How Philips Brings Their Insights to Life

By Sarah Wiggins - September 19, 2019

Last week we were at the fantastic ESOMAR Congress in Edinburgh, Scotland, meeting with and hearing about some of the latest and greatest in market research and insights from around the world. Here are a few of the key take-aways from the session we hosted together with Philips. 

1. Data graveyards are one of the biggest challenges facing marketing and insights professionals today.

A few years ago, McKinsey and the IDC found that nearly 20% of knowledge workers’ time was spent searching and gathering information. And considering that the amount of data in the digital universe continues to increase exponentially, it’s likely that the amount of search time isn’t improving. Data graveyards, or places where reports are stowed away never to be found again, are far from being a new problem, but they are becoming an even larger problem for marketing and consumer insights professionals. As Myrna Grol, Director of Global Marketing Intelligence at Philips, explains, ‘What makes it even more challenging is that with the data abundance of today, we have access to all types of new consumer data...the role of our marketing intelligence professionals should be to sift through the new data and the existing knowledge to connect the dots and pull insights from these different data sources.’ However: 

2. Even if you have a legacy system, it probably isn’t enough. 

While legacy systems like Sharepoint are a good start, they are often difficult to use, which means employees still don’t find the insights they need. For Myrna, this meant that different stakeholders turned to her or the CMI team to find information for them. Such operational tasks reduce the amount of time that can be spent connecting the dots and focusing on the insights that enable a deeper understanding of your consumer. In addition, when CMI teams become the source of information, the risk of organisational memory loss is high. Myrna reflects, ‘...Because I had already been in this role for years and I was responsible for most of these studies, I knew what had been done and where to find it. But it also made me realise that if I would leave Philips one day, the whole history of research projects and studies (now safely secured in my brain) would be lost if there wasn’t a more advanced system to save, search, and share information.’ Of course, it’s not just about having a technologically advanced system because: 

3. Technology is only valuable if people actually use it, and it brings the most value when people love it.

Though the main problem with legacy knowledge systems is that employees don’t find the insights they need, the solution isn’t just more powerful search. Finding the solution requires first identifying the cause, and the actual problem is that documents simply aren’t there. The difficulty of adding new information to these systems makes people less inclined to use them, further diminishing the value generated by this technology. The solution for data graveyards goes beyond cutting-edge technology, like machine-learning and AI; it’s about combining them with customised content curation that makes it easier than ever to stay informed and inspired. The true indicator of a knowledge management system’s success is its adoption. For example, at Philips, more than 50% of all people who tried Stravito remained active 6 months post-launch. On average, users rated it an 8.6/10, with one user stating ‘I’d instruct everyone to use it. There’s so much to win.’ As a consumer-driven innovation company with data abundance, Philips knows what it takes to navigate the modern consumer marketing landscape, and Stravito has helped them to avoid data graveyards and maintain customer centricity.

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