John partnered with agency leadership on the account planning side to develop productive relationships
John Willard has recently entered into the world of independent consulting, leveraging his broad experience to help advertisers, agencies, and market research companies uncover insights and build their marketing competencies.
Prior to taking on this new independent role, John headed up the Market Research and Consumer Relations departments for 15 years at Bayer Consumer Care, marketer of brands such as Bayer Aspirin, Aleve, Alka-Seltzer, Alka-Seltzer Plus, One-A-Day, and Flintstones. At Bayer, John was very much involved with the advertising process. He partnered with agency leadership on the account planning side to develop productive relationships with the market research team, including creating “Insightapalooza,” a workshop to foster better understanding of the complementary roles of account planning and market research. John helped establish a global advertising copy testing system that facilitated the process of “reapplication” of creative from one market to another. And he played a leading role in the Advertising Research Foundation’s efforts to improve market research quality (Foundations of Quality
Before joining Bayer, John was a Senior Director in market research at American Express, leading teams that conducted both consumer and business-to-business research. John started his market research career in Research & Planning at the now defunct advertising agency DMB&B, working with companies such as M&M Mars, Kraft General Foods, Norelco, and Marine Midland Bank.
Earlier in his career, John pursued graduate studies in English Literature at Rutgers University, where he also taught courses in Composition, Business and Technical Writing, British Literature, Modern Fiction, and Detective Fiction.
John has lectured on market research topics at Columbia University, the University of Virginia, and NYU.
Among John’s interests and activities outside of work are pickup basketball, ballroom dancing, choral singing, and rudimentary piano-playing and rudimentary golf.