Marketing students from Temple University’s Fox School of Business hosted a panel of professionals from prominent national brands for a consumer insights-focused speaker series.
The students, from Temple’s chapter of the American Marketing Association, welcomed:
- Naomi Grewal, PhD, Head of Consumer Insights, Facebook
- Andy Smith, Director of Consumer Insights, The Hershey Company
- Lana Busignani, Executive Vice President of Marketing Effectiveness, North America, Nielsen
The speakers addressed nearly 100 undergraduate- and graduate-level marketing students Oct. 7 in Alter Hall’s MBA Commons. A number of marketing and consumer insights professionals also attended in-person and remotely via WebEx.
“TU-AMA strives to provide students with professional development and networking opportunities,” said Temple AMA President Alex Brannan, a senior Marketing major. “The Consumer Insights panel aligned perfectly with that mission, as research is the foundation of marketing.”
Grewal shared how access to data, some of which are posted online to the company’s insights blog Facebook IQ, can shape Facebook’s understanding of its users’ demographics and interests. She mentioned a trend called “sharenting,” with parents exponentially more likely to post updates, photos, and videos.
Smith discussed the affect of culture on consumers, mentioning which products in The Hershey Company’s product line have worked – and which didn’t – in specific countries. Consumers are most attracted to “simple, familiar and safe” products, said Smith, who also shared insights about what eating habits say about an individual.
Busignani focused on Neilsen’s use of more-precise, first-party data to understand its targets and their behaviors in order to deliver relevant messaging. This is a contrast, she said, to the generalized approach of push marketing from the 1980s and 1990s. “We’re right at the beginning,” she said, “of a new journey in this digital age.”
Jim Thompson, a faculty advisor to the Temple AMA Chapter commented that this session was a testament to the growing influence of Fox’s Marketing and Supply Chain Management (MSCM) programs: “Very few universities could attract senior consumer insights executives from such high profile companies.”
Temple AMA Vice President Lily Tran, a senior Marketing major, said the organization first contacted the panelists during the Spring 2016 semester, using connections through Fox School’s MSCM department and Temple University’s Center for Neural Decision Making.
“We were happy to learn that each of our guest speakers was supportive of our initiative to highlight the importance of consumer insights and marketing research,” Tran said. “Naomi, our speaker from Facebook, even commented on how the consumer insights community is a close-knit, and the MSCM program will help provide access to this wide and diverse network, when recruiting top-level speakers for future events.”