights, and created the ARF Leadership Lab, maybe my proudest accomplishment. More than 2,000 students participated in our classes on analytics, cross-platform media measurement, survey research standards, ad tech, and storytelling & personal influence.
I hope I've done a small part to lift up the next generation of Consumer Insights geeks to continue to be "the voice of the consumer".