Worldwide Director, Global Intelligence Group
Doug Yoder is passionate about marketing, and specifically passionate about uncovering and leveraging consumer insights.
Doug started working in consumer insights after graduating from The University of Iowa with a BBA degree in 1983. After a few years working for an insights firm, Doug knew he would benefit from the deeper and broader business training offered in an MBA program.
After applying to a number of schools, Doug chose Tippie.
"The faculty capability in my area of interest was high, the program had a nice sense of international student diversity, and it had a very collegial environment. Plus, Iowa City was a hidden gem."
As an MBA student, Doug served as a teaching assistant, which enabled him to work closely with faculty.
"I have a high degree of fondness and respect for The University of Iowa and its programs across-the-board. One of the things I liked about my Tippie experience was the interaction with a small group of talented students and the interaction with faculty—it was tremendous. And from a value proposition, it’s a tremendous value."
Since graduating from Tippie, Doug has held various consumer insights and brand management positions, eventually focusing his area of passion—consumer insights.
While working at Mead Johnson Nutritionals, Doug provided insight support for the team that launched the first infant formula marketed directly to consumers in the United States. He eventually led the research function for the infant formula business worldwide. In between, he led efforts in CRM, new product development, and was director of marketing for a $300 MM business in the United States.
While working at Silver Ventures, Doug led strategic marketing and insights efforts for the Texas-based private equity/venture capital firm. He worked closely with the management teams of acquired companies to develop and implement growth strategies, adding value to the brands, making them attractive targets for strategic buyers.
Today Doug works at Hill’s Pet Nutrition where he leads consumer insights in global marketing. Recent projects have included repositioning Hill’s brands around the world, developing models of category dynamics and leading change in the assessment of new product and long-term innovation opportunities for the company. His work at Hill’s takes him to markets around the world, working with global teams to better understand consumers and veterinary professionals.
How has the Tippie MBA helped Doug?
"For a consumer insights person, the value of the Tippie MBA is having a broader business perspective. The big deal is being able to bring the insights back, talk to the brand and business owners about the implications, and driving results.
“Now having been out of school for two plus decades doing this, I’ve worked with Harvard and Wharton MBAs and have MBAs from other programs working for me. The quality and caliber of people coming out of Iowa is strong. Iowa MBAs can stand toe to toe with anybody. At Tippie, there was a terrific grounding in all the key functional business areas, but we also had the opportunity to specialize."
One trend that Doug has seen emerge is the impact of nontraditional media and its impact in the consumer’s world; how they get information, make purchase decisions, and the overall explosion of information technology.
“Consumers are on blogs finding out about your product via the web, word of mouth, viral marketing. Consumers are coming into the decision-making situation far more armed with information than in the past.”
Doug believes his Tippie MBA has helped him to manage well through these significant changes. And for him, working in the area of consumer insights continues to be both challenging and rewarding.