Sr. Research Director/ Vice President
GfK Custom Research North America - Southfield, MI

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GfK Automotive offers a full spectrum of research methodologies to its automotive clients and has dedicated teams specializing in product research (automotive product clinics), qualitative and quantitative research. GfK is looking to expand its automotive product research/clinic business and is seeking an experienced researcher to develop and implement an effective growth strategy.

The Sr. Research Director (or Vice President), Business Development will be responsible for managing overall client relationships and developing new business as well as designing research studies, developing and pricing proposals, overseeing the execution of automotive product clinics, and providing consulting services and analytical insight and recommendations to the end client. The position will require flexibility to travel frequently domestically and possibly internationally for project related work, but also requires commuting to/from the office to client offices and venues in support of projects as needed. The ideal candidate will be an experienced clinic researcher with strong relationships to automotive manufacturers who has either a desire or experience in business development.

Essential Duties and Responsibilities:
  • Client relationship management and business development –Listen, understand and advise client on business issues including proactive development of proposals and responding to ad-hoc issues
  • New Business Development – accountable for revenue targets
  • Identify new business opportunities for product research, especially car clinics
  • Prospect and build solid client relationships
  • Consult with clients on methodologies, design, and executional issues
  • Prepare and deliver effective and winning sales presentations
  • Provide on-site project support (as needed) – client relationship management, research setup, interviewer training, and project management
  • Provide project support (as needed) – on a case-by-case basis, this individual may also be responsible for the following functions related to winning and executing effective product research:
  • Proposal development - writing of the proposal, study design, and pricing
  • Provide actionable insights – writing and delivering compelling research reports and/or presentations which synthesize data in actionable insights

Experience and Skills:
  • Strong business development experience – required (especially with in the automotive sector and market research industry) and demonstrated client service skills • Experience with automotive research in a variety of contexts, particularly with an emphasis in car clinic research
  • Experience with variety of market research methodologies and techniques in automotive product research such as conjoint, positioning, styling clinics, virtual clinics, static clinics and dynamic clinics.
  • Experience in preparing research proposals including proposal pricing and recommended methodology
  • Experience in working with research/marketing/product-planning related functions at a client or having performed these functions while working at an automotive manufacturer/distributor (preferred)
  • Strong interpersonal skills, self-starter attitude, and excellent communication skills – both verbal and written.
  • Experience with and ability to manage simultaneous requests (excellent organizational skills, multi-tasking ability)
  • Ability to consistently produce high quality work (attention to detail)
  • Ability to create charts/presentations using Excel and PowerPoint - proficiency in preparation of high quality, professional-looking PowerPoint presentations incorporating visually appealing, high quality graphics and charts to effectively “tell the story” and entice potential clients
  • Knowledge of automotive marketplace (makes/models, upcoming launches, key trends, etc.)
  • Ability to travel/support a flexible work schedule as needed to support project requirements is required
  • Ability to train and direct Research Associates and/or Research Managers
  • Bachelor’s degree from a four-year college or university.
  • 10+ years of related experience and/or training or equivalent combination of education and experience.
We offer a very competitive salary commensurate with your experience.