Every day, Nielsen measures and analyzes what consumers buy, watch and listen to. Our data powers the business and marketing decisions of our clients. In turn, Nielsen works with a multitude of diverse suppliers to power our business—from manufacturing TV meters to recruiting associates and household panels. Through our supplier diversity program, we seek to promote a more inclusive procurement process and expand opportunities for our partners and their communities.
As part of our commitment to fight racism, Nielsen is committed to improving our record of having diverse suppliers provide goods and services. In 2019, we spent $111 million with diverse suppliers and exceeded our goal of $103 million in diverse spend. We strive to annually purchase at least 10% of our U.S. sourceable spend with diverse suppliers.
Take a look at how diverse suppliers are critical partners across our business: For our Media business, much of Nielsen’s data collection begins with meters in the homes of Nielsen families. These patented meters are manufactured by ICTC, a Tampa-based, Asian American-owned business led by Sareet Majumdar. Sareet’s company, which was founded in 1989, specializes in electronics manufacturing both in the US and overseas. From there, Nielsen meters are transported from ICTC production facilities in Asia to our warehouse and distribution center in Tampa, Fla.
Nielsen panel households provide representative audience and consumer data that our clients use to make business decisions. These households have to meet rigorous selection criteria in order to ensure the most accurate, representative sample reflecting the general population. In order to recruit multicultural Nielsen households, we must ensure that their communities know about Nielsen. IW Group is a multicultural marketing firm based in Los Angeles that helps Nielsen raise awareness about our company and our vital research on ethnically diverse communities. The company, founded and led by Asian American Bill Imada, works with community leaders and culturally relevant media to help get the word out about why Nielsen research is essential and how panel households’ input helps shape the programs audiences watch and products consumers buy.
Once the families are selected and the meters delivered and installed, the data gathering finally begins. Nielsen panel households then provide the valuable service of tracking what they watch.
Nielsen’s Connect business measures what people buy in the fast-moving consumer goods (FMCG) industry. One way we do this is by collecting sales data at retailers. AllStem is an African American women-owned and certified company with 200+ career centers across the U.S. The company has provided 32 field quality specialists across the nation to collect sales data through in-store inventory and price checks at retailers (grocery stores, drug stores, convenience stores and discount stores) using an automated hand-held device. Data from these devices is then uploaded to our global data centers.
At Nielsen’s data centers, World Wide Technology (WWT), a multi-billion dollar African American-owned global technology systems integrator, provides networking equipment for our data centers in the U.S., Europe and Asia. Nielsen analysts and data scientists log into the cloud to process the data. Throughout this process, we keep our data secure with rigorous privacy and cybersecurity protocols made possible with cybersecurity suppliers, such as Western Reserve Technology, a Hispanic, women-owned technology reseller.
Nielsen also purchases office supplies from Tejas Office Products. Lupe Fraga founded Tejas in Houston in 1962. It’s been a family-run business for 50 years, now run by a second-generation of the family. Tejas has earned distinction nationwide, including Top 500 Hispanic-Owned Companies in the Nation by Hispanic Business Magazine and Top 100 Diverse Suppliers by Minority Business News.
Just as Nielsen relies on diverse suppliers to power our business, the U.S. economy should also look to diverse-owned businesses to drive our recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Diverse-owned small businesses have a critical role to play in economic recovery efforts and in increasing social equity,” notes Jocelyn Azada, Director of Supplier Diversity and Sustainability, Nielsen. “These businesses are not only vital to the health of diverse communities, they created 67% of the new jobs between 2009-2012 in the recovery after the Great Recession. Institutional purchasers like Nielsen can take a comprehensive approach to supplier diversity—creating far-reaching benefits for our country in the years to come.