GfK MRI – the gold-standard source of media and consumer research in the US – has named two proven leaders to guide its strategy and sales.
Anna Welch has become Managing Director of MRI, while Michael Drankwalter is now EVP and Media Commercial Director for GfK in North America, including MRI. They will oversee all aspects of the MRI business, with strategic input from Gregg Lindner (Regional General Manager, GfK North America).
MRI’s Survey of the American Consumer® – which is accredited by the Media Ratings Council (MRC) – is the industry standard for US magazine audience ratings and is used in the majority of media and marketing plans in the country. Leveraging its extensive consumer data, MRI has also developed products and partnerships that address key questions about digital media and planning.
“Quality and trust will always be at the heart of anything MRI delivers,” said Lindner. “Anna and Mike have lived this commitment to excellence in helping MRI grow, and they will assure that we keep meeting our clients’ very high expectations.”
As Managing Director, Welch is responsible for setting MRI’s vision and business strategy, including new product development, custom and syndicated fusions, and digital activation of MRI data. Most recently, she oversaw MRI’s product innovation initiatives, as well as analytics, measurement science, and client relations. Earlier, Welch oversaw online research at MRI, handling its media panels and custom online studies. She began her market research career at Harris Interactive, working on custom research projects for CPG, governmental and media organizations.
Drankwalter overseees all commercial activity with media and advertising agency clients for the full suite of GfK products. He joined MRI (then known as Mediamark Research) in 1996 as an Account Executive focused on Television clients and became MRI’s Sales team leader in 2015. Earlier in his career, Drankwalter was a research manager at the Cable Television Advertising Bureau (CAB) and Katz Communications.
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