Marketing Strategy Consultants

Who We Are

Its About People

When you retain Astute Group, your not just retaining a Marketing Strategy Consulting Firm, your retaining people. Like any other business, we are only as good as the people that comprise this firm.

That is why we have built a culture built around the following principles

  • Our clients are the employer, their goals and needs are the primary focus
  • Fact focused decision making process – Research, Analysis, Evaluation, Decision
  • We are only as good as the Numbers say we are – ROI, Growth, Margins
  • Take pride in anything you produce, if it isn’t a GREAT representation of you, its not complete



Meet Our Founder 

A Strategist with a Passion for Marketing

Ferris Ayar

Ferris Ayar

Founder and President

Ferris' Profile

Ferris has over 25 years of sales, marketing and product management experience. His career includes Fortune 500 experience at leading brands like General Electric (GE), JPMorgan Chase, and Compuware. Ferris brings a plethora of knowledge, experience, foresight and skills to every client.

A strategic thinker that not only thinks outside the box, he doesn’t see a box at all. Allowing for truly innovative ideas that have often been called brilliant. Ferris has a strong track record of developing and executing marketing and growth strategies that generate amazing results.

He has extensive experience collaborating with C-Level executives, senior managers, engineers, scientists to develop and introduce new products and services to market. Ferris has developed product marketing strategies that have generated 10X product line revenue growth in just two years.  

Other significant accomplishments include leading a Mid-Tier IT company into an entirely new market, reversing three years of declining revenues while increasing margins and achieving market leadership within 30 months. As well as identifying niche markets for a durable goods manufacturer and developing the go-to-market plan which resulted in a very significant increase in profit margins for three product lines.

Ferris has a Bachelor of Business Administration  (Triple Emphasis: Business Administration, Economics and Political Science) from the University of Michigan and an MBA from Wayne State University. While attending U of M, Ferris founded a student organization to promote education to ethnic students. That organization is now in several schools across the country. When not in the office, Ferris is active in the community. Currently, Ferris is a volunteer Big Brother through the Big Brothers Big Sisters organization. Ferris has also tutored foreign students and children for the past decade. Beyond volunteering, Ferris enjoys spending time on his boat, fishing, playing chess, or mountain biking.

Jan Griffioen

Jan Griffioen

Vice President

Jan's Profile

Since 2001 Jan (“Yahn”) Griffioen has been working with small and mid-size manufacturing and technology firms on the development and execution of smart business strategies and marketing plans.

He works closely with business owners, CEOs, and management teams on identifying the key issues and creating smart, practical solutions to help them achieve growth. With a fact-based, data-driven approach, Jan’s focus is on creating clarity, developing insight, and supporting management in making well-informed decisions about their company’s future.

Jan Griffioen recognizes the need for real, tangible results. No ‘paralysis by analysis’, or endless academic discussions, but a sound balance between smart planning for the longer-term and bold action to boost sales and achieve growth.

Jan works with a growing number of small and mid-size B2B companies on creating strategic growth plans, developing marketing strategies, and creating business plans. In addition, Jan was very successful in turning around a small electronics equipment manufacturer.

A mechanical engineer by training, most of Jan’s career prior to becoming a strategy consultant was with manufacturing and technology firms. He is very familiar with the B2B environment and the challenges smaller companies are facing. Jan believes strongly that these firms should have access to high-end strategic consulting, but at fees they can afford.

He held positions in management, business development, and engineering at Philips Consumer Electronics, TNO Automotive Research, Altair Engineering, ESI North America, Silicon Graphics, Johnson Controls Automotive (now Adient), and Hawtal Whiting North America.

Jan earned an MBA in Marketing and Corporate Strategy from the University of Michigan Ross School of Business in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and advanced degrees in Mechanical Engineering from the Georgia Institute of Technology in Atlanta, Georgia, and the University of Twente in the Netherlands.

George Hikmat

George Hikmat

Vice President

George's Profile

George Hikmat has an accomplished career in marketing, management, and consulting. His track record of driving growth and gaining market share speaks for itself. He has developed and implemented strategic plans that have generated substantial growth.

His experience includes serving in the Army, earning rank of Lieutenant General before joining the private sector, where he grew quickly to become VP of Development for Singer Corporations Eastern Division. He then partnered in a start-up  which was acquired after only four years of operation.

George understands the many challenges that today’s business-to-business marketing and sales teams are facing. He develops programs that align with business goals and budgets. George works effectively across the quantitative and qualitative ends of the research spectrum.

George holds a BS in Accounting from the American University of Baghdad and an MBA from the University of Detroit.

Natalie Martorano

Analyst - Google Certified

Jessica Sans

Project Coordinator

Randy Pilon


Nichole Mchlean

Marketing Specialist

Our Exclusive Method


Over a decade of experience has enabled us to develop a method to our greatness (not madness).

Astute Group’s exclusive Strategies, Tactics, Oversight, and Measure Performance (STOMP™) method provide a framework to develop a sustainable solution specifically for your business and its goals.


Strategic Planning and Goal Setting


Tactical Implementation of Best Practices


Management of Resources 

Measured Performance

Analysis and Evaluation

What’s Next?

Get a Complimentary Assessment

The Cost is FREE. The Value is PRICELESS. No Commitments, No Hassles, No Fees.

  • Gain the insight of a seasoned expert
  • Identify gaps and areas that need improvement
  • Explore a fresh perspective from a 3rd party that has no bias or preconceived opinions

Contact Us 1-866-546-9482

Have You Heard?


Bill D.


“I have worked with the Astute Group for the past 2 and a half years and have been impressed with the leadership that has been provided to our marketing team. Astute has shown skill managing everything from large web site projects to small content development work. Astute has certainly had a positive impact on our business and I recommend them for your marketing needs.”

Have You Heard?




“Astute Group helped me identify opportunities for growth at higher margins. They helped me brand my firm and develop a brilliant strategy to increase value to my clients, thereby commanding higher fees because we aligned our services with clients’ needs. This enabled our firm to deliver what our clients value through targeting the ideal client type and ultimately improving their satisfaction in our performance. Thank you, Astute Group.”

Have You Heard?


Jonathon T


“Astute Group helped reshape our business, increasing our revenues and, more importantly, our profitability. Their guidance and expertise were exactly what we needed.”

Have You Heard?


CRM SaaS Provider – Confidential

President and Owner

“I evaluated several consulting firms. I chose Astute Group because they submitted a thorough, highly detailed proposal. They delivered as promised. The marketing plan Ferris created was as thorough as the proposal. It provided excellent industry insight and solid strategies for branding, positioning, and growth. I am very pleased with what Astute Group has done.”

Complimentary Consultation

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