Marie Joan Cohen

Founder and Managing Partner

Marie Joan CohenMarie Cohen has thirty years of experience creating and strengthening brands.

Prior to founding Marketing Insights in 1988, Marie managed brands at Colgate Palmolive and Sara Lee Corporation. At Colgate Palmolive from 1979-1984, based on her success in the Household Products Division, she was promoted as Brand Manager of Colgate Toothpaste, its largest franchise brand, and managed the historic Colgate Pump Dispenser introduction, the first pump dispenser that revolutionalized the toothpaste category. This introduction led to significant sales, share, and profitability gains and resulted in Colgate Toothpaste surpassing P&G’s Crest for the first time in more than 15 years. Heading the Colgate Toothpaste Task Force, she led a team consisting of the operational, R&D, consumer research, finance, and design groups both in the US and aboard. Moving to Sara Lee Corporation in 1984, Marie served as the Senior Product Manager and later was promoted to the Director of New Products in Frozen Novelties. During this time, Marie spearheaded the joint venture with Nabisco Brands where she introduced the Oreo Ice Cream line. Within one year of its introduction, Oreo Cookies ‘N Cream represented the leading novelty for Sara Lee with over $140M in retail sales. Her management of the revitalized Popsicle Brand line which included Creamsicle and Fudgsicle, was later followed by innovative Sugar Free additions to the line—a first for the category.

Committed to the concept of marrying her successful classical brand management experience in new products with her expertise in market research, ideation and concept development, Marie founded Marketing Insights to provide innovative, value-added brand development services. She possesses an unwavering commitment to identify and fully exploit a brand’s uniquely pre-emptive benefits and positioning.

Marie is a graduate of Franklin & Marshall with a BA in Economics. She then earned an MBA in Marketing with continued pursuit of management development from the NYU Stern School of Business. In her “spare” time, she has raised two independent-minded daughters with her equally independent-minded husband. Marie has served as an Adjunct Professor at Union County College where she has lectured on branding and new product innovation. A former board member of Summit Business and Professional Women, International Institute of New Jersey, Resource Center for Women, and Dreamcatcher, she now serves as a board member of Helping Humanity. Marie is also the Treasurer of the Mayoral Committee of Summit Public Art.

Marsha Saffian Baldinger

Strategic Creative Director

Marsha Saffian BaldingerMarsha brings over twenty-five years of advertising, strategic planning, and branding experience to our clients.

Marsha joined Marketing Insights in 1991 with over ten years experience creating award-winning advertising at leading New York advertising agencies for pharmaceutical, CPG, cosmetic, and fashion brands. During her advertising agency tenure, she developed successful advertising campaigns for major brands including Cover Girl, Maybelline, Bayer, Midol, Dr. Scholl’s, Drixoral, Knorr, Lee Jeans, and Cody. Marsha also worked extensively in new product brainstorming, concept writing, name generation, and brand positioning in support of successful product launches.

Marsha has expanded the firm’s branding services to include all phases of strategic planning, ideation, concept, and positioning development. Marsha also created the proprietary Consumer Attitudinal Identification methodology for strategic, conceptual, and marketing positioning initiatives.

Marsha earned her BA in English Literature from Barnard College.

Susan Friedlaender

Director of Quantitative Research

Susan FriedlaenderWith over twenty years of research experience in consumer and business-to-business industries, Susan joined us in 1995 and substantially broadened our research expertise and services.

Having managed diverse and extensive research projects for Fortune 500 clients, Susan acquired comprehensive research design and analysis expertise. Her broad range of experience spans across A&U, Brand Equity, Concept Evaluation, and Market Segmentation Studies. Depending on the needs of the project, she customizes each research plan using online, telephone, in-home usage, mall intercept, in-store, and mail research methodologies.

Susan earned her BA from University of Vermont.

Christine Steelman

Art Director

Christine SteelmanChris brings twenty-five years of design experience collaborating across pharmaceutical and health care, CPG, technology, and education industries.

Partnering with Marketing Insights in 1998, Chris provides logo and concept development, illustration, print design, and corporate identity services. Chris’ extensive product launch experience further enhances our expertise in directing our clients in their branding initiatives.

Chris earned her BA in Advertising Design at the College of NJ and earned a graduate degree in computer illustration at the School of Visual Arts, NY.