Katie Sugermeyer is a Client Service Director for Nielsen’s Consumer Neuroscience solution, based in Chicago. She was originally part of NeuroFocus, a startup that Nielsen acquired in 2011. Since she joined the team eight years ago, Katie has helped Nielsen transform the consumer neuroscience industry and has experienced many opportunities for growth both personally and professionally.
I was technically “adopted” by Nielsen in 2011 when the company acquired the Berkeley, Calif., startup, NeuroFocus. With this move, two facts became clear to me: The consumer neuroscience industry was “growing up” and Nielsen was committed to progress and innovation.
When I first joined NeuroFocus in 2008, we were considered the new, cool kids on the block. But that didn’t mean clients were ready to welcome us with open arms. As with any budding business, success comes from working hard, proving value and building trust. And while this wasn’t an easy task, the strength of our science proved to be a game-changer. I saw clients move from wanting to try something novel to adopting a new way of thinking about consumer motivation and seeing the true value in our research.
As we were riding the early wave of industry momentum, Nielsen’s acquisition offered us an entire ocean of opportunity. It provided us with connections and resources that extended our global reach in a way that few companies can. I was fortunate to be able to contribute to our business development in new markets, which offered me the opportunity to see this industry from a global perspective and to meet so many amazing Nielsen team members around the world. The company also provided us stability and focus with strong leadership and a deep knowledge for what scalable success looks like.
I feel lucky to have been part of the transformation of an industry, to have experienced the thrill and chaos of a startup and to have landed on solid ground with a product and a company that continues to grow. Every day I get to see the cross-section of science and creativity. My clients are using neuroscience to build better ads and to ensure that they are making meaningful connections with consumers. When I’m watching TV and see an ad that I’ve worked on, or walk down the store aisle and see a package that I’ve had an influence on – that’s the ultimate satisfaction.
Nielsen has given me the opportunity to be a part of something that I’m proud of. The continued opportunity to help shape and grow the consumer neuroscience offering keeps my role interesting and ever evolving. Despite having worked with this product for over eight years, I continue to learn every day. For me, Nielsen has fostered an environment of growth both on an individual and business level. No longer do I feel “adopted.” Now, I feel like I am part of the Nielsen family.