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Foursquare Taps ARF CEO Gayle Fuguitt as Head of Customer Insights

Foursquare, the location-based app and data marketing company, has hired Gayle Fuguitt — president and CEO of the Advertising Research Foundation — as chief of customer insights and innovation.

In the newly created role, Fuguitt will act as a liaison between Foursquare’s advertising clients and internal marketing, sales and engineering teams, with an eye toward developing new global mobile-location intelligence research and tools. She reports to Foursquare president Steven Rosenblatt, and officially started at the company on Dec. 5.

“I really believe in global mobile as a game-changer in the industry, and being able to reach consumers on their terms,” Fuguitt said in an interview.

The entertainment industry specifically has a huge opportunity to tap into mobile marketing platforms, she says, to reach millennials and other demographic groups whether they’re at movie theaters, at home — or somewhere else. Other top vertical segments Foursquare targets include pharmaceutical, retail, luxury, consumer packaged goods, auto, electronics, beverages and publishing.

Fuguitt, the first woman to lead the ARF since its formation in 1936, expanded the industry org’s national and global network with initiatives geared around helping marketers generate measurable sales growth. The ARF this summer announced that Fuguitt would depart the organization in October and that it was searching for a replacement.

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Before joining the ARF in 2013, Fuguitt spent 32 years at General Mills, where her roles included overseeing global consumer marketing insights and analytics. She led the food manufacturer’s investment of more than $70 million into internet research in 1998 before spearheading its expansion into social media and mobile research.

Fuguitt serves on the Wharton Future of Advertising Board, and in 2014 she was inducted into the Market Research Council’s Hall of Fame.

Foursquare says more than 50 million people monthly use its apps and websites to discover places and check in. The company provides location data to Apple, Snapchat, Twitter, Uber, Airbnb, Microsoft, Samsung and some 100,000 other developers. Foursquare’s ad tools let marketers target audiences as well as measure foot traffic to specific locations.

The privately held company has raised $166 million in funding from investors including Union Square Ventures, Andreessen Horowitz, DFJ Growth and Morgan Stanley Alternative Investment Partners. Foursquare, which has 200 employees, is based in New York with offices in San Francisco, Los Angeles, London and Shanghai.

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