How Nielsen Connects with Billions of Customers

December 03, 2014

CKGSB’s MBA class recently hosted Nielsen Greater China President Yan Xuan at the school to talk about the company’s four main areas of work: Consumerization, Innovation, Marketing Effectiveness and Performance Management. Known primarily as an audience measurement company, Neilsen has a presence in more than 100 countries around the world.

By CKGSB MBA student Derek Walpole (class of 2014)

On US Thanksgiving Day (November 27), the MBA Class 2014 was proud to welcome Yan Xuan, Nielsen Greater China President, to CKGSB. This very interesting and informative presentation was organized by the Student Consulting Club.

Though perhaps not everyone is familiar with Nielsen, it has certainly had some indirect impact on each of our lives. As the president explained, Nielsen has a single focus – the customer. From the early days of TV and radio, to the modern era of Internet and mobile, the company has pioneered audience measurement.

Its 35,000 employees look at the world through the lens, not of a marketing chief or CEO, but of the consumer. This has allowed Nielsen to have a presence in over 100 countries, growing to a $20bn market cap on the New York Stock Exchange with $6.5bn in annual revenue globally last year.

The president explained to our MBA students how this has been made possible: Nielsen seeks to provide four main solutions to company problems: Consumerization, Innovation, Marketing Effectiveness and Performance Management.

How many Chinese people do you know who spend a fortune renovating their kitchen? How about carrying an expensive Louis Vuitton bag? These are questions Nielsen asks, but more importantly, answers.

With the expert help of my classmate Kristy Shi, who used to work for Neilson prior to her MBA study, we then got a peek into the future of advertising, in the form of neuroscience analysis. Equipped with the world’s first medical-grade wireless electro-encephalography (EEG), Nielsen is measuring, analyzing and responding to how consumers feel throughout each millisecond of commercials.

Health products, organic food, travel, phone apps…Nielsen has plenty of new areas to tackle, and is armed with ever-developing tools. Expect more positive emotional connections with the ads you watch in the near future!

From left to right: Kristy Shi, Yan Xuan, Professor Li Haitao and MBA Program Assistant Director Martin Zhu. 

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