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What motivates consumers?

Build a career finding out.

»» Dive into data »» Observe consumer behavior »» Capture key insights »» Be the voice of the consumer »» Guide corporate decision making

Earn an MBA from the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research.

Sangkyun Rha, Class of 2008, upon graduation: Johnson & Johnson



Katie Metzinger, Class of 2010, upon graduation: Kraft Foods, Inc.

A career in marketing research Marketing research appeals to people who think outside the box, people who are fascinated by questions. The desire to know who and what, when and where, why and how is built into their DNA. That’s why there’s no better career for them than marketing research. Every day, they interpret the answers to those questions, gaining consumer insights that offer maximum impact on business. People come to marketing research in many ways. Some study marketing as undergraduates. Some have degrees in fields such as psychology and sociology. Others have strong quantitative backgrounds in economics or statistics. The common thread is this: a passion for understanding why people make the decisions they do. Marketing researchers use a variety of observation methods and analytical tools: focus groups, surveys, regression analysis, and more. Quantitative and qualitative research techniques are used to gain a richer understanding of all kinds of consumer behavior. Marketing researchers use this understanding to help create marketing strategies, develop products and services, and assist in developing innovative sales and distribution methods.

As strategic business partners, researchers leverage their expertise in consumer behavior to translate, communicate, and advocate the voice of the consumer. They turn data into powerful insights for real-world business applications. They share their knowledge to help shape the creation of new products, packaging, promotional events, and development of branding and advertising campaigns—in short, everything. These professionals operate as part of a team, working with brand managers, creative directors, data analysts, and clients to uncover consumer insights and help companies turn those insights into bottom-line results. Marketing researchers pursue their careers in many types of organizations: manufacturers focused on growth through brands and products, firms providing market-research expertise to other organizations, consulting, or other related fields.

Now, here’s a question for you: are you this kind of person?




Brian Frances, Class of 2009, upon graduation: PepsiCo

The value of an MBA To be an effective marketing researcher, you need to understand consumers and the motivations that lead them to act. You also need a deep understanding of the business implications of consumer actions. An MBA helps you develop knowledge of the functional areas of business and build a foundation to put the theories, methods, and applications of marketing research into a full business context. Key functional areas explored include accounting, you’ll develop finance, management, marketing, and operations. You’ll acquire critical business skills in economics, ethics, data analysis, and decisionmaking.

But not all MBA programs are created equal. The Wisconsin MBA in marketing research combines the breadth of a general management curriculum with extensive coursework in marketing research. Earning a Wisconsin MBA allows you to leverage your market-research expertise to enable strategic decision-making. It places you at the table when key business decisions are made.

An MBA helps hone strategic thinking and management skills while providing the marketing researcher with enhanced credibility in the business world.




Professor Neeraj Arora, Executive Director, A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research

The A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research There is no better place to master marketing research than the A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. The Nielsen Center is one of the nation’s oldest and most prominent marketing research programs. It is built on the legacy and financial support of the Arthur C. Nielsen, Jr. family—pioneers in the field of marketing research. A degree from the Nielsen Center is a powerful career catalyst. The Nielsen Center is unique. Most MBA programs provide just a handful of marketing courses, while specialized marketing research degrees often fall short on business and leadership training. The Nielsen Center offers the best of both worlds. It is the only MBA program in the country to combine marketing research training with the business and leadership training of a world-class MBA program.

The Nielsen Center’s success is reflected in high demand for our graduates year after year. Leading companies—such as General Mills, Procter & Gamble, and Burke—recruit our students year after year.

The Nielsen Center offers a unique curriculum that combines in-depth study of marketing research within an integrated business framework.

Marketing research students at Wisconsin take highly focused marketing research courses while gaining a broad understanding of business issues in the foundation courses that make up the Wisconsin MBA. Unlike other general management MBA programs, the innovative “Wisconsin model” is composed of highly focused career specializations designed to put professionals out in front in their chosen fields.




A marketing research case study In many ways, a marketing researcher represents the voice of the consumer in product development. At every turn, he or she plays a critical role in making sure new products reflect the needs of consumers in the target market. This case study illustrates how a General Mills marketing research professional, armed with tools he received in the Nielsen Center MBA program, made significant contributions as a member of a new-product team to create a line extension for the company’s Nature Valley snack bars.




A unique learning environment As a Nielsen Center student, you will enjoy access to resources other programs can only hope to match: »» Highly focused marketing coursework, combined with classes that provide an understanding of broader business issues. Courses cover both quantitative tools and qualitative methods like SPSS, observation, and laddering techniques. »» Award-winning marketing faculty with national reputations for groundbreaking research who bring their knowledge of the field into the classroom. »» Dedicated Nielsen Center staff who offer personalized attention throughout your time in the program and who assist you on your chosen career path.

»» Small class size that promotes strong ties with your classmates and offers ample opportunities for hands-on work to hone skills and build your marketability. »» A brand-new, state-of-the-art center in Grainger Hall that offers special resources in marketing research, including a high-tech focusgroup facility.

Students awarded project assistantships may work on real marketing research projects in exchange for full tuition waiver, monthly stipend, and health benefits.




Bob Drane, A.C. Nielsen Center External Advisory Board member

Real-world perspectives The A.C. Nielsen Center is known for close ties to industry.

Recent examples of Nielsen Center applied-learning projects include:

We are committed to providing extensive real-world opportunities for students because we believe they translate directly into real-world success.

»» Measuring brand equity: Hallmark »» Assessing a research proposal: The Ford Motor Company »» Conducting consumer ethnographies: Procter & Gamble

Visionary marketers from leading companies around the nation visit campus to share their expertise with Nielsen Center students.

Nielsen Center students gain valuable experience during their marketing-research internships at major firms during the summer between their first and second years of the program.




Gina Marshall Tucker, Real Estate Class of 2010 Rey Medina, Strategic Human Resources Class of 2010 Heather Sass, Marketing Research Class of 2010

Lasting ties With an entering class of only 10 to 15 students, Nielsen Center classmates quickly form close ties that last throughout the program and far beyond.

Twice a year, the board meets on campus with students. It is an incredible resource that is yours for the tapping.

As a student, you receive individualized attention not only from dedicated Nielsen Center staff but from mentors. You are matched with a mentor from the Nielsen Center’s External Advisory Board, a national board composed of industry leaders with titles ranging from CEO to consumer insights director. The board’s membership is a “who’s who” of forward thinkers in the field of marketing research who come to campus to share their experience, teach applied seminars, and mentor students. Many are Nielsen Center graduates; others are simply drawn by the Nielsen Center’s pre-eminence in marketing research. They advise you on career directions and help you network in the field.

You also are connected to our legendarily loyal Nielsen Center graduates. These alumni are ideally placed to provide first-hand information about industry trends and career opportunities most relevant to you. We recognize that you also learn from your peers. That is why, in your first year, we pair you with a second-year student to help you acclimate to life as a Wisconsin MBA and gain insights on managing our rigorous coursework.

Let’s put it this way: getting lost in the crowd is not an option.


To become a leader in world-class marketing research, the Nielsen Center is the place to start.


Jackie Aperi, Elizabeth Remorenko, and Giustina Parisi, Marketing Research Class of 2009

Let’s talk. Contact the Center’s director personally.


A.C. Nielsen Center for Marketing Research Prospective Student Brochure  

Prospective Student Brochure