Monday - June 9th, 2014
Concurrent Sessions A

Who wants to be a Chief Insights Officer?

Our industry is experiencing an insight, information paradox. There’s never been more information available and yet the insights function is more challenged than ever. Far from marking the death of market research, this environment marks the most significant opportunity for insights to reach the senior executive table.

With the plethora of data available to even the smallest organization, there has never been more need for a strong insights lead that understands and creates connectivity to the multitude of data sources - big data, social media monitoring, custom, syndicated, data base, CRM etcetera – and evaluates strengths and weaknesses from a holistic perspective. Yet, the market research industry has never been more challenged as witnessed in the disbanding of client-side research teams, budget cuts, the pressure to do the same or more with less and marginalization within organizations across sectors and regions.

This session will include a discussion where attendees will be encouraged to share their experience, concerns, challenges and greatest opportunities. We'll discuss necessary skills sets, hiring requirements, mentoring, growth trajectory and executive training to take advantage  of the opportunities that exist in this new and rapidly changing environment where driving meaningful insights is among all executives’ biggest business challenges.


Tricia Benn


Chief Marketing and Strategy Officer,
Northstar Research Partners Inc.

Tricia Benn, VP Strategy, MDC Partners Inc., one of the world’s largest business transformation organizations. MDC Partners leverages technology, marketing, communications, data analytics, insights, and strategic consulting solutions to drive meaningful, measureable returns on marketing and communications investments for clients worldwide.

Tricia is also the Chief Marketing & Strategy Officer of Northstar a partner agency within the MDC network. Northstar is a globally integrated strategic marketing insights and consulting firm that aligns leading edge, customized research techniques and a deep understanding of cultural context with proprietary and proven strategic marketing models to help clients drive profitable growth. Sectors of specialized expertise include healthcare, financial, luxury and fashion, beverage, automotive, retail, CPG and transportation across consumer and B2B communities.

Prior to joining Northstar, Tricia founded and built a multi-million dollar research practice for Rogers Media that specialized in insights-based programs developed on behalf of executives and marketers. Her group specialized in B2B segments across all sectors and she is on the Board of Directors for the MRIA B2B Division.

Tricia is a regular conference and client speaker and an Officer of the Market Research & Intelligence Association (MRIA), along with numerous other industry and community boards/committees. She is the proud recipient of the MRIA Award of Distinction, which recognizes those who have elevated the marketing, survey and public opinion research industry through leadership and achievement in their professional and personal lives.

In addition to frequent public speaking in Canada and the US, her team won the 2013 MRIA Public Policy Impact Award.