Erick Laseca (IMC10) was recently selected by the Association of National Advertisers (ANA) and the Internationalist as one of the Top 1000 Marketers Around the World Reshaping the Future of Marketing. It’s a recognition that largely comes from Laseca’s extensive work with Big Data—a marketing strategy he first learned to appreciate while at Medill IMC.
“What the IMC program instilled in me was a love and understanding of data,” Laseca said. “Data is central to marketing—in order to market effectively, in order to understand consumers and understand markets, you need to understand data. The key differentiator between me before Medill and after Medill is that solid understanding of data, and that’s what really made the difference in my career.”
Before enrolling in the University of Chicago, Laseca served as the Marketing Information Systems Lead for Kraft’s Looking Glass Command Center, guiding various consumer and shopper insight teams while working cross-functionally with sales, marketing, finance and product to build data-based strategies and brand equity for the company.
Laseca also applied his knowledge of Big Data and statistics as a brand manager for Allstate Insurance. It was a hands-on, cross-functional experience where he was able to work on everything from pricing to Mayhem commercials to data analytics—eventually, in fact, collecting enough data to predict purchase habits and price elasticity with a new certainty for the company.
Laseca credits an internship he held at SC Johnson while pursuing his IMC degree as the experience that really shaped the rest of his career. Through the IMC Immersion program, Laseca and a few of his classmates worked with the company to create a Big Data platform that would allow SC Johnson a firmer understanding of how its product and marketing efforts were doing in stores.
“It was a really powerful experience,” Laseca said. “I look back at that challenge and I really feel empowered because we were really creating something very special—we were able to make huge enhancements on this company and we were still in school.”
Along with this internship, Laseca also looks back at his last quarter at Medill with fond memories—it was during this time that a friend of his suggested he apply to Donald Trump’s show, “The Apprentice.” After a series of intense interviews and board meetings in Santa Monica, Laseca was chosen out of over 250,000 interviewees as the alternate for the show’s tenth season. It was a memorable experience, according to Laseca, and if the opportunity were to present itself again, he’d love to give the show another go around.
Today, Laseca lives in Glenview with his wife Yahilin, five-year-old son Erick Daniel and three-year-old daughter Jocelyn Grace.