Michigan Ross School of Business | Groups


Frequently Asked Questions

General Questions
What is Marketing Lab?
Marketing Lab is a student-led initiative five years in the making supported by the Ross administration with the mission to prepare students for real-world marketing careers through action-based analysis of in-market data. Specifically, the Lab hosts Nielsen point-of-sale scanner data for students to utilize to prepare themselves for their future marketing careers.
Who owns Marketing Lab?
Marketing Lab is made possible by the University through their dedication to a physical space and funding the contract with Nielsen. Michigan Marketing Club is responsible for all content creation for student learning for both Nielsen.
What's Nielsen? 
Nielsen is a point-of-sale (POS) technology for retail measurement that captures sales and price data from virtually every major retail chain.  It provides real-time SKU level data across all time periods.  Access to this information allows students to understand real-world trends in consumer purchasing behavior and prepares them to use a database utilized by many major consumer packaged goods companies.
Can you provide more details on the Nielsen contract? What categories has Ross purchased? What time periods? What database?
Our Nielsen contract is for every category within Food down to the SKU (stock keeping unit) level with three years of historical information. Metrics include sales, volume, price, promotion, distribution, and much more. The specific Nielsen database we have access to is their Answers On-Demand portal which is web-based platform that many organizations are utilizing over Nielsen’s traditional excel add-in software tool. Partnering with Nielsen’s Answers On-Demand is an advantage for Marketing Lab as it is a web-based service so students can access the portal from their personal computers.

Will the lab span beyond MBAs to BBAs and Masters of Management students too?
The long-term vision of Marketing Lab is to expand the scope to cover BBAs and MMs in addition to MBAs. As the 2018-2019 academic year is the pilot year of the Lab, the scope will be narrowed to MBAs only.
How do I find out even more information?
For additional questions, please email RMC-MarketingLab@umich.edu.

Students-Specific Questions
I’m an MBA student, what are the benefits to me of getting involved with Marketing Lab?
In conjunction with every element of Ross through the curriculum to the action-based learning events, Marketing Lab will better prepare you for your summer internship or full-time position in marketing. Through our partnership with Nielsen, Marketing Lab will teach you the core skills needed to master the database and turn the data you mine into insights and ultimately into action. Having this training will allow you to hit the ground running day one of a new role, particularly in CPG, as it is commonly understood that CPG marketing interns take 1-3 weeks to develop comfort with Nielsen before having to extract insights from the tool in only a 10-12 week internship. Additionally, as students this day in age are expected to bring the digital and social insights to future employers, Tracx will provide you the hands-on learning of how to use social media listening to create an action plan.
I'm an MBA student, how can I get involved?
MBA students have a variety of opportunities to get involved. The Marketing Lab will offer case competitions, educational sessions, and other simulations. Look out for the MMC newsletter for more information on how to sign up for events.
I'm not recruiting CPG, will Marketing Lab provide benefit to me?
Yes! Having data analysis skills are essential for every job a marketing student would pursue upon MBA completion regardless of industry.  We encourage you to attend our Nielsen trainings to develop the skills of turning data into insights into action. Additionally, the social media listening skills acquired via Tracx are applicable to any industry.
Are there any costs involved in utilizing Marketing Lab?
Marketing Lab resources are available to members of the Michigan Marketing Club free of charge.
I'm a part-time or weekend MBA, can I get involved?
Yes, Marketing Lab resources are available to all members of the Michigan Marketing Club.
Is there a way I can get involved in a leadership role for Marketing Lab?
While Marketing Lab is not currently recruiting for formal leadership roles at this time, we very much appreciate your enthusiasm and support.  The best way to help the Lab succeed is to attend events and encourage others to attend as well.

Faculty-Specific Questions
I'm a faculty member, I'd like to involve the Marketing Lab tools in my curriculum, how do I do so?
Wonderful! We highly encourage integration between the Lab’s tools and the marketing curriculum. There will be a curriculum integration proposal process which the Marketing Faculty Chair will have access to distribute on an as-needed basis.
Can I use Marketing Lab tools for my academic research?
Unfortunately, no, the tools can't be used for academic research as the agreements with Nielsen is exclusive to student action-based learning and academic research is outside the scope of the contracts.

Recruiter-Specific Questions
I'm a recruiter, how can I get involved?
We are thrilled to have recruiters get involved! We are very open to collaborating and brainstorming best ways to get involved together. Ideas include (but are not limited to) writing a case for students to assess utilizing Marketing Lab tools, bringing students to your headquarters and showing the real-world applicability of the Marketing Lab tools, and participating as a judge for our events. We are at an exciting time for the Lab right now where the sky is the limit for recruiter involvement. Please reach out to us directly at RMC-MarketingLab@umich.edu to continue the conversation on how to get involved.
I'm a recruiter but also just an excited Ross alum, how can I get involved?
Thank you for your excitement! If you’d like to be a Ross alum “ally” to the Marketing Lab and be the first to know of happenings and events as well as be the first we tap into for Lab requests, please email us and let us know here: RMC-MarketingLab@umich.edu. Additionally, you can get involved in a variety of ways from passing the word on to your colleagues to get involved by creating cases with us, to possibly judging future competition event, to sharing the news of Marketing Lab with your former classmates who are working in marketing but not at a Ross-recruiting company.