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Alison Heimert

Current Topics Industry Trip to Chicago

by Alison Heimert Thursday, November 30, 2017

With the explosion of digital media in the past decade, companies now have the capabilities to gather an infinite amount of information about the population, allowing them to communicate with their consumers in a more personalized way. This November, the University of Wisconsin A.C. Nielsen Center visited Conversant and PepsiCo to better understand how advanced analytics can drive the consumer experience.

The opportunity to visit these companies provided A.C. Nielsen Center students with two very different perspectives. Conversant is a leader in the digital marketing industry whose advanced analytics provide advertising on a personalized level through various digital channels. PepsiCo is a leader in the food and beverage industry whose diverse product portfolio is known on a global scale. While the companies that we visited were very different, both discussed the importance of analytics and best practices with advertising campaigns and targeting specific consumers.

Students at Pepsico office in Chicago

Here are the main takeaways that I gathered from the company visits.

  • Both companies discussed how to measure the success of digital advertisements. There are many factors that need to be considered when determining if a click will turn into a conversion. Our minds are now trained to avoid banner advertisements; and therefore, consumer might not click on a banner advertisement during their first impression. However, the impressions are cumulative and if you continue to target the consumer with the same advertisement, the messages begin to build on one another and can eventually turn into a conversion.
  • Targeting consumers is not what it used to be. As marketers, we need to go beyond targeting just by demographics. We need to understand the consumers’ attitudes and behaviors to help segment the market and drive more accurate campaigns. Additionally, we need to use buying patterns overtime and across various brands to better understand the consumers’ lifestyle and life stage.
  • When introducing a new product, it is better to make small incremental changes over time rather than introducing a product that completely disrupts the market. These small changes are sometimes not even noticed by the consumer, but over time the changes become cumulative and help innovate completely new products.
  • Analytics don’t necessarily guarantee that an advertisement will be successful, but we can use analytics to increase the probability of a successful marketing campaign.


One of my favorite aspects of being a student at the Wisconsin School of Business is that the learning continues outside of the classroom. I’m very excited to apply these new learnings to my summer internship, future projects, and classroom discussions.