Keynote Speaker

John W. Martin

JohnMartinJohn W. Martin is the president and CEO of the Southeastern Institute of Research Inc. (SIR), a 50-year-old full-service marketing research firm headquartered in Richmond, Virginia.

SIR has conducted more than 14,000 marketing research studies, making it one of the oldest and most experienced marketing research firms in the country. Client work has included focus groups, surveys, and ethnographic studies for AARP, the American Chemical Society, the National Kidney Foundation, AT&T, Electrolux, Goodyear, General Electric, Polaroid, Reynolds, Rubbermaid, Owens & Minor, PayPal, Media General, Verizon, the Public Relations Society of America, ASPCA and many other national organizations.

In 2003, Martin took over SIR and immediately focused the research institute on high-profile transportation projects, particularly facility construction projects and TDM marketing programs. This included commuter and citizen-related research studies for Arlington County’s Commuter Assistance Program, Hampton Roads Transit, TRAFFIX, the Virginia Department of Rail and Public Transportation, the Dulles Corridor Metrorail Extension, the Virginia Department of Transportation, the Greater Richmond Transit Company, RideFinders, the Rappahannock-Rapidan Planning District Commission, the Northern Shenandoah Valley Planning District, the Greater Richmond Chamber of Commerce and Telework!VA.

Recognizing the growing impact and opportunity presented by 78 million U.S. Baby Boomers as they redefine what it is like to grow old in America, Martin launched the SIR Boomer Project, a nationally-recognized think tank on generational marketing. The Boomer Project tracks generational trends and provides strategic consultation to governmental agencies, associations and businesses on how to effectively market to millennials, Gen Xers, baby boomers and the silent generation.

SIR and Boomer Project insights come from SIR’s custom-designed qualitative and quantitative marketing research studies, and through 8,000 monthly consumer interviews conducted by SIR’s strategic partner, BIGinsight, and analyzed by SIR’s researchers.

Boomer Project findings have been featured in the Los Angeles Times, The Washington Post, the Chicago Tribune, The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, the Toronto Star, BusinessWeek and Barron’s, as well as on NBC Nightly News, CBS News, MSNBC and NPR’s Morning Edition.

Prior to joining SIR, Martin was the chief marketing officer for PBM Products, a $120-million consumer products company. While at PBM, he orchestrated consumer product launches through leading national retailers, including Wal-Mart, Kmart, Target, Kroger, Albertson’s, CVS and dozens of other national chains.

Martin began his marketing career at Siddall, Matus and Coughter (SMC), an award-winning communications firm headquartered in Richmond. He joined SMC as a young intern and ended up as the firm’s president, leading the agency’s client program development work in the healthcare, financial and transportation categories. The American Marketing Association and the Association for Commuter Transportation recognized many of the transportation-related marketing programs guided by him as the most effective communications outreach campaigns in the country.

While at SMC, Martin led the firm’s communications work to introduce Atlanta’s HOV system, supported the employer outreach efforts behind the 1996 Olympics in Atlanta, ramped up the clean air awareness-building campaigns in Houston, Chicago, Washington and Massachusetts and was a member of the team that designed the congestion mitigation program that kept traffic moving around the I-95 and I-495 Springfield Interchange during its eight-year expansion project.

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