GfK Launches Custom Research North America
GfK has formed GfK Custom Research North America, an umbrella body for GfK Arbor, GfK CRI, GfK Schiappa, Caribou Lake, GfK NOP and GfK Automotive. Dr Martin Lautman, formerly President of GfK Arbor, will be the new group's CEO.
Lautman comes to his new position from GfK Arbor, where he worked as President and Senior Partner, and directed more than 500 marketing research and strategy projects. He has published articles in marketing and technical journals, is on the editorial board of the Journal of Advertising Research, and was previously an Associate Editor for Marketing Research: A Magazine of Management & Applications. Lautman has also lectured in marketing and MR at the Cornell University Hotel School, and taught psychology and statistics at The Pennsylvania State University.
Lautman, together with Kurt Blumberg, CFO of the new group, will serve on the new GfK Custom Research Board, North America, to be chaired by Petra Heinlein, CEO of GfK's Custom Research Board Worldwide.
The new company is split into three divisions. The first, GfK NOP Research and Consulting, will focus on the consumer products, retail, public affairs, media, BtoB and technology sectors. It will also encompass Starch advertising research services and GfK's qualitative practice. Thomas Finkle, who recently joined the company from TNS, will be the division's President.
The GfK Products and Services division will focus on developing GfK's consumer trend databases, mystery shopping services, and omnibus offerings. It also includes the company's ethnographic and marketing sciences practices, as well as four 'centers of excellence': Market Opportunity, Brand Strategy, Marketing Effectiveness, and Customer Management. Debbie Pruent, formerly CEO of NOP World Automotive, is President.
The third division, GfK Automotive, is the renamed NOP World Automotive business. Don DeVeaux, who was previously COO and executive VP of the division, will become its President.
'Bringing our American companies under a common management umbrella will help us bring the broadest product portfolio and the strongest research and consulting support to our US clients,' says Heinlein. 'In addition, it will help us co-ordinate more effectively with our GfK sister companies around the world'. She welcomed Lautman as leader, praising his 'impressive history of methodological innovation, customer focus and business success'.
GfK's web site is at www.gfk.com