MRMW NA 2019 Podcast Series

Ep. 205: MRMW NA 2019 Pre-Conference Series – Gayle Fuguitt – Foursquare

This series is a preview of the MRMW North America Conference 2019. Join consumer insight and market research professionals as we hear from today’s thought leaders on trends and innovations in the market research industry. Mark your calendars for April 10th through the 11th in Cincinnati for the MRMW North America Conference.

This is the first interview of the MRMW NA 2019 pre-conference mini series. Happy Market Research host, Jamin Brazil, interviews Chief of Customer Insight and Innovation at Foursquare, Gayle Fuguitt. We hope you enjoy this mini series where we talk to insights professionals who are helping power the future of insight automation.

Find Gayle Online:




This episode is a preview of the MRMW North American Conference of 2019.  Join consumer insights and market research professionals as we hear from today’s thought leaders on trends and innovations in the market research industry.  Mark your calendars for April 10th through the 11th in Cincinnati for the MRMW North American Conference and head to to register or check the show notes.  I hope to see you there.

My guest today is Gayle Fuguitt, Chief of Customer Insights and Innovation of Foursquare.  Foursquare is a global, mobile solution for location intelligence for marketers and advertisers to build brands and drive growth, channeling the voice of the marketer to the measurement industry.  Prior to joining Foursquare, Gayle has been the President and CEO of the Advertising Research Foundation or ARF.

Hey, Gayle, thanks so much for joining me on the Happy Market Research Podcast today.     


Thank you.  Thanks for having me.


Oh, it is an honor to have you as a guest.  ARF plays a material role in our industry, and having the previous President and CEO is a really big deal.  Yeah, truly, thanks.

So, we’ve got the North America MRMW Conference coming up in Cincinnati, and you are one of the speakers.  I was hoping that you’d give us a little bit of an intro into your presentation.


Yeah, I’m really excited to do that.  So, it’s early up in the conference. I really believe in this market research in the mobile world platform.  And I’m a fan of this conference, having produced a lot of conferences at the ARF and gone to a lot when I was actually leading the Insights Department at General Mills.

What I want to talk about is this topic of engaging today’s modern consumer with modern marketing, and it’s marketing re-invented.  The opportunity that we have is to get the right message to the right person at the right time. And there are so many new technologies available.  But at Foursquare, what we really believe is that people vote with their feet, and the best way to understand who someone is and reach them (I say head, heart and feet) is by actually understanding all the places that they go.  So, we understand all the places that people go on their path to purchase before they go and make a purchase all the way to after. And while there’s so much conversation right now about e-commerce, the truth is the 90% of purchases still happen in what we refer to as the “real world” (brick and mortar).  Being able to really understand how to connect with consumers in real time as they experience life and are actually looking for messaging – not necessarily when the have a map out and they’re trying to find the nearest subway like I would be in New York. But there’s some untimely messaging, and there certainly is a lot of messaging out there that is uninvited by consumers.  But I really feel that we have a distinct opportunity to deliver these messages and connect with consumers’ head, heart, and feet, make an emotional connection that will bring relevance and translate their values into brand value.


What I like about this is we already understand that social media, for example, creates a certain context.  So, if I’m in LinkedIn, messaging needs to be geared a certain way. Instagram, Twitter, Snapchat – it’s all the framework, that context of my head space when I enter into that environment.  But you’re right: you’re really talking about the next dimension, which is also the context of where I am and the stress that I’m undergoing or the stimuli that I’m undergoing from my environment around me that has massive impact on what it is that a marketer should be able to feed me.   


Exactly.  So, we really think about it, Jamin, as bridging the digital to real world divide.

As you bring up – digital media, social media and helping consumers live more fulfilling, more interesting lives.


Super awesome.  I can’t wait to hear that talk.  Can you give me one, and our listeners, one action that researchers should be taking, based on the information that you’re going to be sharing?  


Yes, I think they need to jump in and experiment, learn, and scale with location technology, of course, like Foursquare.  The reason I joined Foursquare… and it actually happened and it was inspired by the first market research in the mobile world conference that I went to in Amsterdam back in around 2010 and 2011.  It was absolutely an inspirational experience for me. But the one action that consumers can take away is to build bold collaborations with new partners that they can meet at the conference, to experiment, learn, and scale with location technology and then to actually ultimately work on attributing where consumers go and their foot traffic and their behavioral patterns to attributing it to growth and sales by understanding the effectiveness of media.  So, we have a closed-loop solution that goes from digital advertising all the way to dynamically inserting media, as you say, in context, and then ultimately attributing it to growth and sales. For me, it’s the most exciting time in the industry, but we’re all going to have to demonstrate different leadership skills and, I think, being more courageous and inventive as we do it.


Right.  As we know – I’m talking to myself here as well – market research has not been on the leading edge of these types of movements.  Having said that, the demand from the market has never been hotter. And I completely agree with you: this is the absolute most exciting time in my career as it relates with marketing research.  We’re just getting such a better opportunity to positively impact the customer experience.




So, this year’s theme is Insights Automation.  We’re hearing a lot about it in other conferences as well.  How is the market research industry responding to insights automation?


Well, look, the way I think about the research industry and the insights and analytics industry is something I actually said in a talk invoking my group at General Mills a few years back, which is “Our time is NOW.”  I really believe that insights for all people speak of them being democratized. They are the coin of the realm of better business decisions. I believe that, in spite of the fact that with our artificial intelligence and virtual reality and all the technological solutions that are really exciting, that what leaders and what the C-suite is seeking is actually real intelligence.  Rather than being the smartest people in the room, as researchers we have an opportunity to be the most influential. So, going out and getting the latest and greatest, as you say, even some at the leading edge, solutions, trying them, then scaling them and bringing them back to our organizations is really going to be tantamount to delivering better business results. A lot of companies are struggling with growth right now, and I believe that the secret sauce to growth lies in the hands of insights and analytics executives.  Roles are being redefined, but it doesn’t take one thing from our opportunity. I agree with you 100% that this is the most exciting time I can remember in my career.


My guest today has been Gayle, Chief of Customer Insights and Innovation of Foursquare.  Thank you so much for joining me today on the Happy Market Research Podcast.


Thanks, Jamin.  It’s been great.


And thank you everyone who’s listening.  As always, your feedback on iTunes allows other people like you to find this content.  Would really appreciate it if you’d share it. I hope you have a wonderful rest of your day, and I also hope to see you at the North America MRMW Conference.