The New and Improved "Top Ten" Bio
Dr. Ari Zelmanow is a consumer psychologist, research evangelist, and brand strategist, who specializes in gaining insights from customer interviews. Since he hates traditional bios, here are ten interesting facts about his background:
Human judgment and decision-making don't occur in a vacuum. Dr. Zelmanow had a front-row seat to "real" people, making "real" decisions, within the context of the "real world." One of his law enforcement instructors once told him that the badge was the "ticket to the greatest show on earth." He was right.
He earned his doctorate studying human learning and decision-making. This makes him uniquely qualified to provide academic explanations of human behavior.
Literally. No, not the superhero, but a finisher of a 140.6 mile race (2.4 mile swim, 112 mile bike, and 26.2 mile run). He signed up for the Ironman in Louisville, Kentucky to "lose weight and get in shape," and finished on August 26, 2012. He is going to do Ironman Boulder in 2019.
He went to see a Five for Fighting concert and arrived early enough to be at the sound check. At the sound check, he had the opportunity to speak with lead singer John Ondrasik and told him that he felt his piano playing was inspired by Elton John. At the sound check, the band played a few bars of Rocket Man. A few hours later, at the concert, Ondrasik announced that he was "going to play an old song for a new friend." He played Rocket Man while he stood in the front row with a huge smile on his face.
Yep. Seriously. His wife and kids must roll their eyes at his dad jokes about a dozen times a day.
Dr. Zelmanow is not only an expert interviewer; he is an expert in a myriad of research methods and tools including interviews ("Jobs to be done," 1:1, dyads, triads, focus groups, etc.), quantitative tools (NPS, SUS, SES, surveys, CSAT, etc.), observation (ethnography, shop-a-longs, in-context, etc.), and secondary research (literature reviews, benchmark studies, internal data sources, etc.). He earned a graduate certificate from the University of Georgia in consumer and market research and sat for a series of rigorous exams to earn the PRC.
After graduating from college, Dr. Zelmanow was a paramedic for the Saint Louis Fire Department. He received a call that someone had a heart attack at the top of the Gateway Arch (630 feet of elevation, not easily accessible). He led a rescue team that restarted the victims heart, provided lifesaving drugs, and transported him down from the top of the Arch, to the hospital, and back to his family.
As a consumer psychologist, Dr. Zelmanow is a full member of the American Psychological Association. You must hold a doctorate in a psychological discipline to become a full member.
Dr. Zelmanow currently leads a research team at Twitter. Prior to Twitter, he led research at Altria (a Fortune 150 CPG company), developed learning programs for the Federal Reserve Bank, and consulted with countless others.
Dr. Zelmanow loves sushi, endurance sports, his wife and kids, and the Oxford comma.