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Psyma Adds Another Star to the Line-up: Joe Ford
15/05/2018 | en
Joe Ford brings more than 15 years of broad-based primary and secondary marketing research experience to Psyma. And he’s packed a lot of action into those 15 years.
Joe got his undergraduate degree in Economics from Villanova University. “I was one of the fortunate few to be able to actually get a job in Economics with a bachelor’s degree,” he laughs. Right out of college, Joe joined Wharton Econometrics, using their economic models to develop forecasts and market analyses. As Joe noted, “While it was a great job, to progress at that company you would need a PhD in Economics.”
As that did not interest him, he took the next step of getting an MBA from the Owen School of Business at Vanderbilt University. Marketing research became his chosen field (nicely complementing his economics background), leading to a series of positions with industry leaders, including TNS. Gaining experience in a wide variety of industries and research applications, he even “punched the ‘Dot Com’ ticket” with a stint at CDNOW, one of the leading early online music retailers (eventually absorbed by Amazon).
Rounding out his background, he was Vice President of Insight and Analytics at Palio, an advertising agency in the InVentiv network. While he admits that “marketing researchers are sometimes viewed with innate distrust by ad agencies”, he focused on strategy at Palio, and was able to help creatives understand how a well-crafted, fact-based strategy can lead to better, more effective advertising. “My Psyma clients will benefit from my agency experience because I know the agency world, their challenges, and what guidance they are looking for from primary and secondary research. They know I will be fair to them. I speak their language, as well as the language of researchers.”
Joe enjoys working in marketing research agencies and believes that Psyma is one of the best. “I enjoy the immediacy with the clients and being involved in all aspects of the engagement. Everyone pitches in to do what needs to be done; no one is solely responsible for just one thing.” He also enjoys the collaborative and open Psyma culture: “Everyone in the boat is rowing in the same direction. No one here is just doing their own thing without contributing to the whole.”
Joe gave another example of the Psyma culture about which he is particularly excited. “Psyma is a fun place to work. Each quarter, two staff members are charged with finding a charitable event. The first quarter I was here, I worked with a partner to develop a half-day volunteer project with a local non-profit to address hunger. To me, that adds to the culture, making Psyma an excellent work environment.”
“My first project turned out spectacularly. We are working with a client to think about developing their brand further, with an eye toward potential repositioning. I got to facilitate the ideation session, which may not sound like something a marketing researcher would do, but absolutely helped the client use and plan action around the insights from their research.” It’s that kind of ground-breaking, leading-edge work that has cemented Psyma’s reputation and that makes Joe happy and excited to be a part of the Psyma team.
When he’s not at work, Joe is active. He plays tennis and basketball, but he credits ultimate frisbee for keeping him sane. “It’s very demanding, but it keeps you young. I play competitively and travel to tournaments.” That – as well as spending time with his teenage son – keep him busy.
Joe’s extensive and varied background in primary research delivers a wide range of expertise to Psyma’s clients, including patient/physician segmentation, message/concept testing, positioning, choice studies; as well as use of secondary data in modeling and forecasting. “I like to do a lot of different things in marketing research, and at Psyma, we get to bring new ideas to our clients.”