For a second year, we have put together a list of inspiring voices in the competitive intelligence space.
It is our tribute to professionals from all over the wolrd which in addition of excelling at their craft, share their knowledge and vision with the broader industry. These leaders and influencers frequently speak at conferences, write articles or contribute to podcasts and panels. If you are a curious mind with an appetite for the latest tools, trends and insights, you should definitely follow them on Linkedin.
Note this list is by no means a ranking! It has been ordered alphabetically and also includes professionals from a broad range of industries. What unites all and makes everyone here so special is their passion for competitive intelligence – and their capacity to innovate and push the boundaries.
We hope you enjoy flicking through it, and discover some new inspiring people to follow. To make this easier, we’ve added a link to everyone’s LinkedIn profile.
1. Andrea K. Leigh, Founder and CEO at Allume Group
Andrea K. Leigh is an eCommerce strategist and enthusiast. With over 20 years of eCommerce experience working with thousands of brands, her deep expertise can help unlock sustainable growth opportunities for brands of all sizes. A former senior executive at Amazon, she led over 15 product categories and ran Amazon Prime for Amazon Canada. She is a recognized thought leader in the industry, a frequent keynote speaker at various conferences and corporate events. Andrea writes and is quoted on topics related to eCommerce, corporate strategy, and Amazon.
2. Andrew Busby, Founder at Retail Reflections
Andrew has extensive experience and knowledge in the retail sector, particularly in areas such as retail technology, customer experience, and emerging trends. He founded Retail Reflections, a retail consultancy firm that provides strategic advice and insights to the industry. Andrew is also a regular contributor to various media outlets, including Forbes, BBC, where he is known for his expertise in analyzing the latest developments in the retail industry. Andrew is a member of the IORMA Advisory Board, Advisory Board member at Retail Week, Founder of the Retail Advisory Board and editor at large for Retail Technology magazine.
3. Carl Boutet, Founder at Studio Rx
Carl’s has been recognized by Rethink Retail as one of the most influential and impactful retail thinkers in the world. As the founder and chief strategist of Studio Rx, Carl delivers prescriptive retail experience strategies that combine art and science, design, data, and technology with purpose. Carl has over 25 years of experience in advising senior retail leaders and brands on how to build better business strategies that leverage their combined choices of technology, analytics, and design. He is passionate about sharing his knowledge and insights on retail innovation, marketing, and global trends as an educator, speaker, and author.
4. Celia Van Wickel, Global Director & Head of Omnichannel, Mars
Celia is an active voice on the latest digital commerce trends. She has led teams in omnichannel and eCommerce insights and analytics for Walmart, Lowe’s, Mattel, Coca-Cola, and Mars. In 2022, Celia was Kantar’s digital commerce expert, a thought leader for CPGs on trends such as rapid delivery, retail media, DTC, Digital Shelf, and Amazon. Listed as one of RTIH’s Top 100 Retail Technology Influencers in 2022, Celia has been featured in various industry publications such as Grocery Dive, Business Insider, and The Grocer.
5. Delia Staffieri, Insights & Innovation Market Intelligence at Electrolux
Delia is a Competitive Intelligence and Strategy professional, passionate about enabling fact-based decision making. She leads Market Intelligence at Electrolux since 2021. Before that, she spent over 14 years in competitive and market intelligence, strategy and bizdev in the home appliances and automotive industries. At Electrolux, Delia is the go-to person for market and competitive intel. This includes driving Market Intelligence research & analysis and supporting the Innovation process through Market and Competitive Intelligence.
6. Edward Allison, Founder at CompeteIQ
Working to change the way companies compete and win, Ed is the founder of CompeteIQ, a competitive, market and sales intelligence platform. He previously served as a competitive team leader at Cisco, Symbol Technologies, Juniper Networks and Polycom. Ed is a practitioner, not a theorist, of competitive, market, and customer intelligence leadership at marketing-leading tech companies. He developed analysis and strategy techniques as a military officer in the U.S. Army (Signal Corp) which he has adopted to strategic planning and sales effectiveness. Ed is a regular speaker at industry events such as Frost & Sullivan Mind eXchange, The Altamont Group executive education series, and SCIP (Strategic and Competitive Intelligence Professionals).
7. Guilherme Fernandes, Marketing & Competitive Intelligence at King
Guilherme is an accomplished Manager at King’s Market & Competitive Intelligence team, with several years of experience in gaming. Previously, he worked at Newzoo, the most-quoted games market research company, and PwC. His extensive expertise in the games market has honed his ability to identify key trends and understand their drivers, providing actionable insights and recommendations that give stakeholders a competitive edge. As a seasoned games market expert, he empowers stakeholders with key industry insights, enabling them to capitalize on new trends and emerging opportunities.
8. Jason Goldberg, Chief Commerce Strategy Officer at Publicis
Jason is a 4th generation retailer, and a pioneer throughout the digital disruption of commerce. In his role at Publicis, he currently partners with over 100 clients on the Internet Retailer 500. Jason is also a regular contributor to Forbes, the host of a popular e-commerce Podcast (The Jason & Scot Show), and serves on the board of directors of shop.org (the digital retail arm of the National Retail Federation). In addition, he has been voted one of retail’s top global influencers by Vend four consecutive years and in 2017, he was inducted into the National Retail Federation “The List” of people shaping the future of retail.
9. Jay Nakagawa, Director of Competitive Intelligence at Dell
Jay is a seasoned professional at creating and building out a competitive function and high-performance, winning teams. He leads a world-class competitive intelligence team covering Dell Technologies portfolio of servers, networking, storage, infrastructure, cloud, data protection, client (laptops, notebooks), and as-a-Service (aaS) lines of business. He is able to provide real-time data on how to beat the competition via a competitive portal reaching over 32,000 users in Dell’s sales and partner community.
10. Jeff Roster, Co-host at This Week in Innovation
Jeff is a popular influencer in the retail space. He is the co-host alongside Brian Sathianathan of This Week in Innovation, a podcast where they explore the retail sector startup community. Every week, they discuss the trends driving the retail industry and examine the technologies being built to take advantage of them. Jeff previously served as VP of Industry Market Strategies, Retail at Gartner. In 2021, 2022 and 2023, he was also recognized as Rethink Retail Top Retail Influencer.
11. Katherine Cullen, VP Industry and Consumer insights at National Retail Federation
Katherine brings over a decade of experience delivering actionable consumer and business insights in areas such as the future of the store, demographic trends, cross-channel technologies, payments, and returns. She develops data-driven solutions to guide strategic decision making or create new avenues for growth. Regarded as an authoritative voice on consumer issues and trends, Katherine has conducted over 300 interviews across print, television and radio outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, NBC Nightly News, and CBS.
12. Katya Rozenoer, Co-Founder at DelivApp
Katya is the Co-Founder and CCO at DelivApp, a startup that creates technology that helps restaurants and delivery fleets deliver food on-demand with their own or third-party couriers. She is a former journalist, turned marketer, and turned startup founder. Katya is curious about the food delivery world, watching the competitive landscape closely. You can read her observations in her Substack blog titled Food Business Bites.
13. Kelly Frank, Sr Director of Product Management at Gap
Kelly has broad experience driving product strategy and execution for large public companies and growing startups. She has built and maintained a variety of products within every stage from inception and go to market strategies to end of life and customer migrations and everything in between. At Gap, Kelly currently oversees the product strategy for the company’s ecommerce business, inclusive of site and app, with iconic brands such as Gap, Banana Republic, Old Navy, and Athleta. She provides data driven, customer first thought leadership to reimagine the shopping experience, focused on discoverability, inspiration and frictionless shopping while balancing brand aesthetic and values.
14. Lexi Sydow, Director of Corporate Marketing at data.ai
With over 12 years of experience in analyzing complex data and converting into action-oriented insights across the private and public sector, Lexi knows how to create impact from data in marketing, PR, product growth, public policy and customer strategy. She currently leads the insights team at data.ai (formerly App Annie) communicating mobile insights on consumer behavior changes for businesses to leverage this data to drive growth. Lexi is also data.ai corporate spokesperson on data and insights for media and industry events. Her work has been quoted in BBC, The New York Times, Forbes, and Fortune among others.
15. Luis Madureira, Managing Partner at UBERBRANDS
Luis is the First Doctor (Ph.D.) in Competitive Intelligence Science Information Management. Today, he leads the Brand Building revolution as Founder and Managing Partner of ÜBERBRANDS, where he helps business leaders navigate their competitive environment by informing their decision-making with insights, supporting the design of winning strategies, and create innovative products, services, processes and business models. A distinguished Fellow by the Council of Competitive Intelligence Fellowship, Luis Chairs the SCIP Portugal Chapter. He is also the author of Social Market Intelligence (SMINT), and INNOVA©TION, an end-to-end innovation program spanning from the fuzzy front-end to its evaluation
16. Mandhir Dua, Head of Competitive Analysis at Expedia Group
With over 15 years of experience in building competitive strategy frameworks for established as well as emerging companies, Mandhir expertise is in developing intelligence solutions to stay ahead of their competition. Currently, he leads the Product Competitiveness vertical at Expedia, helping Product and Strategy teams across Expedia to develop products and initiatives. In addition, he advises startups, guiding them to building their Competitive Strategy unit. Mandhir posts through a regular blog and also lectures to graduate students.
17. Martha Sulkiewicz, Global Head of Market & Strategic Insights at SimilarWeb
Leading the market research department at Similarweb, Marta is a digital insights and marketing technology expert with over 20 years of proven track record in the sector. Before joining Similarweb, Marta was a C-level executive of Gemius, a company delivering audience insights on digital and cross-media, as well as digital advertising and media effectiveness in EMEA. Marta is an experienced panelist at many international and local conferences including I-Com Global Summit 2020, Interact by IAB Europe 2017-2019, DAIS (Data Analytics and Insights Salon 2021), and many others.
18. Rafael Barbalat, Venture Capital at Prosus Group
Rafael is a Principal at Prosus Group where he focuses on building the world’s leading online food delivery footprint, operating in 70+ countries around the world. Rafa leads Strategy and Investments for a global portfolio of leading food delivery companies including iFood, Delivery Hero, Swiggy, Flink, Foodics, Oda, and Sharebite. He has an MBA from Emory University and an Engineer’s Degree in Industrial Engineering from Universidade Federal do Paraná.
19. Robert Bunchek, VP Strategic Planning, Intelligence, & Implementation at Target
Robert is an authentic leader known for developing customer-centric strategies that drive business results. Throughout his career, he has developed deep expertise in strategy development, category management, market & shopper insights, competitive intelligence, product development, and brand management. At Target, Robert leads insights & intelligence teams. He built and scaled an integrated Industry, Consumer, Competitive, and Marketplace intelligence and insights function which supports Target’s Enterprise and Executive teams. His team delivers proactive and provocative insights that inform strategic choices across multiple functional areas for Target.
20. Roma Vakil, Head of Marketing, Membership & Mobile App at Walmart
Roma i currently oversees marketing for the Walmart+ membership program, InHome, and the Walmart Mobile App and is a thought leader in the evolution of retail. She is responsible for Walmart+ full-funnel marketing strategy including brand, acquisition, lifecycle marketing & GTM planning for new benefit launches. Prior to Walmart, she has led marketing teams in companies including American Express, Bloomberg and TheStreet.
21. Simon Kemp, Founder at Kepios
Simon is the founder of Kepios, a strategy consultancy based in Singapore that helps organizations all over the world to make sense of people’s evolving digital behaviors, and understand what these changes mean for ongoing success. Tens of millions of people around the world have read the Global Digital Reports series that he produces in partnership with We Are Social and Meltwater on his popular DataReportal website, and he appears frequently in the media to discuss digital’s impact on business, culture, and society. Simon has worked with many of the world’s most admired companies, including Unilever, Google, Coca-Cola, Nestlé, J&J, and Diageo.
22. Stephan Soroka, Head of Business Development at Wear Your Brand
Stephan is a foodtech and last-mile delivery enthusiast. He is building a SaaS venture and serving the market, working with industry leaders like Uber Eats, Delivery Hero, iFood, Bolt Food, Gorillas, JOKR, etc. He is an important voice in the Food and Grocery delivery world, as well as E-commerce, Q-commerce, and Social Commerce. He explores the developments that are happening today in these industries and uses his Linkedin and Youtube channels to share industry news and speak to the experts, founders and executives. He posts regularly on Linkedin and is known for his Friday Takeaway newsletter and website.
23. Sucharita Kodali, VP Principal Analyst at Forrester Research
Sucharita is an expert in e-commerce, omnichannel commerce, consumer behavior, and trends in the retail and consumer goods space. In her research, Sucharita covers areas such as e-commerce trends and global, regulatory, and technology issues shaping commerce. She is the author of Forrester’s “The World’s Most Future-Proofed Brands” report, which reviews global consumer-facing brand manufacturers. She is often the keynote speaker at retailer conferences around the world and is frequently featured in national media such as NPR, The Wall Street Journal, The New York Times, Bloomberg Businessweek, and more.
24. Ubald Kragten, Founder of Eye on I
Based in Netherlands, Ubald is the founder and owner of EyE on I, advising start-ups, investors and companies on their insights, investment and innovation strategy and processes. He works with future-focused companies and technology experts creating the leverage to support both small and large companies connecting market needs with technology opportunities. Prior to starting his own company, he was co-leading the design, implementation and execution of the future trend spotting and opportunity shaping process at DSM, a global company focusing on health, nutrition and biosciences.
A Little About Watchful
Watchful.ai provides an advanced way to gain product intelligence and competitive insights. We provide the measurement tools, industry benchmarks, marketing insights and competitive intel to gain unprecedented visibility into competitor activity. Our platform is at the core of the decision-making process of business, strategy and dev teams of Fortune 500 companies.
Watchful gives you ongoing reports, alerts and indications for tests and features in development. Our team of engineers and analysts have created a new way to understand the digital landscape and visualize what your competitors are doing today, and planning for tomorrow.
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