Planetarium is a market research, brand planning and communication planning consultancy

Did you ever visit a Planetarium when you were a kid? The lights went out. The night sky appeared black, but tiny pinpoints of light emerged. The moderator began illuminating images that weren’t immediately visible. The stars began to connect into patterns and the patterns began to weave stories. The vastness of the universe felt suddenly navigable. Wonder and curiosity evolved into newfound understanding.

Wonder, curiosity, patterns and connections -- that’s what drives the philosophy of Planetarium. Our aim, through our customized market research approaches and methodologies, is to illuminate patterns and make connections with customers – weaving a story from insights and understanding. We then provide brand and communication strategy, consultation and guidance that help clients navigate the competition, move people and move markets.

Planetarium uses a four-phased approach of Exploration, Navigation, Inspiration and Activation.  Our mission is to connect data points, turn them into insights and create a distinct Brand Narrative that translates into complete Brand Engagement.  The end-goal is to foster brand and communication ideas that create true belief in an audience, getting them to care enough to think differently and take action.

No two clients have the exact same needs and we pride ourselves on tailoring to those specific needs.  Planetarium has a proposed process that utilizes methods we’ve found successful at achieving insight, strategy, communications and team commitment.  Once we’ve had a chance to chat with you and understand your needs, timing and budget, we start from there to tailor our approach.

  • Exploratory Research

    We generate the most appropriate approach and line of questioning to get genuine insight and a fresh perspective out of research. Our belief is that, upfront, ethnographic research is a powerful approach to truly understanding our audience and their wants, needs, hopes and dreams.

    Social Media Monitoring

    Through a customizable program, we aggregate the results of search engines and websites to find specified search terms in online discussions. These discussions are broadcast as Really Simple Syndication (RSS) feeds which can be coded for quantitative and qualitative analysis, allowing us to examine the terminology, syntax and sentiment being conveyed online by our audience.

    Mind-Mapping/Dayparting Roundtables

    We use this research/workshop approach to help better understand and validate how consumers think about a given category and how to best intersect with them throughout their day.

    Connection Sessions

    This recommended approach to group research is to spark conversation between different constituents (such as sales force and customers, physicians and patients, etc.) to understand their dialogue, potential tensions and connection points.

  • Brand Inspiration Sessions

    We kick start the creative process with clear direction and sure-fire ideation techniques and approaches.

    Creative Refinement Research

    This round of research nurtures, grows and refines the ideas before putting them through the rigor of “testing.”

    Creative Concept/Message Testing

    This evaluative research informs the decision of which specific creative pathway and messaging to utilize for the brand.

  • Multichannel Communication/Media Planning

    We create 360-degree internal and external audience engagement platforms, inclusive of traditional and non-traditional media.

    Training and Development “Rollout” Planning

    We lead the internal rollout of brands, bringing them to life and helping internal constituents “live” the brand idea and become its ambassadors.

    Continuous Measurement and Refinement

    We gauge success and diagnose necessary course corrections along the way.

Market research, brand planning and communication planning are the core of the company.  Therefore, we provide clients with the following services.

  • Brand Audits
  • Competitive Analysis
  • Brand Planning/Strategic Consulting
  • Qualitative Research
  • Quantitative Research
  • Social Media Monitoring
  • Audience Profile Development
  • Workshop/Meeting Facilitation
  • Positioning Development
  • Brand Narrative Development
  • Creative Brief Development
  • Creative Concept Development
  • Multichannel Media/Communication Plan Development
  • Marketing Communications Development (advertising, collateral, websites, etc.)
  • Training and Development
  • Measurement/Analytics
Planetarium Capabilities PDF

Planetarium Capabilities PDF

I’ve spent 20 years working across a wide range of categories on behalf of countless regional, national and global brands. My quest for true consumer insight and drive to create compelling brand and communication strategies have led to a long history of successful marketing initiatives. And it’s now led me to start Planetarium.

From cars (I was behind Mazda’s long-running “Zoom Zoom” campaign and also framed the underpinnings for what became the recent, award-winning Chrysler “Imported From Detroit” campaign) to fast food to CPG to banking to entertainment to healthcare – and everything in between –I’ve dug for insights and developed brand and communication strategy across a wide swath of categories.

One of my fortes is identifying target audiences and bringing them to life in flesh and blood terms. I pride myself on finding positioning articulations that truly differentiate and then translating those positionings into creative briefs that inspire and focus creative teams. Along the way, I’m an adept and high-energy market researcher, facilitator, idea-nurturer, instigator and coach.

Before starting Planetarium, I was at Palio, a leading healthcare communications agency, serving on the company’s operating board and heading up its 20+ member Insight and Brand Strategy Group. It’s the fourth agency at which I helped launch an account/brand planning discipline. I’m a frequent guest lecturer in advertising and market research and have been a member of numerous industry panels.

Megan O'Rourke Coloccia

I’ve spent just shy of a decade leading a variety of brand management efforts, helping organizations achieve measurable awareness and retention goals via content management programs and a wide variety of other communication initiatives. For B2B and B2C efforts alike, I’ve been able to not only achieve client ROI goals, but exceed them.

Though much of my experience has been in working with Fortune 500 companies in the insurance, healthcare and financial services industries, I’ve also worked with smaller organizations that span a whole host of sectors. To me, the tenets are the same, regardless of client industry or size – it’s all about making a true impact for a client’s business. Building programs from insight and being strategic and focused is what I’ve always advocated. And that’s what prompted me to join Planetarium – a firm I’d heard great things about and one I came to realize had kindred values and goals.

Working with the various other consultants in our network, I oversee market research, brand planning and communication planning efforts for our diverse mix of national, regional and local clients. We pride ourselves on not just going through the motions, but rather really pushing our clients to build brands and communication that move the needle for their businesses.

Prior to Planetarium, I headed up marketing and PR efforts for nfrastructure, a New York based innovative provider of critical technology infrastructure solutions. And before nfrastructure, I led client services and strategy efforts on behalf of New York based McMurry/TMG, the largest independent content marketing agency in the nation.

When I’m not helping build my clients’ brands, I love to spend time with my husband, new son and the family dog. I’m also an avid spinner and love to explore all the great restaurants that Saratoga Springs has to offer!


Laurent has extensive experience in both quantitative and qualitative research and prides himself on his ability to navigate complex marketing and branding challenges for clients. He is a true innovator in both the digital and non-digital worlds, often bridging the gap with his avant garde methodologies.

Laurent’s experience includes positions at some of the most prestigious marketing research firms, including Copernicus Marketing, CROP, iPerceptions and CRM Metrix, working with brand giants such as Ford, Proctor & Gamble, Pepsi, Gillette, GE, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Allied Domecq, Reebok and Cirque de Soleil.

Laurent has also spent 5 years working in branding and market research for L’Oréal, leading the charge on a wealth of health and beauty initiatives. When he’s not working on his clients’ solutions, he can be found with his family or out training for his next triathlon.

Before embarking on his consulting career, Marty was SVP, Director of Emerging Media and Technology at Palio, an industry-leading healthcare communications company. He previously held other roles at Palio, including SVP, Director/Media Lab and SVP, Group Creative Director.

Prior to his tenure at the agency,  Marty was Associate Creative Director at LHWH Advertising & Public Relations, Assistant VP/Senior Art Director/Agency Producer at Lewis Advertising, and Senior Art Director at Adams & Longino Advertising, Inc. Early in his career, Marty was an advertising director for a regional retail chain and also a newspaper staff artist.

Since those early days, he has gone on to direct creative development from the concept stage through final production in all media for both business-to-business and consumer audiences, across numerous industries (including technology, telecommunications, finance, insurance, real estate; pharmaceutical, health and wellness, travel and tourism, and quick service restaurants).   A longtime photographer and videographer, Marty is an award-winning documentary filmmaker. Take a look at Marty’s most recent reel:

A recognized thought leader in field of Segmentation, Targeting and Positioning, Henry Gamse has been involved in at least 500 hundred major marketing strategy studies in virtually every product and service category. Henry’s signature humorous and accessible approach to complex research topics has earned him the gratitude of colleagues and clients for over 25 years.

As Chief of Analytics at Copernicus for 20 years, he developed and supervised the firm’s statistical and modeling division, innovating many new products and techniques along the way. He is especially noted for developing a new “Profit-Focused” approach to segmentation, guaranteeing actionable, findable target segments which contribute directly to the client brand’s bottom line by virtue of the economic value they represent.

In addition to his extensive experience and deep knowledge of marketing, Henry has a strong background in clinical and experimental psychology. Prior to entering a doctoral program in Social Psychology, and also obtaining an MBA in Marketing from Syracuse University, he served as staff psychologist for several years at an industrial training program in inner city Baltimore. An avid writer,

Henry has contributed significantly to several marketing books, has published articles on research topics in major journals, has authored e-books, and regularly contributes thoughts on market segmentation and other topics to various blogs. An accomplished speaker and trainer, he has guest-lectured at universities, spoken at major marketing conferences, presented seminars and workshops for large companies across several continents, and conducted webinars on a variety of marketing topics. Henry adds, “I am very excited to be merging my skills with those of the uniquely talented team at Planetarium.”

UK-based Dr. Mark Perkins is an industry leader in social media listening and analysis.  A world-renowned expert in semantic text analysis concerning real-time discourse in social media and blogs, Mark achieved an MA and PhD in Applied Linguistics from Exeter and Leicester, respectively.  He also has an MA in Classics from Cambridge University.  Throughout his career, Mark has written over 30 white papers across a wide gamut of linguistics and technology related subjects.

Especially skilled at helping clients identify value in real-time flows of text, Mark has created a proprietary model which enables concepts and concept combinations to be identified and grouped so that messages can be accurately and economically described.   This allows for far better quality data than would be found using such things as simple keyword searches alone.

For over a decade, Mark has developed, curated and segmented a multi-billion word dataset, enabling Planetarium to explore an incredibly broad scope of potential subject matters for clients.  This extensively catalogued lexicon, combined with Mark’s linguistic expertise and proprietary model, allows us to explore customer sentiment more holistically, better understanding context and implied intent.

The result for clients is deeper and better insights and a better ability to identify trends in their markets.  Simply said, if a client wants to better understand their customers’ needs, wants, hopes and dreams, as expressed in social media, Planetarium’s alignment with Mark makes us perfectly suited to help.

A true rising star in the world of digital marketing, Sarah specializes in content and social media strategy with a keen interest in corporate social responsibility, environmental consciousness, and future friendly initiatives. Her creative literary sense and passion for depth of messaging allow her to engage with target market data in such a way as to effectively augment organizations’ customer-facing interactions. She strives to convert target audiences into communities and passive consumers into evangelists.

An experienced B2B and B2C professional, Sarah is best known for bringing fresh perspective, genuine emotional intelligence, and seasoned editorial skills to every project. Her graduate work at Marist College, focused primarily on mass messaging, earned her an MA in Communication, and she has since worked collaboratively with a number of startups to craft top-of-mind media messaging and evoke impactful social media dialogue. Her burgeoning portfolio includes topics ranging from LEED certification to behavioral science-based hiring; farmers’ market administration to PRM technology.

When she’s not immersed in the corporate iteration of literary magic, Sarah can be found center stage as a fundraising auction consultant for nonprofit and donor-based organizations.

Recent clients, partners and collaborators:

During our careers, we’ve been fortunate to have worked directly for, partnered with, or counted as clients such world class agencies as:

Some of the brands we’ve helped along the way:

You’re Nobody ‘Till Somebody Hates You

Those are the words of Todd Snider, a hard-to-categorize, modern-day, alterna-country-rock troubadour (who’s typically backed by his band, the Nervous Wrecks) of whom I’m a fan. And, while I don’t advocate us doing things, personally or professionally, that get us hated (and have always stood by my belief that my main intolerance is intolerance), I appreciate the sentiment. If you really put your stake
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Out Among The Stars

Thanks to everyone who participated in the Planetarium “Out Among The Stars” contest, tying into the recent release of the posthumous Johnny Cash album of the same name.  And congratulations to the winners of the downloads of the album!  It was our way of paying homage to Mr. Cash (since we’re fans), but also a way to raise awareness of SiteOrbit, our website optimization tool (get it
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Radio Shack Deemed To Have The Most Insight-Driven Super Bowl Ad

I wasn’t at all disappointed to see that, among people who completed our recent Planetarium survey, the largest percentage (almost 1/4 of respondents) selected the Radio Shack ad as the most insight-driven commercial of the 60+ ads that ran on the Super Bowl. First off, let’s get this out of the way – the ad is just plain fun, and I really enjoyed it.  How could you not get a kick out of seeing the lik
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For Immediate Release
October 30, 2014


The market research, brand planning and communications consultancy Planetarium has brought Megan O’Rourke Coloccia onboard as Planning Director, according to Bob Mason, the firm’s Founder and Managing Director.

Prior to Planetarium, Megan headed up marketing and PR efforts for nfrastructure, a New York based innovative provider of critical technology infrastructure solutions. Before nfrastructure, Megan led client services and strategy efforts on behalf of New York based McMurry/TMG, the largest independent content marketing agency in the nation. During her career at McMurry/TMG, she managed multiple Fortune 500 clients in the healthcare and financial services industries. In her new role at Planetarium, she will oversee business development, in addition to client services, communications planning and project management for Planetarium’s various clients.

“I’m really excited to have Megan join Planetarium” stated Mason. “I’ve been keeping my eyes peeled for over the last 2 1/2 years, looking for someone with her background, skills and management style. Especially as we’re growing our marketing services beyond market research and brand strategy, she’s going to be a tremendous asset to our national, regional and local clients.”

Headquartered in Saratoga Springs, NY, Planetarium has worked with some of the biggest brands in the world across sectors such as automotive, financial services, entertainment, healthcare, pharmaceuticals, home electronics, fast food and retail. The firm works closely with a wide variety of large, mid-size and small marketers, advertising agencies and market research firms.

For Immediate Release
February 13, 2014


Planetarium founder and managing director Bob Mason announced today that the firm has formalized alliances with two more strategic partners. Sarah Ward, an emerging star in communications and digital marketing, has aligned with the firm to assist in content execution, as well as creative and strategy efforts. An entrepreneur at heart, Sarah’s skills and experience enable her to help clients think and act nimbly and drive messaging toward bottom-line results. She’s collaborated with firms in a wide range of sectors, including enterprise software, sustainable technologies, human resources and law.

Also aligning with the firm is focus group facilitator and brand planning consultant Michel Painchaud. A long-time moderator, as well as a PGA golfer, Mich brings patience, keen insight and clarity of direction to all client initiatives. He’s worked across a range of sectors, including retail, lifestyle brands, entertainment and sports.

“We’re really excited to have Sarah and Mich join our network,” commented Mason. “You meet both of them the first time and you automatically see that they ‘get it.’ They’re smart, they each come to the table with a point-of-view, and you tell, right away, that they’re genuine and are driven to help clients’ business. That authenticity totally aligns with the Planetarium philosophy. We don’t go through the motions; we’re always driven to help clients move the needle.”

Planetarium is a market research, brand planning and communications consultancy based in Saratoga Springs, NY. Its consultants have contributed to insight, strategy and marketing communications initiatives with some of the world’s most successful marketers, advertising agencies and market research firms.

For Immediate Release
February 3, 2014


For those of you who have participated in our survey, thank you and here are real-time results as we gather them. Check back in regularly as we will be adding our  interpretations! If you have not yet contributed your feedback, you can do so anonymously here:

Participate here!

For Immediate Release
November 7, 2013


UK-based Mark Perkins has formed an alliance with the Planetarium network of market research and brand planning consultants.  Dr. Perkins, an expert in applied linguistics, is an industry leader in semantic text analysis and social media monitoring.  With over a decade of semantic cataloguing under his belt, he has developed a multi-billion word repository of online “chatter,” across 6,000 different subject matters and a corresponding, proprietary model that enables powerful text searches.  The resulting approach to social media mining yields deeper and richer information than traditionally found in social media explorations.

“Mark represents an incredible addition to our repertoire,” stated Bob Mason, Planetarium’s founder and managing director.  “He’s recognized as being at the cutting edge of social media monitoring, and will enable our clients to explore a wide breadth of semantic context surrounding their brands in the digital stratosphere.  Mark’s proprietary linguistics model and approach really allows us to go deeper with our social media monitoring, helping clients better understand the meaning behind people’s comments online.  This can help in myriad ways, including search engine optimization and search engine marketing initiatives.”

Dr. Perkins has an MA from Cambridge University and an MA and PhD in Applied Linguistics from Exeter and Leicester, respectively.  He’s published over 30 white papers on linguistics and technology related subjects.

Planetarium is a market research, brand planning and communication consultancy based in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Its consultants have contributed to insight and strategy initiatives with some of the world’s most successful marketers, advertising agencies and market research firms.


For Immediate Release
October 25, 2013


Industry-renowned methodologist, statistician and market-segmentation expert, Henry Gamse, has formed an alliance with the Planetarium network of market research and brand planning consultants.

Gamse was formerly Senior Vice President and an original member of Copernicus Marketing Consulting and Research, an industry standard-bearer in market segmentation.  Prior to his tenure at Copernicus, Henry was Director of Methodology and Statistical Analysis at Yankelovich, where he began developing his innovative and highly successful “Profit-Focused” approach to segmentation. This approach guarantees target segments that are highly profitable to the client brand, and homogeneous in needs, behaviors, and media consumption patterns.  This assures that the target segments are actionable, understandable, and can be found with high accuracy in the real world.

“We’re really excited to have Henry join forces with us” said Bob Mason, Planetarium’s founder.  “Even if you are less familiar with Henry’s name, you’re definitely familiar with many of the brands that he made monstrous contributions to.  Pepsi, Hershey’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, McDonald’s, Frito-Lay, Kraft,Gatorade, Starbucks….and the list goes on and on.  Henry’s helped the planet’s best marketers develop their market segmentation plans.  And we’re looking forward to having him help us with our growing list of world-class clients, too.”

Planetarium is a market research, brand planning and communication-planning consultancy, headquartered in Saratoga Springs, NY, with a network of consultants spanning the globe.


For Immediate Release
March 12, 2013


Saratoga Springs, NY — Planetarium has expanded its capabilities, bringing Laurent Painchaud onboard.  “Laurent brings major league brand, research and analytics prowess to Planetarium and I’m really excited for him to join the organization,” stated Bob Mason, Planetarium’s founder.

Prior to joining Planetarium, Painchaud was the founder of GeneralAnalytix, a research and strategy firm pioneering data and performance analytics across a wide range of categories.

Added Mason, “The beauty of Laurent joining the fold is that all of the GeneralAnalytix offerings slot perfectly under the Planetarium umbrella.  It’s an ideal fit from a capabilities as well as cultural standpoint.  Laurent is a great guy, who has experience in the trenches with a wide range of amazing brands, and he has created some innovative tools that will really benefit Planetarium clients.”

Prior to founding GeneralAnalytix, Painchaud worked for a variety of the world’s most blue-chip market research organizations.  He also spent considerable time in market research and digital marketing for L’Oréal, the world leader in health and beauty products.  Throughout his career, he has worked with the likes of Pepsi, Gillette, P&G, GE, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Allied Domecq, Reebok and Cirque du Soleil, among many others.

Planetarium is a market research, brand planning and communication planning consultancy that designs all client initiatives with marketers’ end-goals at the forefront.  The firm conducts primary and secondary research for global, national and regional marketers, then helps them connect the dots with their audiences by developing compelling strategy that drives market moving branding and communication programs.  They’re an amalgamation of market research firm, brand consultancy and advertising agency.

For a more detailed discussion about how Planetarium can help with your specific needs, please contact:

Bob Mason, Founder


(518) 691-0525



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