Marketers and market researchers from four major brands — General Mills, Mondelēz International, Nestle S.A., and Sodexo – will provide expert guidance to students taking part in this year’s GfK Next Generation (“NextGen”) Competition. Now in its 6th year, the contest provides undergraduates with a chance to design, execute, and interpret a market research project, focusing on key issues facing marketers today.
NextGen Mentors will provide a variety of help to the students, from evaluating initial entries to selecting the winner and then critiquing a presentation by the winning team when it visits New York City next year. Mentors who have signed on are:
• Julie Rose
Global Consumer Insights Director
• Barry Calpino
Vice President, Innovation Hothouse
• Mary Colleen Hershey
Vice President, Consumer & Marketplace Insights
• Rick Ortman
Vice President, Global Category Development & Shopper Insights
Possible topics and methods for contestants to study include the mobile consumer, “omnishopping,” user experiences, innovation, and Generation Z. The winning team will receive a $1,000 cash prize, as well as a visit to GfK’s New York City headquarters (for two team members plus a faculty advisor), where they will receive feedback on their work and learn about market research as a career.
Initial entries, in which students submit proposals for their research projects, are due November 1st, 2016. GfK will select several finalist teams – to be notified on November 28 – who will complete their proposed studies and submit reports for consideration. GfK will announce the competition’s winning team on March 17, 2017. Past winners of the NextGen Competition – from Aurora University, Chatham University, and Purdue University (Calumet) – focused on topics such as mobile apps, social media, Hispanic consumers, and crowdsourcing.