Gayle Fuguitt is a board member, speaker, and executive coach. Fuguitt has a sharp focus on lifting the under-represented, restoring racial justice and empowering women. She leads with expertise in nominating and governance, marketing and tech, and client-side skills from arts and culture, education, social service, and startups.
Fuguitt is recognized as one of the foremost global experts in insights, analytics, business marketing, consumer trends and how these variables translate into concrete revenue growth for client companies. She architects c-suite growth and business outcomes for a wide array of leading advertisers in diverse industries through global, mobile location intelligence uniquely embraced by marketing, sales and engineering. Fuguitt’s combined expertise as a global insights and analytics leader, creative revenue driver and an early adopter and translator of game-changing technology into business growth drivers, and her award-winning industry results-driven leadership utilizes Foursquare solutions to scalable growth opportunities, enabling the future now.
As CEO and President of The Advertising Research Foundation (ARF), Fuguitt was the first woman to lead this 79-year-old organization of media-tech analytics leaders across more than 400 member companies. Fuguitt’s three-year tenure is notable for its historic achievements. She spearheaded original million-dollar research quantifying $31 billion in multiplatform marketing spending opportunities for advertisers to invest, versus discounting. Industry leaders have designated her research results as “the most important original research in the industry in three decades.” The data Fuguitt spearheaded is considered so forward thinking it is now being implemented as a viable tool for marketers across all sectors.
As CEO, Fuguitt’s leadership included the formation of A Women Analytics Initiative while her other efforts forged value-driven connections and strategic collaborations with industry leaders like Facebook, Walmart, Twitter and Google which increased ARF’s endowment by 30% in three years.
Prior to her role at the ARF, Fuguitt spent more than 25 years as an innovator at General Mills. In 1998 she was appointed the first officer ever of marketing research. Among historic firsts that contributed to growth for the global manufacturer, she changed the name of the function from “marketing research” to “consumer insights.” Tapping into revenue-ignition trends she altered the title again to “global consumer insights.” Considered unprecedented, she led the shift of 85% of General Mills’ research to the Internet in one year.
Fuguitt led the multi-national company’s investments of over $70 million dollars in venture capital into Internet research, social media research and mobile research from 1998 to 2010. Among other groundbreaking firsts, Fuguitt held the leadership position of Global Consumer Insights for 18 years – the longest of any executive in the industry — before leaving to seek new leadership opportunities in 2011.
In 1998, Fuguitt led a six-million-dollar investment for General Mills in an Internet research startup company called MarketTools. With her bold leadership advisement, General Mills became the first in the industry to invest in technology to co-create business solutions for marketers. In 1999, Fuguitt was appointed to the MarketTools board where she served for a dozen years. From 2005-2010, she served as MarketTools’ Chair, Governance Committee. MarketTools was later acquired by SurveyMonkey and capitalized at over one billion dollars.
Among other Board of Directors’ positions, Fuguitt served for seven years on the Iconoculture board. A passionate supporter of the arts, Fuguitt is a trustee at the Minneapolis Institute of Art and serves on the board of advisors of the Brooklyn Museum. She is also a board member at the MN Opera; Centro Tyrone Guzman, the largest and oldest Midwest agency supporting the Latine Community; and at the UW-Madison School of Business, DEI Task Force. Fuguitt is also an Investor and Board member media-tech startups: Qualsights, and Adelaide, Inc.
In 2014 Fuguitt was inducted into the Market Research Council (MRC) Hall of Fame. She holds a B.S. in Economics and a B.A. in Industrial Relations from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Fuguitt earned her M.B.A.in Marketing Research from the University of Wisconsin in Madison. She lives in Minneapolis with her husband, Tom.