Nielsen Pairs With McKinsey for Social Media Consulting

Nielsen has formed a new social media consulting company through a partnership with McKinsey & Company. The firm, called NM Incite, includes executives from both Nielsen and McKinsey, and is intended to help brands act on social media research and analysis provided through Nielsen-owned BuzzMetrics offerings.

Over the years, Nielsen has served some of the same clients as McKinsey, a global strategic consulting firm with consultants based in more than 50 countries. The new venture brings the companies together formally in order to serve senior level executives. While Nielsen monitors social media to isolate brand strengths and weaknesses and consumer insights, the combined NM Incite will help clients apply that intelligence on a more strategic business level.

“Our clients have been asking many questions with regard to social media…as to how to use it to their advantage,” said NM Incite’s president of media products and advertiser solutions, Steve Hasker, who spent 12 years with McKinsey before moving to Nielsen and helping to get the joint venture off the ground.

Hasker said Nielsen’s traditional clients in CPG, retail, and media have shown an interest in the new company’s services, in addition to pharma and financial services. “The large clients will be a focus here,” he added.

“There’s a big area around product development,” he said. NM Incite will focus on “how brands can leverage social media to harness consumer insights to develop better products and optimize the launch of those products,” he said.

The Nielsen BuzzMetrics name is hardly present on the NM Incite website, but a spokesperson said it will continue to be used to brand the social media research product suite. For instance, Nielsen My BuzzMetrics is referred to as NM Incite My BuzzMetrics on the new company’s site.

Longtime Buzzmetrics and Nielsen exec Pete Blackshaw is among several Nielsen and McKinsey staffers who will stay on with NM Incite. Blackshaw will serve as EVP digital strategic services for NM Incite. Dave Hudson, Nielsen’s former EVP of global client services for its telecom practice, will serve as NM Incite’s CEO. Jerry Needel, who recently headed product development and client services at Nielsen Buzzmetrics is NM Incite’s COO. Directors of the new firm include Menno van Dijk, a director in McKinsey’s Amsterdam office, and Dan Singer, a director for McKinsey’s media and entertainment division.

NM Incite will be housed at Nielsen’s headquarters in New York. The company would not name the number of staff on board nor identify any clients.

NM Incite plans to release offerings in three areas this autumn: marketing effectiveness measurement, product launch optimization, and customer service experience.

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