Video: 3 Questions With the ARF’s Gayle Fuguitt

When it comes to consumer engagement, it’s not just about the numbers—it’s about consumer behavior, says Advertising Research Foundation President and CEO Gayle Fuguitt, who took a few moments to chat with Direct Marketing News about industry trends at the 2014 Re:Think conference in New York City.

“We want to know what consumers are looking for, what their values are, and how can we meet their needs,” Fuguitt says. “It’s not just about Big Data; it’s about translating that into the truth.”

Consumers are actually inviting advertisers to provide more personalized media, which means it’s time for new metrics that can help marketers respond to the multi-touch reality; metrics that can be used to inform the creation of more strategic content.

“CMOs are impatient and they’re frustrated; I call it the ‘red phone,’” Fuguitt says. “They call up the researchers and they say, ‘Get this all sorted out for me.’”

That’s why it’s time for new numbers, she says—numbers that reflect actual consumer behavior and go beyond last click.

“In research today, the measurements we have are very precise for the slowest growing touchpoints; we have very precise measurements for TV, but not for mobile—the fastest growing touchpoint there is,” Fuguitt notes. “That’s why it’s incumbent on us in the research community to really figure that measurement out, and then what’s more important is for us to translate those new measurement solutions into actions, to get them into the C-suite, and then to translate them into better business decisions.”

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