Talent Champion – Mark Truss

Talent Champion Spotlight

AEF Talent Champion - Mark Truss

Mark Truss
Chief Research Officer
Wunderman Thompson

Mark Truss is the chief research officer for Wunderman Thompson Data, overseeing research, insights and brand intelligence. Using traditional and emerging research techniques, Truss and his team help companies uncover hidden truths about consumers, cultures and brands that drive impactful communications across a variety of media channels.

Truss is also an active contributor within the industry. He writes for and speaks at events hosted by the Advertising Research Foundation, the 4A’s and the IAB; as well as lends his expertise to industry bodies, such as the Market Research Council and the Ad Council’s Research Committee. In addition, Truss is an adjunct professor at Columbia University and NYU and serves as a board member for the ANA Educational Foundation and the Advertising Research Foundation.

What prompted you to get involved with the AEF and why are you passionate about the future of the industry?

As a practitioner and an academic, on a daily basis I live many of the issues that the AEF is working hard to address. Some of these issues are particularly stubborn, inert and complex, and we’re unlikely to see any meaningful change without efforts like those from the AEF. Helping the AEF on these issues is a passion for me!

What is the best career advice you've ever received?

“People get paid in two currencies: money and experience. Always go for the experience.”

Who was your favorite professor and why?

Dr. Leon Pearl, Hofstra University, Professor of Philosophy. While he never called it this, he showed me how to use both convergent and divergent thinking to solve problems, which is a big reason why I ended up a data guy at an ad agency.

What do you enjoy most about your job?

Hang around with truly creative people long enough and some of that creativity starts to rub off on you a bit. So I get to use creativity every day to solve problems that have nothing to do with creativity.​

"Inspiration is everywhere, and if you can't see it you're not looking hard enough."
— Cliff Courtney, Chief Marketing Officer, Zimmerman Advertising