Independent research and insights agency TRA has opened its first Australian office in Melbourne, appointing Mark Hobart as Partner and announcing John Shanahan and Rob McLachlan as members of its Australian Advisory Board.
TRA’s expansion is in response to its growing roster of iconic, cross-category Australian and Trans-Tasman brands who want access to the agency’s innovative and multi-disciplinary approaches.
TRA’s Managing Director Andrew Lewis says: “TRA is excited to bring our proposition and capabilities to Australia.
“Our fresh approach to the research category is the perfect fit for Australia. And, because our Australian operation will be backed by the frameworks, tools, IP and capabilities of the New Zealand team, I am confident the combined strengths will build something truly different in this market.”
To support its Australian expansion, McLachlan and Shanahan will join TRA co-founders Amber Coulter and Andrew Lewis on the Australian Advisory Board. McLachlan brings decades of experience in research from Kantar, WPP AUNZ’s research businesses, where he managed 60 creative, research and digital businesses, as well as AC Nielsen.
Shanahan has more than 50 years of international market research experience with Colmar Brunton, Nielsen and is the current owner of The Advantage Group.
Hobart brings over 20 years’ experience in senior insights, brand and innovation roles. Before TRA, he was Strategy Director at The Lab, where he successfully led several high-profile strategy projects for leading Australian brands.
He has worked with some of the world’s most recognisable brands including Vodafone, Mastercard, Mars, L’Oreal, Shell, KraftHeinz, Fonterra, Skype, Orange, Samsung, Coca-Cola, and Kimberly-Clark.
Hobart says: “Joining TRA was an easy decision to make.
“The company’s desire to put people at the centre of a client’s decision-making blends perfectly with my own ethos that truly impactful insight and strategy only comes from getting under the surface of what people do and say to understand the real influences and motivations that drive human behaviour.”
Lewis says: “Mark’s deep local knowledge and hands-on experience, inquisitive mind and passion for using insight to solve complex business challenges for clients, immediately singled him out for the role. In Mark, I believe we have found the perfect person to bring insights to life and influence the way our clients make decisions for the benefits of their customers.
“We’re excited to have him at the helm of this key market and as a member of the TRA leadership team.”