Tag Archives: Coca Cola market research

TMRE 2011: Coca-Cola VP talks about Truth, Insights and Community

It is obvious that Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President, Marketing Strategy & Insights at The Coca Cola Company, loves his job.

He opened with “The marketing research profession is the best profession in the world….for one simple reason. Insight is the most critical thing.” 

Well, he certainly knows his audience because most of us here at The Market Research Event agree with him…at least I do:)

Diane Hessan, President & Ceo of Communispace facilitated the discussion, and she told me prior to the session start that it would be worth blogging about…and it was!

This is what I enjoyed most about his presentation:

1. Visionary thinking“The responsibility of companies is to help create the future…..but you have to learn how to stop looking in the rearview mirror?” 
 2. Perspective on hiring. “Hire people that are not the same as you had before.” He said that many of his “strange hires” have turned out to be “great hires.” He also cautioned companies not to “outsource your thinking.” 
3. Clear communication of the brand. “What makes coca cola what it is today? It’s the community we have established..that we touch people on a daily basis.” “It’s a drink that promotes happiness.” Check out what Coca-Cola is now doing with a program they call 5 BY 20.

April Bell

Coca-Cola Research Boss Bets On Passive Listening Over Response, Social Media Over Surveys


‘Research Insighter’ Interview Probes Call to Reinvent or Face Irrelevance

By Marc Dresner, IIR USA

Stan Sthanunathan believes market research’both as a profession and as an industry’may be on a collision course of potentially Titanic proportions with an iceberg called change, and he’s urging all hands on deck to help turn the ship around.

‘We all must accept one truth in life: Change is not optional, but acting or not acting is a choice we make’We either act or we will become irrelevant and maybe even perish,’ Sthanunathan said.

Coca-Cola’s global head of marketing strategy and insights has never been one to mince words or shy away from controversy, and his views may be unsettling in some research quarters.

In this exclusive podcast interview for ‘The Research Insighter’ series, Sthanunathan argues the industry urgently ‘needs to reinvent who we are, what we stand for and how we add value to business’ or risk losing out to a rising class of non-traditional competitors that will include the Facebooks and Googles of the world.

He predicts conventional response-based research will ‘probably be irrelevant in the next decade’ and that ‘social media services could potentially become the biggest insights generators in the industry.’

And, Sthanunathan pointed out, these emerging competitors have an advantage over traditional research providers and most client-side departments when it comes to attracting talent: They’re willing to pay more for a more diverse range of skill sets within a culture that encourages experimentation and provides the freedom to fail forward.

How can researchers compete in this environment?

Sthanunathan insists the time has come to focus on next practices’not best practices.

‘No driver has reached their destination by looking through the rearview mirror in a car,’ he observed.

‘If you focus on consumer insights, you will develop consumerist strategies,’ Sthanunathan said. ‘But if you focus on understanding the human condition, then you will understand people’s lives in totality and, therefore, probably have a much better chance of coming up with breakthrough ideas.’

Listen to the interview here.

Read the transcript here.

Editor’s note: If you’re intrigued by the issues raised in this podcast, you won’t want to miss TMRE 2011, because this year’s conference theme is ‘Leading in a New Direction: Revolutionizing an Industry in an Era of Transformation.’

For information or to register for The Market Research Event 2011, taking place November 7-9 in Orlando, Florida, please visit TheMarketResearchEvent.com.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR/INTERVIEWER
Marc Dresner is an IIR USA communication lead with a background in trade journalism and marketing. He is the former executive editor of Research Business Report, a confidential newsletter for the marketing research and consumer insights industry. He may be reached at mdresner@iirusa.com. Follow him @mdrezz.

A look back at TMRE 2009: Why quality doesn’t matter A report on the terminal illness of Survey Research

The Market Research Event 2010 is taking place this November 8-10, 2010 in San Diego, California. Every Friday leading up to the event, we’ll be recapping one session from The Market Research Event 2009.

TMRE General Session: Why quality doesn’t matter A report on the terminal illness of Survey Research

Why quality doesn’t matter A report on the terminal illness of Survey Research
Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President , Marketing Strategy & Insights, The Coca-Cola Company

Stan is presented us with two vital slides. As different people have different styles, and he doesn’t want to offend anyone.

Vital slide #1: Why quality doesn’t matter. You must think about the future. If you don’t have quality, don’t come to the party. This is the reason why quality should matter, but it shouldn’t be the only thing.

Vital Slide #2: It’s beyond quality. What’s the next frontier? This slide could be considered less offensive than the first.

85% of research leaders indicated that they are either ‘Neutral of dissatisfied with the impact of marketing research in their company. How can we take respondent engagement to the next level?

Is only debate getting us in the way we focusing on urgent versus important. We probably spend a disproportioninate amount of time on the urgent as opposed to the important. There is hope for the industry going forward, the question is is innovation happening at the pace its suppose to happen?

It’s about helping the company to change shape. Not following the change as quickly as possible. Leaders create change. Followers follow change. Our role as leaders and market researchers is to light the way, and show a beacon of hope for what can change in the future. End user expectations bring value to the table.

Expectations are changing quite dramatically. Going forward, we must put money behind research, innovation, and technology changes that accelerate change. We need to think about how we can bring dramatic changes to the world of our research? How can we use technology to do so?

What’s blocking our way for innovation?
We can’t agree on the definition of insight in the industry.
We don’t ‘know what we don’t know, and we don’t know how to know what we don’t know.

What will our final frontier look like?
The speaker can’t predict the future, but Facebook will become the insight provider for the world. There are 300 million individual users, each have given an extensive amount of personal detail. So we can get a great understanding of human conditions. It’s the best source in the world for information on the human behavior. What is your loyal fan base thinking about your product? What do they do, when do they enjoy coke; all can be found if used Facebook correctly. They’re consumers who love your brand.

Here’s what a company needs from clients and research agencies.
-creative problem solvers,
-Story tellers
-Disruptive thinker
-Visionaries
-Act before the change comes to shape change
-Imagine the world where date becomes a commodity
-Agencies are rewarded for business results delivered.

Focus on: outcomes, inspiring change and creating the future

Why market researchers need to attend Measure UP 2010

For more than a decade, marketing mix modeling has been at the core of the marketing measurement process. However, new business issues and renewed attention on ROI, demands innovation in the world of analytics.

At the Measure UP Marketing Conference, March 10-12, 2010 in Chicago, senior marketing and market research executives will share their new models and assessment tools to ensure the most effective and efficient marketing mix. Below are some examples of sessions that are geared towards market research:

Empowering Sustainable Innovation: Ideas for Creating a Data-Driven Organization
Avinash Kaushik, Analytics Evangelist, GOOGLE, & Author, Web Analytics: An Hour a Day & Web Analytics 2.0 – How to create a data-driven organization through a mix of cultural approaches, destruction of some currently workshoped holy cows, tools, skills and mindsets.

Creating an Algorithm for Marketing Optimization
Scott Deaver, Executive Vice President, Strategy, AVIS BUDGET GROUP
- How marketing effectiveness has evolved and where he sees the greatest opportunity today from marketers to build a more sophisticated optimization system.

Modern Day Mix Modeling: Balancing Prior Information & Judgment with Statistics
Lisa Wellington, Marketing Sciences, THE COCA-COLA COMPANY
- How to employ Bayesian modeling to enable the integration of prior knowledge with sound statistics in order to product robust, comprehensive models.
Marketing Pricing and Spending Decisions Across Multiple Brands

Greg Michaels, Director, Analytics, Kraft International, KRAFT FOODS
- How optimization and risk analysis methods are applied to a representative portfolio of brands to make practical marketing decisions
Actionable Value-Based Customer Segmentation for Maximum ROI
Shannon A. Balliet, Analytics Consultant & Recent Director of Database Marketing & Customer Integration, CARNIVAL CRUISE LINES
- Actionable elements of a value-based segmentation strategy that will enable marketing organizations to realize measurable results, achieve strong ROI and fuel overall profitability.

Driving Improvements in Customer Value by the Fusion of Behavioral Data and Attitudinal Insight
Gary Class, Senior Vice President, WELLS FARGO
- How to integrate behavioral models with attitudinal data and how to leverage customer
insight to identify opportunities for improvement in service quality and breadth.

And that’s just a sample of the insightful presentations Measure UP has to offer you. Join us and hear senior level marketing and market research executives reveal how they are successfully linking marketing to financial value creation. Through real stories and case studies, you peers will share the latest, most practical techniques and innovative advancements in modeling, metrics and measurement.

Download the brochure to see the full program.

TMRE General Session: Why quality doesn’t matter A report on the terminal illness of Survey Research

Why quality doesn’t matter A report on the terminal illness of Survey Research
Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President , Marketing Strategy & Insights, The Coca-Cola Company

Stan is presented us with two vital slides. As different people have different styles, and he doesn’t want to offend anyone.

Vital slide #1: Why quality doesn’t matter. You must think about the future. If you don’t have quality, don’t come to the party. This is the reason why quality should matter, but it shouldn’t be the only thing.

Vital Slide #2: It’s beyond quality. What’s the next frontier? This slide could be considered less offensive than the first.

85% of research leaders indicated that they are either ‘Neutral of dissatisfied with the impact of marketing research in their company. How can we take respondent engagement to the next level?

Is only debate getting us in the way we focusing on urgent versus important. We probably spend a disproportioninate amount of time on the urgent as opposed to the important. There is hope for the industry going forward, the question is is innovation happening at the pace its suppose to happen?

It’s about helping the company to change shape. Not following the change as quickly as possible. Leaders create change. Followers follow change. Our role as leaders and market researchers is to light the way, and show a beacon of hope for what can change in the future. End user expectations bring value to the table.

Expectations are changing quite dramatically. Going forward, we must put money behind research, innovation, and technology changes that accelerate change. We need to think about how we can bring dramatic changes to the world of our research? How can we use technology to do so?

What’s blocking our way for innovation?
We can’t agree on the definition of insight in the industry.
We don’t ‘know what we don’t know, and we don’t know how to know what we don’t know.

What will our final frontier look like?
The speaker can’t predict the future, but Facebook will become the insight provider for the world. There are 300 million individual users, each have given an extensive amount of personal detail. So we can get a great understanding of human conditions. It’s the best source in the world for information on the human behavior. What is your loyal fan base thinking about your product? What do they do, when do they enjoy coke; all can be found if used Facebook correctly. They’re consumers who love your brand.

Here’s what a company needs from clients and research agencies.
-creative problem solvers,
-Story tellers
-Disruptive thinker
-Visionaries
-Act before the change comes to shape change
-Imagine the world where date becomes a commodity
-Agencies are rewarded for business results delivered.

Focus on: outcomes, inspiring change and creating the future

Proof Symposia: The Evolution of Packaging and Purchasing Environments

The Evolution of Packaging & Purchasing EnvironmentsCraig M. Vogel, FIDSA, Associate Dean, DAAP,University of Cincinnati

This session covered the evolution of ideas and how they connect to what’s going on today.

Coca cola is one of the most powerful global brands. When does a brand become known? When enough people have a visceral understanding of the brand.

How do you understand how your brand is viewed externally?

There are five ways to look at your brand:
Differentiate
Collaborate
Innovate
Validate
Cultivate

A company needs to understand when a product is invisible to the consumers. The package delivers the message about the product, from first buy and throughout use. It’s starting to lose its ability to build on any more equity than it can handle.

When you change the images of your product, you can increase the value, stronger message, and then shift the strategy of the packaging.

In the 1990s-2000s, experienced economies are primary drive to buy people to buy more and more services. With failure of the economy, many products are sliding back to basic goods, and few are staying up at premium experiences. Many products people buy are from choices.

Companies can no longer sell one dimensional products. Many companies must create messages about personal values and global issues. Box stores are obsolete concepts because of current costs and overinvesting. Many people are moving back to cities. Companies are creating local stores, example ‘ Wal-Mart. Many of these large needs and want centers are going ot go back to decentralized shopping. Smaller scale neighborhoods and investments. Starbucks will go into contextualized stores without name. Mega centers are too hard for people to get to.

Could Coca-Cola be collecting new ideas for flavors?

In a recent article at the Neuromarketing blog, they look at a new soda machine Coca Cola is currently testing this in fast food markets throughout Atlanta and California. Each machine can make upto 100 different soda flavors with the machines. The author of the article suggests that this could be a way not only to personalize the sodas, but also collect data on what flavors are particularly stronger in certain areas. It also points to the fact that this data could result to distinct regional flavors specifically for regions. Cherry grape Coca-Cola, anyone?

Video advertising in-stores

In the most recent edition of CPG Matters, they look at the research efforts Coca Cola performed to figure out how customers would react to in-store advertising via video screens. They placed these videos in the Pharmacy aisle, at check out stands, and the grocery and pet care aisles.

Sales results were what Fleener called ‘dramatic’: percentage increases in the high single digits, he said, directly tied to when and where the in-store media network played the spots. ‘Not only did it drive specific Coke sales, but also the whole soft-drink category, although Coke benefited most,’ he said.

Read the full report here.