Organizations spend millions of dollars on research to fully understand their consumers, but too often that research is used once and then misplaced. That means that when an insights manager is asked “what do we know about…?” they can spend as much as ten hours to search for answers. By providing insights professionals with a quick and easy way to access all past research, in a few clicks, millions of dollars of opportunity costs can be saved by eliminating time to search.
In his opening keynote at TMRE 2019, Kirti Singh, Chief Insights & Analytics Officer at Proctor & Gamble, revealed that “over the last 30 years, we’ve asked every imaginable question about our markets and consumers and conducted research to find the answers. That’s why the fastest way to deliver an insight to the business is to use the research we already own, on our First Stop Data Shop platform.”
His observation signals a fundamental but critical success factor for insights management, the need to “know what we know,” and the essential technology to achieve this – an AI-powered market insights platform like P&G’s Market Logic powered First Stop Data Shop.
Insights managers are inundated with questions about past research from their stakeholders, which they’re expected to answer, quickly. The problem is that when they attempt to do this the old-fashioned way, with SharePoint, team drives and siloed databases, it takes way too much time.
What does a thorough search entail? Market Logic clients including Abbott, Coca Cola and Unilever conducted benchmarking exercises to measure time to search for answers to a strategic question like: “what do we know about millennials and sustainability?” They found a thorough search would involve ten hours of effort: two hours searching past primary research, the same amount of time again browsing secondary databases like Mintel and Euromonitor, another hour on the phone with colleagues, and five more hours to read materials and synthesize the answer. Assuming labor costs of $100 per hour, that’s a time and effort investment of $1,000 per question (see diagram below).
Now let’s consider how often someone asks a business question that can be answered by past research. Market Logic clients generally agree that a marketer should be asking a “what do we know about …?” question at least once a month, and an insights manager, at least once a week. That’s $52,000 per insights manager and $12,000 per marketer – a time and effort cost that quickly scales to millions when applied across your workforce.
Of course, researchers lack the bandwidth to perform thorough investigations for every business question they receive, so corners are cut. Sometimes an answer is provided that only references the most accessible source. Worse, the researcher needlessly commissions new, duplicative research even though the company already owns the answers. Market Logic clients, including Unilever and Imperial Brands, have estimated that duplicative research can represent 15% – 20% of their annual research spend.
The solution is two-fold: first, aggregate all your primary and secondary research sources on one market insights platform, so you can find results from all relevant knowledge in seconds, eliminating the first five hours effort described above.
Then, use knowledge graph and AI capabilities to automatically extract relevant findings from the search documents and links, so anyone can read the answers in a minute or two.