General Mills, Vodafone, and Pernod Ricard’s respective brand and product portfolios are enormous, and the intelligence they produce, equally mammoth. But that didn’t stop these global insights teams from quickly and successfully rolling out Market Logic platforms in the early days of the COVID pandemic. Here’s a summary of our learnings from insights executives who shared the key strategies they implemented to swiftly deploy their platforms in 2020.
For Pernod Ricard, centralizing all their insight and foresight into a global insights platform, called the “Insights Factory,” was essential for the corporation to better communicate, better share, and avoid redundancy.
“I can give you an example,” said Florence Rainsard, Pernod Ricard’s Global Consumer Insights Director. “We bought a really big trend report in the past, and different affiliates bought it two or three times because we weren’t connecting enough. So these are the types of problems we had to solve.”
Florence and her team didn’t wait. They launched Insights Factory as soon as possible, adapting the platform configuration and content to their users’ needs while the research was still being loaded.
In fact, Pernod Ricard’s Nathalie Lavoisier, Team Coordinator Assistant, can’t remember the look of their first Insight Factory iteration, there were so many. The idea, she said, was to go fast, which meant the team detected problems early and reacted quickly, allowing for an agile platform that evolves in line with user needs.
“We launched the platform in 2020, and it was a game-changer,” said Florence. Since then, over 2,900 unique users have turned to the platform for insights with more than 15,700 total logins. That’s more than a 26% return rate—a flying start.
With 20 million broadband subscribers and over 300 million mobile customers, Vodafone is known for connectivity, but their portfolio has expanded to include smart-home and smart-tech product development.
“As insight managers, we needed to support these new products’ development,” said Sarah Emblin, Senior Insight Manager at Vodafone Group. But tracking down information had become increasingly cumbersome.
Sarah shared that the organization’s insight professionals were accessing five or six different databases, largely on SharePoint, to do their research. “We started from the point of view that the SharePoint situation wasn’t right for us. We needed to resolve that,” said Sarah.
Affectionately referred to as “VIC” (Vodafone Insight Center), Vodafone’s insights platform launched in March this year, on the first day of lockdown in the UK. “We felt we needed to move fast,” said Sarah. Their strategy was to first roll out the platform with their UK market (their largest) and focus on collaborating with those users. That way, they could quickly develop the platform in a way that would likely be an 80% fit for the entire business.
With only six months under its belt, VIC already holds an estimated knowledge asset of £35 million, that’s used by 280+ users executing 5,500 search actions and shares. With all their past research together in one place, Sarah says Vodafone is able to learn from past insights and write educated briefs for new research.
“None of those activities would have happened six months ago,” said Sarah, “We now have access to the information in a way that is so much faster.”
As Kristen Kuhnert, Head of Customer Insights at Vodafone UK, explained, the team also works hard to encourage efficiency in their own, and their users’, micro-behaviours.
“It’s the tiny behaviours that make a difference for time-poor teams, so we’re making sure we use every opportunity to direct traffic to VIC.” This means consistently, and tactfully, sending people who call the Insights Team for favours a direct link to their new self-service knowledge hub.
General Mills has 100 brands in 100 markets covering six continents. Their portfolio includes iconic brands like Cheerios, Häagen Dazs, and Betty Crocker. General Mills’ journey to their Market Logic platform, donned “the HIVE,” emerged from a need to better leverage the organization’s intelligence across a large decentralized insights team.
“All our data, information, and insights were spread far and wide,” said Paul Schroeder, Associate Manager, Consumer Insights. “We needed a tool that allows us to harness our data’s power and empower faster decision-making.”
Enter the HIVE, and the days of logging into fifteen different websites to access information were over. To move quickly with the HIVE’s deployment, the team invested time early on to harmonize workflows and taxonomies for automated research workflows, and then created a virtual event and leader board to incentivize folks to lean in, find their past research, and upload it, all within a three-week period. “By getting this right, we were able to move pretty quick,” Paul said.
Another factor in the HIVE’s fast and successful rollout was the involvement of General Mills’ leadership. They made a significant contribution to endorsing the platform. “For us, it was a key enabler. We had brought our leadership up to speed right from the get-go,” shared Sakshi Aggarwal, Head of Global Consumer Insights at General Mills.
Pernod Ricard, Vodafone and General Mills are off to a flying start, and share a similar goal moving forward: use their new platforms to expand the virtual fabric that connects their firms’ insights professionals to encourage collaboration, new insights, and faster decision making.