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January 11, 2023

Highlights from the Insights Executive Roundtable: London Edition

Market Logic’s exclusive leadership dialogue discussed the future of Insights

We recently got together in the heart of London with our partners from Tesco, Vodafone, and IPSOS for the first in a series of Leadership Dialogues taking place in different countries around the world (stay tuned for more!). This session’s topic focused on how insights teams have become essential to their organizations’ resilience strategies. As firms navigate unprecedented market volatility, consumer behavior shifts, and disruption, insights teams will have a more strategic role to play.

Insights Executive Roundtable in London, UK (2022)

Ipsos: Talking about change

The lovely Simon Atkinson, Chief Knowledge Officer at Ipsos, kicked off the session by talking about change—but also consistency. He talked about the economic, social, and demographic changes impacting today’s enterprises. But he also cautioned us that while we’re in a period of volatility, it pays to be pessimistic of headlines that sensationalize overblown changes instead of grounding change in good, contextualized data and longer term trends. 

For example, while Ipsos found that over the past year inflation has overtaken Covid as the number one worry for people in countries around the world, it’s important to note that poverty, unemployment, crime, and corruption stayed consistently high—in the top five worries—throughout the year. So, while concerns regarding Covid and inflation shifted drastically over the course of 2022, worries related to basic needs haven’t gone away.

In the same vein, Simon pointed out a headline related to the Great Resignation that read “20% planning to quit soon.” But, he noted, when you take into consideration 15% of people move jobs every year, the headline isn’t quite as sensational. His point: be careful and skeptical when it comes to claims the sky is falling.

Simon Atkinson Presents for Market Logic Software in London, UK (2022)

Drawing from Ipsos’ Global Consumer Confidence Index, Simon showed most countries (16 out of 23 surveyed) are in a worse place with consumer confidence now than they were before the pandemic. He also pointed to survey results showing shopping challenges faced by consumers in the past two weeks. The top challenge consumers faced was higher prices than normal in the past two weeks.

When it comes to population change and age demographics, Simon said insights professionals perhaps need to pay more attention to macro trends—and make sure they’ve got the right horizons. Reporters and market researchers are intent on Gen-Z stories, saying “Gen Z will soon become the biggest cohort of consumers.” However, Simon showed that “soon” is perhaps an overstatement. especially when you break down the data by country.

Additionally, market researchers shouldn’t exclude the 65+ generation when you’re out there asking questions. And if they do, there needs to be a strategic reason for it, Simon cautioned. 

Finally, there’s an opportunity for Insights to zero in more on geographically localized consumer insights to drive decision making. Eighty percent of consumers globally prefer products from their own countries, Simon said. It raises questions of where we’re headed, especially as drawbridges go up around the world. 

Change is complex, Simon said. We shouldn’t over simplify it, and we need to get perhaps a little more granular and grounded in the complexity of change.

Making an impact with insights during times of volatility

Market Logic’s Chief Innovation & Product Officer Olaf Lenzmann opened the panel discussion with a pointed question: “How do we define insights impact?”

Thea Haseleu, Market Logic’s Senior Director of Services Excellence & Enablement, talked about how people are creatures of habit, always looking to reinforce and confirm what they already know. Not everyone has a researcher mindset, or feel driven to fact check what they think is true, she said. 

Insights organizations have a responsibility to communicate their data-driven observations, clearly and directly, with recommendations for action, Thea said. That’s the starting point to making a real impact, so insights lead to innovation and market share.

Emma Howard, Insights Project Manager at Tesco, and Mike Taylor, Group Head of Insights at Vodafone, shared their thoughts as well. Emma mentioned that, ten years ago, an organization’s insights function wasn’t taken as seriously. Nowadays, businesses recognize the risks of not listening to their customers, making insights teams more important than ever. And at a time when people’s lives are changing so quickly, being able to identify that change and respond quickly is paramount.

Panelists from Market Logic Clients Tesco, Vodafone, and Ipsos join for a Panel Discussion (2022)

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If you’re a current Market Logic partner and you’d like to get in touch about participating in upcoming Leadership Dialogues, we’d love to hear from you. Please reach out to marketing@marketlogicsoftware.com.

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