Tuesday - June 10th, 2014
Panel discussion with client-side researchers

"What clients want"

Topic:  Mr. President, Tell Me What You Want and How I Can help you?

In this panel discussion, we will discuss the most frequently asked questions from suppliers to clients.  The role of the client has evolved significantly over the last 5 years and we will see the evolution continue in the research buyer role in the next 10 years.  We will discuss the changes that are happening in the client side researcher role.  And most importantly we will discuss the emerging behaviours and trends that we are seeing from our research suppliers.  We will share the behaviours from suppliers that have elevated our role in the organization as well as behaviours from suppliers that can be detrimental to our career.  Suppliers always want to please their clients.  However, is that really what their clients want or is it enough? 

For suppliers, you will walk away from this session feeling refreshed with some key tips on how you can re-think your behavior and action with your clients.  For clients, you will relate to the conversation and this is an opportunity for you to share your perspectives.

Moderator: David Ian Gray


President & Founder, Insights Strategist, DIG360 Consulting Ltd.

In times of change David Ian Gray delivers insight, provocative questions, and new metaphors as catalysts for reinvention. The vehicle for transforming clients is his own firm, DIG360 Consulting Ltd., and the unique talent in his rich global network. He has a rare blend of experience integrating various forms for business intelligence with change efforts: operating and financial data, trends and trend spotting, and various forms of customer and market research.

David helps retail organizations become more relevant to the right target audiences and connect deeply to them. The sweet spot is market-facing strategies for growth-oriented business and reinvigorating Not-For Profits. Senior Executives respect David for his fresh counsel on defining customer-relevance, rethinking customer-experience and DIG360’s tailored roadmaps for evolution. He often instigates a more serious approach to managing research, analytics and knowledge-building within clients, and has been involved in the development of annual research plans, organizational reporting, internal sharing, vendor selection, and key hires.

David is a recognized expert on “customer” experience and trends, consistently producing high-impact knowledge for over 23 years. This has included many projects with Industry Associations and cause based Not-For-Profits, informed by his extensive experience with the retail sector.

He has served the past four years on the BC Business Top Innovators selection panel. He has been a judge on the national ICSC retail awards the past three years. Amongst other topics, he presents on emerging retail trends, the role of retail in a sustainable future and the need for strategic adaptation and management of digital media. David has taught senior executives globally for the prestigious London Business School and is widely sought for insight by business media.

Greg Ambrose


Senior Manager, Consumer Research & Insights, Tim Hortons

Greg Ambrose is a dedicated market researcher with a passion for connecting stakeholders with the information they need to drive successful business decisions.Over the past 12 years, Greg has worked in both supplier and client capacities, including client roles at Indigo Books and Coca-Cola.He currently leads Consumer Research & Insights for Tim Hortons, which has grown to over 4,300 restaurants system-wide, including over 800 in the United States.Greg earned his Certified Market Research Professional (CMRP) designation in 2010 and is a member of MRIA.

Bonnie Baird


Manager of Planning & Research, Tourism Saskatchewan

Bonnie Baird is the Manager of Planning and Research for Tourism Saskatchewan, a Crown Corporation.  Her department is responsible for measuring results and return on investment for all areas of the organization, marketing, economic and industry research and government policy advice and liaison.  The primary focus is on determination of key markets for growth, travel trends, advertising effectiveness and the role of tourism in the economy.

After more than 32 years in tourism research and policy development, Bonnie has seen research and analysis move from punch cards and mainframes to mobile.

Bonnie, a graduate of the University of Saskatchewan, is a member of both MRIA and the Travel and Tourism Research Association (TTRA).  She is a past director of the board of the TTRA Canada Chapter and has presented at TTRA national and international conferences.

Susan Williams


Senior Director, Strategic Insights at Cadillac Fairview, Cadillac Fairview Corporation

Susan Williams, Senior Director, Strategic Insights at Cadillac Fairview Corporation is a marketing professional with over 30 years of experience in Marketing, Research and Strategy. Susan is currently heading up the Research and Analysis group within the newly formed Strategic Insight Group. Over the past fifteen years at Cadillac Fairview, Susan has lead teams of professionals in the development of a vast databank of market, consumer and retail trend research, created efficiencies and new standards in marketing as well as the development and implementation of digital marketing platforms and an extensive e-marketing strategy. The National Gift Card program, Cadillac Fairview’s shop!card including the new ecommerce platforms to grow the shop!card sales research and preferred customers were launched while Susan was Director, national research and Marketing.

Susan plays an active leadership role in the Retail/Commercial Real Estate and Market Research communities in North America. She is a member of ICSC (International Council of Shopping Centres), MRIA (Marketing Research and Intelligence Association), on the CSCA Advisory Board (Ryersons’ Centre for the study of Commercial Activity), REALpac Research Advisory Committee, AMA (American Marketing Association), AARM (Association for the Advancement of Relationship Marketing), and the Canadian Retail Analysts committee. Susan holds an Honours Bachelor of Commerce Degree from McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario, Marketing Management qualifications from the Richard Ivey School of Business at the University of Western Ontario and Professional CRM and CMRP (Research) designations.

Susan is an experienced presenter and has been a speaker and discussion panel member at the ICSC conference, at Ryerson and at MRIA National Conferences. Her sessions have included “Shopping Centres-The Secrets to Success”, “Ready, Set, Retail”, “Stretching Boundaries: Research on a Budget” in addition to papers on leveraging opportunities through GIS, e-marketing and online research.

John Tabone


Principal, Member Value & Research Services Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada

John Tabone is the Chartered Professional Accountants of Canada’s Principal, Member Value & Research Services and he has worked for CPA Canada (previously the Canadian Institute of Chartered Accountants) for over 15 years. John oversees a team that is responsible for marketing research, webinars, career services, sponsorship, the CPA Member Savings program, online communities and other member services.
John was a founding board member of the MRIA and the final president of the Professional Marketing Research Society (PMRS).  John has been a volunteer for the MRIA and PMRS for more than 15 years and is the founder of the Certified Marketing Research Professional (CMRP) designation.

John holds an Honours Bachelors of Commerce degree from McMaster University and a Masters of Business Administration degree from the Schulich School of Business at York University where he graduated on the Dean’s Honour list.