Alumnus Brings Marketing Research Expertise to Campus
On October 23 and 24, alumnus Bruce Friend ’79 (communication), president of Media and Entertainment Insights at OTX (Online Testing eXchange), was on campus to share his expertise with various groups of students. OTX, a pioneer of online research in the entertainment, advertising and consumer packaged goods spaces, is one of the fastest growing market research companies in the United States with over $30 million in revenue. Friend will speak in a several classes related to children, teens and the media and professional writing. “Bruce offers a unique mix of traditional market research discipline and creative media and technology ideas,” says Shelley Zalis, CEO of OTX. “It is rare to find an expert in the entertainment space that is also forward thinking about how technology can help us evolve research and the way we learn from our consumers.”
Named president in July after three years with OTX, Friend has more than 25 years of global experience in entertainment and multimedia research and strategic planning. He oversees all aspects of entertainment research, including new product development, research design and analysis, client services and new business development. OTX has been described by some as the electronic equivalent of the Neilson Report. But there is a distinction, says Friend. “Nielsen tells you what people watch. Our research tells you what they intend to watch.”
Friend has served an instrumental role in expanding OTX across three key U.S. locations and into Europe, Asia and Latin America. In keeping with the company’s history of innovation, he led teams that have launched three industry-leading syndicated tracking services across the film, TV and video game industries as well as custom survey technology application such as the “Virtual Online Program Guide” and the “Virtual Electronic Diary.”
Prior to his affiliation with OTX, Friend was senior vice president of research from the Columbia Tristar Worldwide Marketing Group, a division of Sony Pictures Entertainment. There he was responsible for all research-related activities for the production, marketing and distribution of Sony Pictures releases, covering the theatrical and internet-based platforms. Friend also worked for MTV Networks in various senior management positions over an eight-year period where he oversaw the development and design of many studies as well and domestic and international brand research initiatives. His resume also includes experience at The Disney Channel, Home Box Office, Telemundo Group Inc., Saatchi and Y&R Advertising. Currently he serves on the board of visitors of the University of Alabama’s College of Communications and on the Chancellor’s Council at UMass Amherst. He has received the Chancellor’s Award for his service and dedication to the University in the areas of Child Developmental Psychology and Media.
More information about OTX.
October 17, 2006