November 30, 2021

The ARF and the NYU School of Professional Studies Launch Certificate Program in Marketing Optimization and Insights

ARF - NYU SPS logos

Initiative looks to address industry need for more effective application of research and analytics to campaign development

NEW YORK, NY, November 30, 2021 – The ARF (Advertising Research Foundation) and the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) today announced the launch of a co-developed academic program, the ARF Certificate in Marketing Optimization and Insights, which will provide professionals with examples of the real-world application of research and analytic methods needed to diagnose marketing problems, iterate solutions and evaluate the effectiveness of campaigns.

The program, now open for enrollment, will commence during the Spring 2022 semester and will be taught by leading professionals from members of the ARF who will serve as adjunct instructors at NYU SPS. It consists of one required course, Foundations of Advertising Research, and six electives, of which three must be taken: Achieving Consumer Centricity, Campaign Objectives & Strategy, Discovering and Testing the Key Consumer Insight, Informing Creative Development, Media Assessment & Tactical Planning, and Campaign Effectiveness Measurement.

“Over the past decade, the marketing insights industry has witnessed dramatic changes from the proliferation of digital technologies and the resultant streams of consumer data. But with these innovations came challenges for those trained in more traditional methods seeking to accelerate their careers. Currently there are just not enough resources to empower them with the necessary tools to utilize the robust consumer and market insights that exist,” said Scott McDonald, PhD, president and CEO at the ARF.  “Therefore, the ARF collaborating with NYU SPS sought to fill that void with the development of a tailored curriculum designed to foster an environment for professionals to learn and experience firsthand, how research and analytic methods available today play a crucial role in the full cycle of campaign development.”

The concept for the ARF Certificate in Marketing Optimization and Insights grew from ongoing discussions among the ARF and its Board of Trustees about the increasing need for ARF members and their constituents to have training materials enabling more effective application of research and analytics to campaign development.  In parallel, the NYU School of Professional Studies has been expanding its continuing education programs in the field of marketing and communications to reflect industry demands and was keen to collaborate with leading practitioners and researchers, to design new programs.

Through the program, students will learn how to:

  • Apply a “consumer centric” approach to the development and optimization of marketing in daily work activities
  • Identify the business goals, objectives, and strategies relevant to marketing and advertising
  • Assess the requirements of an effective marketing and advertising plan to support these business goals
  • Develop actionable insights from consumer and market data
  • Integrate the research and insights process into the development, testing and optimization of messaging and creative assets
  • Evaluate the impact of media choices, the media-mix and optimal media plans on reaching marketing communications and business goals
  • Measure the effectiveness and efficiency of a marketing campaign, and determine appropriate optimizations

Commenting on the collaboration, Michael Diamond, academic director of the Department of Integrated Marketing and Communication in the School’s Division of Programs in Business, suggested that “this joint program with the ARF, with industry and academia working closely together, represents an important path forward both for the future of education and the ongoing transformation of marketing. We are delighted to be part of building impactful programs that support upskilling and professional advancement to meet the needs of emerging professionals in our industry.

“Often when you build out course materials it is you alone with a computer. To build out this program with a breadth of colleagues who bring different experiences and expertise has been a great learning experience and produced a truly unique offering,” says Mark Truss, chief research officer, Wunderman Thompson Data and adjunct instructor at the NYU School of Professional Studies. “For students, this provides the rare opportunity to learn from 30 different experts in the business – exposure that is incredible valuable in helping them form their own opinions about the business.”

For more information about the program or the enrollment process, visit:

About The ARF
Founded more than 80 years ago, the ARF is dedicated to creating, curating, and sharing objective, industry-level advertising research to enable members to make a true impact on their advertising and build marketing leadership within their organizations. It has more than 400 members from leading brand advertisers, agencies, research firms and media-tech companies. For more information, visit

About the NYU School of Professional Studies 
Celebrating 87 Years of Excellence in Applied Professional Education

For 87 years, the NYU School of Professional Studies (NYU SPS) has been a deeply respected institution of higher education that is grounded in applied learning. From its early years, training returning World War II veterans to fulfill the nation’s urgent need for skilled technical workers, it has evolved into a professional education powerhouse that offers 22 graduate degrees, 14 bachelor’s degrees for traditional and post-traditional students, four associate’s degrees, and a plethora of continuing education courses and credentials.

NYU SPS is a thought leader, and serves as an incubator for new ideas in industries that are constantly changing, including real estate, real estate development, and construction management; hospitality, tourism, travel, and event management; global affairs and global security, conflict, and cybercrime; global sport and sports business; publishing; marketing; public relations; project management; executive coaching and organizational consulting, human resource management and development, and human capital analytics and technology; management and systems; translation; and professional writing. It is focused on building skills that open doors to opportunities in emerging fields and global markets. NYU SPS faculty members are leading experts in their areas of discipline, with a hands-on approach that encourages students to push beyond their limits and to break new ground.

Home to some of the largest and most prestigious industry conferences in the world, the School’s invaluable connections to industry leaders is a truly distinguishing factor in the education that it provides. Through career development services and resources provided by the NYU Wasserman Center for Career Development at NYU SPS, guest lecturers, site visits, participation in numerous conferences and events, and Global Field Intensives, students benefit from an NYU education that will set them apart. In addition, they have the opportunity to learn from and network with more than 39,000 NYU SPS alumni who live, work, and contribute to innovation in industry around the world. To learn more about NYU SPS visit:

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