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Nielsen: 50 years of market winning insights in PH

By: - Reporter / @daxinq
/ 04:01 AM December 14, 2020
Amid dynamic changes that the local environment has experienced over the years, especially recently, Nielsen has made sure that it adapts ably to the shifting dynamics, while preserving its core values. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Amid dynamic changes that the local environment has experienced over the years, especially recently, Nielsen has made sure that it adapts ably to the shifting dynamics, while preserving its core values. —CONTRIBUTED PHOTO

Imagine wanting to sell what you think is a great product but having no idea what potential buyers want or need. Or when or how they want it presented and marketed to them.

Then imagine spending millions of pesos to push this product onto the shelves of stores around the country, not knowing that your potential customers want to buy it in smaller or bigger packages, or that they want your product—say a food item—to be sold in microwavable frozen form, rather than fresh, because they want to store it in refrigerators and ready to eat when they get home. Imagine having to allocate precious energy and resources to a great market idea, not knowing that the market wants something else entirely.

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One company has been helping clients around the world understand their target markets better. And in the Philippines, that company—Nielsen—has been doing so for the last 50 years.

And amid the dynamic changes that the local environment has experienced over the years, especially recently, the country’s premier market research firm has made sure that it adapts ably to the shifting dynamics, while preserving its core values.

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“At Nielsen, we focus on what doesn’t change: our mission,” said Nielsen Philippines managing director Patrick Cua. “We believe that if you have good measurements, especially in a complex market like the Philippines, it will be more efficient to do business.”

Who is Nielsen and what do they do? While the firm is famous for its television ratings, its work is broader than that. It is a global measurement and data analytics company that provides the most complete and trusted view available of consumers and markets worldwide.

Business units Nielsen is divided into two business units: Nielsen Global Media and Nielsen Global Connect.

The company says its approach “marries proprietary Nielsen data with other data sources to help clients around the world understand what’s happening now, what’s happening next, and how to best act on this is knowledge.”

To do this, Cua explains that the company’s data must be complete, trusted and useful, so clients can depend on the data to anchor important decisions.

Nielsen Philippines also processes the market data its people collect from surveys and other market research methods through rigorous and innovative scientific methods.

Finally, they make sure that they deliver only the truth to their clients, whether that truth is favorable or it’s the variety that hurts.

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‘Truth tellers’

“We are, first and foremost, truth tellers,” Cua said, explaining that Nielsen’s solid reputation in the Philippines over the last half a century was cemented by their commitment to deliver actionable information to their clients even when that information is unpleasant to hear.“Ultimately, this is about trust,” he said. “And the market and our clients trust our data and our insights.”

That trust is also the reason why Nielsen Philippines finds that its employees are regularly poached by other companies who want to put up their own market research units, or beef up their marketing and advertising divisions.

Cua says that, while quality local staffing is always an issue the company faces, he looks at it as a challenge to continually train and develop new batches of employees who live up to Nielsen’s standards … even if they will surely get poached by other firms a few years down the road.He likens the company to a university that produces the best graduates for the growing field of market and data science in the country.

“There are a lot of great industry leaders out there, and a lot of them are Nielsen alumni,” he says.

Real challenge

But the real challenge facing Nielsen as it enters its second half a century in the country is the digital shift, heightened by the ongoing coronavirus pandemic.

Cua said, now more than ever, the company’s clients need a firmer grasp of the market and are approaching Nielsen for guidance.

And Nielsen has to respond with data that are even more timely—near real time, if possible—through the use of technology.

He explains that, on top of staffers and employees going out to the field and survey products in supermarkets, Nielsen is now relying more on computer programs and analytics that could process mountains of data rapidly, and give predictive insights into emerging trends.“The market is changing rapidly, and Nielsen Philippines is changing along with the market, too,” Cua said. “Our clients need the information faster to be able to make the right decisions faster.”

In 2020, Nielsen celebrates its 50th year anniversary in the Philippines. The company holds leading market positions in marketing effectiveness, understanding brands, shoppers, customer experience, product innovation, consumer-packaged goods and retail measurement, and total audience measurement.

Indeed, when millions— sometimes billions—of pesos in products and resources are at stake, it makes sense to invest in the kind of service that a market leader like Nielsen provides. INQ

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