The third NYC Insights Executive Roundtable was hosted by Richard Thorogood, VP Insights at Colgate-Palmolive. To kick things off, he noted how volatile the field of insights management has been since the first meeting in 2017. To illustrate how Colgate-Palmolive has navigated the volatility, he introduced their knowledge management team and their journey to transform from a research tool for the insights organization to a business platform that drives commercial decisions.
Frank Santiago, Knowledge Management Pioneer at Colgate-Palmolive, introduced the diversity and breadth of Colgate-Palmolive’s teams and portfolios.
He pointed out that unlike many companies, Colgate-Palmolive has invested in a dedicated knowledge management function since the 1980s. In 2016, the team decided to take their knowledge management to the next level with technology from Market Logic.
Following a successful technology pilot, where standard software was configured to reflect Colgate’s unique ways of working, the team decided to deploy an enterprise solution, immediately focussing effort on positioning and branding the platform for success.
Valerie Molina, Knowledge Management Associate at Colgate-Palmolive, explained that the deployment journey started with a name that goes beyond the idea of searching for insights: Driving Insights Globally (DIG).
By 2017, the team had already started “digging” for insights. In addition to searching and finding insights from qualitative research, the team introduced benchmarking libraries where users can search concept, copy and pack tests by topic, category and region, and sort by standard test scores and KPIs.
According to Frank, the return on insight from these libraries can be described in terms of efficiency and effectiveness. He said that for efficiency gains, teams access relevant tests at any time and have stopped repeating known concepts.
From the effectiveness vantage point, teams have stopped repeating past mistakes, and are investing saved research dollars in new foundational insights. “Most importantly, they are consistently making winning decisions that boost growth.”
Summing up the case study, Richard acknowledged that the technology is but one part of the transformation journey. “We used to guard insights fiercely, now we are getting better at curating and promote knowledge to our business.”
After a lively Q&A, Jason Childers, VP Global Solutions at Market Logic, shared how companies can companies close the gap between data and insights.
He shared evidence to show how being insights-driven can boost revenue growth. For example, Forrester says insights-driven businesses grow 30% annually (at least 7x faster than GDP) , while McKinsey analysis shows companies that integrate data and creativity have twice the growth rate of those that don’t.
He added that from an efficiency perspective, “Market Logic’s own client benchmarking shows that knowing what you know before you research saves up to 15% on your budget.”
He then presented a live software demonstration to illustrate some of the key success factors to deliver insights to users, including personalized user experiences so people get the content they need based on their function, role, and reading behavior, and AI powered search to automatically summarize answers on the fly, so there’s no need to read reports.
Jason’s presentation segued nicely into the panel discussion, where Elizabeth asked panelists whether there was an insights disconnect inside their firms, and if so, what steps they were taking to tackle it.
Richard from Colgate-Palmolive described how his team is transforming ownership of the system to the business, so commercial teams can freely access the information they need when they need it.
Flynt Tuller, AVP Global Marketing Strategy & Science at Metlife, described how at MetLife, Marketing Sciences and Marketing Strategy teams are joining forces to overcome the insights disconnect. Together, they actively “bake the insights engine into networking and relationship building with the other teams.”
Joaquin Garcia-Lopez, Director, Global Market Research Excellence at Janssen said that his global strategy organization does not really suffer from an insights disconnect, because the insights professionals and marketers have a one-on-one relationship in the global strategy teams – if they don’t think research will be used, they won’t do it.
The panelists then went on to note that despite the common objection “if Ford had listened to market researchers, they would have told him to make faster horses,” market research is not about asking people what they want. It’s about synthesizing information from all kinds of research and sources to distill insights about how people behave and what their barriers and needs are, and using those insights as the starting point to propose solutions.
A lively discussion ensued on the market research profession as a whole, and the debates spilled over into a networking lunch. We’re looking forward to hearing what participants will be eager to discuss in 2020!
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