In exemplifying Erwin's legacy, characteristics and contributions to the advertising and media industry, Jim will join the three previous winning titans, Irwin Gotlieb, GroupM, David Poltrack, CBS, and Bill Harvey, Research Measurement Technologies.
Jim, who has his doctorate in economics, is a founder of Sequent Partners, which he has led since 2003 in close collaboration with Alice Sylvester. He was the co-visionary behind establishing TouchPoints in the U.S. from the UK. It is now part of RealityMine, where he and Alice helped to integrate this survey technique into their offerings during 2015 and 2016.
Prior to founding Sequent Partners in 2003, Jim served as President of The ARF for seven years. Under Jim’s leadership, ARF expanded its scope to incorporate all aspects of market research practice on a global basis. This included marketing and media ROI, CRM, brand valuation, digital marketing and the transformation of the research function from a business-focused social science to a business discipline focused on “value creation” through the application of social science technology. I can personally vouch that he kept the whole industry on its toes via specialized committees addressing a wide variety of issues during his tenure.
Prior to his leadership role at ARF, Jim spent over a decade developing new research tools to improve clients’ business performance. He has also led the media research and planning function at General Foods and Young & Rubicam.
Erwin Ephron's greatest attributes included his eloquent speaking and writing -- often regarding the most complex topics -- as well as addressing emerging challenges and translating or encouraging new concepts or ideas into action. Erwin was also a disruptor.
Jim’s most recent disruptive writing and speaking endeavor was the release and presentation at the CIMM Summit of Sequent’s white paper, “Current Practices in Attribution and ROI Analysis” as commissioned by CIMM. This work will surely underpin how the industry integrates two complex “hairy” techniques -- ROI & Attribution modeling into data integration best practices to provide an ‘impact currency’ in near real-time that would offer brands the opportunity to modify marketing plans mid-course on the fly. “Hairy,” yes -- but Jim (and Alice) made it all quite easy to understand the intricate issues and possible ways forward in true Erwin Ephron mode.
Jim has been instrumental in executing a remarkable array of research, analysis and evaluations on fundamental industry issues that have moved or will move the industry forward to more effective marketing solutions. The ARF Award Committee clearly saw a legacy being established. Erwin would be proud!!