Principal – Athena Wisdom, Toronto
Jeff Hecker is a seasoned marketing and UX researcher and strategist. As a RIVA-trained moderator, Jeff is fluent in conventional qualitative approaches such as focus groups and interviews, online qualitative approaches, user research of all kinds, and of course semiotics. Jeff’s 19 years of experience includes work at ad agencies like MacLaren McCann, JWT, and Bensimon Byrne; work in the marketing groups of companies like Yellow Pages, Rogers Communications, and Xplornet; and supplier-side research experience with companies like Fresh Squeezed Ideas and Athena Brand Wisdom, where he is currently a Principal. Jeff is also a dad, and an occasional juggler and magician.
“My first exposure to semiotics was as an undergraduate student at the University of Toronto where I ended up doing a minor in semiotics. When I began working in advertising, my background in semiotics was invaluable in helping me interpret texts. But it wasn’t until I chose to specialize in market research that I discovered marketing semiotics as an applied discipline. After getting some training in applied marketing semiotics, I began identifying studies that could be good candidates for a semiotics add-on. I am continually amazed at the capacity of semiotics to identify insights that truly enrich a study. Hosting Semiofest in 2017 was a great pleasure. To me, Semiofest is a rich and ongoing professional development resource and I look forward to future conferences!”