Understanding Practices

Learning Objectives

Learning Objectives

The goal of this training is to build your fundamental knowledge of Practices and how they support the 'Path to Performance'.

Upon completion of this training, learners will be able to:

  • Articulate what Practices are, and why they are important
  • Demonstrate an understanding of how each Practice works
  • Communicate the value proposition for each Practice

What Are Practices?

What Are Practices?

To understand Practices, you need to consider Nielsen's mission: to create the most complete understanding of consumers worldwide. We study consumers in more than 100 countries to give our clients a view of trends and habits worldwide. We organize our information in a usable, practical and meaningful way. This information helps our clients drive profitable growth by uncovering unmet needs and delivering against them. 

Click here to view a short video about the practices.

We have organized our products into a Practice Framework that aligns seamlessly with our clients’ workflow called the ‘Path to Performance’.

Our Practice Framework guides the use of our information:

  • To identify our clients’ most profitable consumers
  • To develop products and solutions to meet their needs
  • To communicate in an engaging and impactful way
  • To drive superior in-store execution to maximize sales

Inside the Path to Performance

Within the Path to Performance, there are four Nielsen practices: Consumerization, Innovation, Marketing Effectiveness and Sales Effectiveness. Our approach complements our clients own product cycle around the consumer journey.

Clients look to drive profitable growth by:

  • Consumerization: Identifying their most profitable consumers and activating their demand throughout the Path to Performance
  • Innovation: Developing, pricing and promoting new products
  • Marketing Effectiveness: Engaging consumers through effective and efficient marketing
  • Sales Effectiveness: Activating plans through superior sales execution

Communicating Our Value

"Practices help us see the market in a much broader way, and that allows us to leverage our strength, which is our breadth – the strength that most differentiates us from all the other players." - Mitch Barns, CEO

Our current portfolio of 300+ product offerings can be difficult for associates to articulate and share with our clients. The scale of our portfolio can be overwhelming to clients and our marketplace advantage can get lost.

Practices help us present our services in a way that clients think about their business, and make it easier for them to act upon our recommendations.

We have bundled our products in the Path to Performance, to connect with the way our clients do business.

How We Engage with Clients

“When we stopped selling products & started selling Practices, we won the proposals.” - Chang Park, SEANAP Region

We are changing the way we engage with clients. We build trust by solving problems, not by selling products. 

Simple Open Integrated
Practices are a simple way we can speak to our clients, a common language to address client needs and help drive performance Practices will enable Nielsen associates to speak consistently, simply, and globally about our company Practices are a singular framework around which to organize our value and our message


Driving Outcomes

We have been talking about client value for years, delivering recommendations to our clients. We need to go beyond just recommendations, and focus on outcomes. We need to help clients improve their performance, supporting successful implementation and reaching positive outcomes. 

To help clients act upon our recommendations, we need to tell the story of unmet demand and opportunity for growth. Practices provide a common language for us to tell an impactful story that addresses client needs.

A Closer Look at Consumerization

A Closer Look at Consumerization

Who are your most valuable consumers and how do we build innovation, marketing and in-store activities to capture them? Consumerization is about enabling activation of the most profitable consumer demand across the Path to Performance. It is the accurate identification of the consumers clients want to reach based on their behavior, their attitudes, their psychographics, and/or their demographics. It is the means to fully leverage their potential in every practice.

How Consumerization Works

Consumerization aligns and focuses around our clients’ most profitable consumers, rather than marketing to the average. It's about informing the Path to Performance so that all efforts - product innovation, the marketing plan and sales activation - are focused on satisfying the demands of the consumers they most want to reach.

We can help clients satisfy consumer demand by: 

  • Leveraging consumer understanding across everything we do
  • Integrating our insights to help clients identify their most profitable consumers

We help our clients recognize their most profitable consumers, and make sure the way they innovate, communicate and activate is planned and evaluated from the perspective of those consumers.

Identify Profitable Consumers

We identify clients’ most profitable consumers:

  • With The Cambridge Group’s Demand Landscape
  • With syndicated segmentations like Prizm and Spectra, utilizing Segmentation and Local Market Solutions
  • With custom developed primary segmentation analysis
  • With third party segmentations 

    Once consumer segments are identified, we enable clients to track and optimize their performance against them.

Consumerized Practices

Consumerization enables the activation of the most profitable consumer demand across the Path to Performance, connecting to Innovation, Marketing Effectiveness and Sales Effectiveness. We leverage advanced statistical and matching methods to deliver our key measurement and analytics tools by consumer segment.

To address our clients’ key business issues, we can consumerize (where data permits):

  • Stores, so our clients know which stores and weeks have more or less of the consumers they seek 
  • Media properties, so our clients know which audiences have more or less of the consumers they seek
  • Advanced analytics, so they know how price elasticity, promotion response, assortment, and advertising effect vary by consumer
Innovation Marketing Effectiveness Sales Effectiveness
We pull from Consumerization to uncover consumer demand and find profitable white space to ensure the innovation represents the greatest opportunity. Innovation helps clients develop great concepts and optimize via rigorous testing against the identified demand opportunity. We pull from Consumerization to reach consumers who have unmet demand with messages that Resonate and drive behavioral Reaction. Ensuring measurable sales results is critical to our clients’ businesses. We pull from Consumerization to help manufacturers and retailers cluster stores according to which types of consumers shop in them, and customize pricing, promotion, assortment, and shelf sets for the maximum impact in each store.

Consumerization Value Proposition

Many clients conduct consumer segmentation studies, but few are able to successfully activate them in the marketplace to drive improved business outcomes. 

Consumerization enables every practice along the Path to Performance to ensure that clients are responsive to the needs of their most profitable consumers and activate their demand by:

  • Creating innovative products to meet their needs
  • Communicating effectively with them to drive their attitudes and behaviors
  • Offering them the right product assortment in the right store at the right price to maximize performance and efficiency for manufacturers and retailers alike

We enable our client to precisely activate demand among the consumers that drive their most profitable business outcomes.

A Closer Look at Innovation

A Closer Look at Innovation

How can you develop, price, package and promote new products to enhance your diverse portfolio? 

Once we’ve identified the unarticulated desires, partially expressed needs, and recurring frustrations in consumers’ lives, we help clients pursue, shape, and develop breakthrough innovations that meet their demand. This not only includes insights into packaging and distribution, but also a roadmap to expand a client’s product portfolio and grow their business.

How Innovation Works

Our solutions are designed to make client innovations a hit even beyond year three. We apply a proven framework for in-market success to maximize the potential of new product offers.

We factor in what consumers respond to as we help clients develop distinctive new product concepts. We forecast new product sales to support flawless launch timing coupled with the most effective go-to-market approach.

Innovation Analytics

Our innovation analytics offers a proven framework for in-market success to maximize the potential of new product offers. 

We have a range of solutions in our toolkit to help at every stage of the innovation funnel to ensure our clients’ new products have the greatest chance for long-term survival.

Innovation Value Proposition

Leading companies launch break-through innovations that meet real unmet consumer needs. These products offer above-market prices and margins, new shelf space at retail, and high growth rates.

Yet, most companies don’t manage innovation very well. Nielsen can help in three ways:

  • Pull from Consumerization to uncover unmet needs and find white space opportunities
  • Develop great concepts and leverage Factors for Success to improve the concepts
  • Launch the product well. This includes a proper launch plan and ongoing optimization once in-market based on how well clients gain distribution, effectiveness of marketing programs, etc.

We are already known as the leader in new product forecasting, but we have the ability to take on a much larger aspiration – to help clients develop better innovation outcomes.

A Closer Look at Marketing Effectiveness

A Closer Look at Marketing Effectiveness

Is your content and advertising reaching, resonating and effectively delivering results with the intended audience? 

Leveraging our unique perspective into what customers watch and buy, we help clients prioritize their advertising spend and create effective, efficient marketing plans. We work with clients and their agencies to determine the best strategy to reach their most valuable consumer and maximize return on investment.

Our clients need to know their marketing efforts are generating the results they need. Without the right tools, it’s next to impossible to know if they are hitting the mark, and where they need to sharpen their aim.

How Marketing Effectiveness Works

Marketing Effectiveness is about answering one key question: ‘Is the money that I’m investing in marketing working or not, and where can I improve?’

This Practice combines our Watch and Buy assets to tell a holistic story from media investment through to the reality of the communication, focused around our 3R's framework.

The 3R's framework helps clients plan their marketing mix to reach the most valuable consumers, then understand whether those consumers did indeed see or hear the ads (Reach), whether the ads impacted their attitudes (Resonance) and finally whether they achieved the desired sales response ( Reaction).


Reach is all about allocating media spend across media vehicles to reach the target audience most efficiently and effectively, and then tracking how well the media execution matched the plan. We measure viewing behavior across screens, through our Audience Measurement services, and offer a wide range of solutions to plan media allocation. 
29 Countries
46 Countries
10 Countries
  • Measures all in-home devices
  • Measures 290+ million panels from global TV households
  • Collect activity from 500,000+ consumers daily around the world
  • Track and code 30,000 new ad images daily
  • Track and Analyze Consumer Generated Media on 100+ million sites
  • Measures whether online ads reach their intended audiences
  • Mobile surveys from 500,000+ consumers
  • Measures whether mobile ads reach their intended audiences


Resonance is all about understanding if ads are breaking through and actually changing consumer attitudes and perceptions. 

Advertising often has a number of softer objectives such as impacting consumer attitudes, which contribute towards achieving an uplift in sales. Sometimes these objectives will not be realized until the longer term, for example, maintaining brand awareness and saliency.


Reaction is all about understanding whether the advertising persuaded consumers to actually purchase - did it drive the desired sales, profits and ROI? 


We help clients optimize and plan their marketing mix to reach the most valuable consumers, and improve budget allocations across brands and geographies to drive margin or growth.

Marketing Effectiveness Value Proposition

By asking the right questions, our clients can figure out which part of their marketing investment is performing at its peak, and which part needs a change. Whether the focus is audience measurement or advertising effectiveness, our solutions center on one key goal: making the critical connection between marketing and sales.

Our rich analytics lead to marketing insights that help clients limit waste, as well as increase revenue. We help identify relevant messages and the media most likely to trigger purchases by the most valuable consumers.

Our job is to help clients connect the right message to the right consumers, using the most effective platform.

A Closer Look at Sales Effectiveness

A Closer Look at Sales Effectiveness

How can you systemically improve financial performance by delighting shoppers and optimizing price, promotion, assortment and shelf? 

Once clients have engaged their consumers, activating the sale in-store is where they can see the impact. Nielsen has tools to help clients manage and optimize revenue, understand price drivers and influence their shopper's path to purchase. 

Sales Effectiveness helps ensure the majority of a client’s spend is effectively returning on investment. 

Driving performance is also about understanding the levers that influence purchase decisions and ultimately guiding your client's price and trade promotion strategies. We can help clients measure each of these in-store variables and positively impact their sales volume.

How Sales Effectiveness Works

Clients want to understand how to better collaborate with their customers to drive more business. We can help our clients address this key question by offering insights into Performance Measurement and Performance Improvement, guiding in-store activity, strategically, tactically and financially.

To help our clients win in the marketplace, we offer insights in three key areas:

  • Shopper and Loyalty
  • Shelf and Assortment
  • Price and Promotion

These insights are fueled by key information we collect on retail spending, shopper behavior, and in-store performance.

Performance Measurement- Tracking retail spending and shopper behavior.

Performance Improvement- Understanding shoppers to influence the path to purchase and understanding the levers that influence purchase decisions in order to drive growth.

Retail Spending

We help clients understand their Retail Spending through Retail Measurement.

Nielsen classifies & tracks the retail universe in 100+ countries.

  • ​Visit 1 million stores each month
  • Audit 50 million items in 300,000 stores per month
  • Assign and maintain 30 attributes for 30 million retail items
  • Conduct 20 million surveys per year
  • Collect Loyalty card purchase data from 60+ million shoppers
  • Process 2 billion electronic records a week from >200,000 retail outlets

Shopper Behavior

We help clients understand Shopper Behavior through Consumer Panel.

Over 260,000 Households in
27 Countries
Projected at National, Local Market and Retailer Level Key Demographic Representation
  • Largest global static sample
  • Nationally based and geographically representative
  • Provides continuous reporting of all SKUs across all outlets


  • Varies by country, but can include: 

- Household Head – Age

- Employment

- Occupation

- Education


Shopper Marketing

We help clients acquire shoppers and drive trips, through Shopper Marketing. 

Nielsen's Path to Purchase Shopper Framework connects consumer demand to what shoppers buy and provides clarity around the 3 key shopper decision points – PlanPlace and Purchase. The path is also highly influenced by how we consume, evaluate and engage. 

Revenue Management

We help clients allocate, activate and assess their in-store performance, through Revenue Management Optimization (RMO).  

In general, the current industry approach to revenue management is disjointed, with mis-alignment between strategy and tactics and no umbrella technology solution to link the component parts. 

Nielsen's RMO solution provides an integrated end-to-end approach to managing price and trade promotion strategies in order to drive improved results. An integrated platform supporting an integrated process.

Sales Effectiveness Value Proposition

Effective shopper marketing relies on understanding shoppers to influence their purchase decisions and drive growth. 

  • We offer insights on consumers at store-level as well as shopper insights in all of the markets clients operate in, identifying customers’ behaviors and preferences.
  • Our consumer panels dig deep into shopper behavior to help clients understand the why behind the buy, to enhance their marketing approach at retail.

Activity: Practices Review

Name the Practices!

  • Demand, Innovation, Marketing ROI and Shopper
  • Consumerization, Innovation, Marketing Effectiveness and Sales Effectiveness
  • Segmentation, NPD, Media and Brand Health
What are the four Nielsen Practices?

Why A Practices Framework?

  • To align with our clients’ workflow (the ‘Path to Performance’) and complement their product cycle around the consumer journey
  • To guide the use of our information and assets by organizing our information in a usable, practical and meaningful way
  • To match competitor offerings
  • To provide a common language for us to tell an impactful story that addresses client needs
  • To make our business more efficient from an operations perspective
Why has Nielsen created a Practices Framework? Select all that apply.

Describe the Practices

Match the Practice with the appropriate descriptor.
  • Consumerization
    Identifying and Segmenting the most profitable consumers, unlocking demand and informing the Path to Performance
  • Innovation
    Developing, pricing and promoting new products
  • Marketing Effectiveness
    Engaging consumers through effective and efficient marketing
  • Sales Effectiveness
    Activating plans through superior sales execution

Tutorial Completion

Tutorial Completion

Congratulations! You have successfully completed the Understanding Practices Tutorial.

You are now equipped to support Nielsen's mission by:

  • Articulating what Practices are, and why they are important
  • Demonstrating an understanding of how each Practice works
  • Communicating the value proposition for each Practice