|WHY SHE WAS CHOSEN:
"If you really listen to consumers, they will tell you what motivates them, what they need and when they're most receptive to (advertising) messages," says Ms. Lynn, 35, senior VP at Carat Insight, a division of New York-based media giant Carat Americas.
Leading a team of 18 researchers in Carat's consumer-strategies group, Ms. Lynn harnesses the media giant's deep, ongoing consumer-research studies to pinpoint that perfect moment -- and the best media and message -- for reaching consumers for marketers such as Pfizer, Philips Electronics, Revlon, Radio Shack, Adidas and Motorola.
Shaping surveys that tap thousands of consumers through sibling market researcher Synovate, Ms. Lynn and her team create research studies analyzing consumers' use of media. Examples include this year's "Never Ending Friending" study about the power of online social networking.
Ms. Lynn is also the chief architect of many custom studies for clients, such as "Love Stage," conducted earlier this year by Carat USA, Tango Media and Yahoo Personals. It examined how a woman's relationship status or "love stage" affects her consumer behavior, from media consumption to purchasing decisions. "That was a twist on a typical life-stage consumer-research study, which revealed the emotional motivations that drive women's purchases and product interest, Ms. Lynn says. "We demonstrated that a woman's status as single, in love, divorced, newly married or having her first baby has a big effect on her consumer behavior."
Ms. Lynn led the effort to adapt Carat's broad, ongoing "Consumer Connection" study for marketers in the U.S. For Motorola, Ms. Lynn crafted a variation of that study called "Connection Chemistry" to find out when and where consumers would be most receptive to communications, she says.
"It's Michelle's objectivity and ability to look at the truth of the research that's so helpful in building a road map to meet advertisers' needs," says Judit Nagy, VP-consumer insights for Fox Interactive Media.