This month’s planung & analyse magazine, the German journal for market research and strategic planning, reported on the lively PUMA conference in Frankfurt, where our very own SVP Client Partnerships Doro Hagenauer-Stattmann shared case studies with research leaders from 30 corporations. The audience ranged from Market Logic clients Mars and Mondelez who have successfully deployed knowledge management platforms to corporate research teams that want to tackle the challenge and are seeking advice from those in the know.
In the aptly titled article, “Knowledge is power but sharing is even more powerful”, Sabine Hedewig-Mohr reported that attendees agreed that all too often, knowledge gleaned from market research only exists in the heads of the researchers, as well as the occasional drawer, cabinet, or personal hard drive. This means past research is not easily accessible, nor is it being used. Assuming an average cost of €25,000 per research study, Hedewig-Mohr noted that the accrued waste from lost knowledge easily amounts to millions – “a waste that no company can afford”.
In the presentation, Doro shared a spectrum of case studies for effective knowledge management, from companies with global primary market research organizations, like Unilever and Proctor & Gamble, to clients in US healthcare and finance sectors who bring together knowledge from primary and secondary research alongside all their market and competitor intelligence. Doro explained that each client has a different challenge.
For example, while centralized market research teams tend to have a knowledge sharing culture and budget ownership, they need to promote essential knowledge and insights across the business. On the other hand, decentralized market research organizations with less knowledge sharing across regions and business lines and fragmented budgets need solutions that bring together knowledge and data within each business unit.
Planung&analyse magazine particularly noted Doro’s comments on advanced cognitive capabilities, which Market Logic deploys to teach the machine the language of the business and to continually learn about the company’s brands and the marketing users who need the information, over time. They cited recent coverage of the Market Logic insight engine at Unilever, in Harvard Business Review.
Stephanie Grotenhuis from Mondelez and Bettina Klausen from Mars shared their experiences launching platforms, emphasizing the importance of change management. Discussion focused on carrot and stick principles. For carrots, they highlighted the benefits of using consumer insights to drive decisions, the ability to build and share knowledge “stories” from a body of research projects, and importance of checking past research to prevent needless duplication.
For sticks, the experts explained that it was mandatory for their research agencies to upload new research results to the platform and that they had invested in change management to instill the discipline needed to make sure research managers coached agencies to do this, and followed through with quality assurance checks.
Adjacent speaker Martin Gruelich, Global Market Research Manager for Consumer Health Care at Boehringer Ingelheim further noted that effective knowledge management platforms promote the role of the insights function generally, so “market researchers receive the deserved attention for their work and feel even more appreciated.”
Is your market research team getting the attention they deserve? Perhaps you need to introduce a knowledge management platform to start sharing the cake.