June 2, 2020

Read time: 7min

The importance of sharing insights and intelligence during a pandemic

Market Logic Team

At Market Logic’s first Virtual Healthcare and Life Sciences Roundtable, we heard best practices on insights and intelligence sharing from industry leaders at four leading pharmaceutical organizations: Abbott, Bayer, Bristol-Myers Squibb and Janssen (Johnson&Johnson).

Each organization has taken a unique journey towards the launch of its market insights platforms, but they shared common themes on the importance of storytelling, “knowing what we know,” and cross-team collaboration.

Scaling up at Bayer

Bayer isn’t alone in depending on its insights teams for hypotheses and scenario mapping. As we’ve seen, in times of crisis where the typical ways of doing research are modified or on hold, hypotheses are critical for predicting consumer attitudes and behaviors as we enter the “new normal.”

Bayer is at the beginning of their journey with their market insights platform, Quest. Annalena Lahav, the Quest Insights Platform Leader at Bayer, explained that Quest is designed with the vision of becoming “a Bayer-wide used platform across therapeutic areas and divisions as the one-stop-shop for insights and research-related information.”

She said their journey began at Bayer’s 2019 Vendor Innovation Day in Berlin, where they undertook a thorough selection process to find a vendor to help them achieve their vision.

Market Logic’s presentation hit the mark, and Bayer named the firm the winners of their Innovation Day. That was the main impetus for Bayer to transform the way they share knowledge and find insights across the organization.

They started with a small user group in women’s healthcare, but are now planning a scale-up for the middle of 2020 in the cardiovascular and oncology therapeutic areas.

Insight-driven creativity at scale: the HIVE

Insights teams at Johnson&Johnson are experts when it comes to scaling up a global platform. Joaquin Garcia-Lopez, Director Market Research at J&J explained that while the HIVE was first rolled out in 2014 to a small user community, it has since expanded across their global organization.

The HIVE’s success can be attributed in part to its organic growth: as it was successfully adopted in one particular area, adjacent areas saw the value and adopted it as well.

Now, the HIVE enables insights and intelligence sharing across teams, divisions, and regions with 94% usage by the global insights community. That means all consumer and customer research across the entire enterprise is available in a few clicks.

For example, the lung cancer disease area stronghold team had lots of information about patients, healthcare providers and the lung cancer treatment journey, but very little information about another battle many patients were fighting: smoking cessation.

They looked to the HIVE to hunt for insights on smoking cessation and found over 350 usable findings from over 30 consumer studies. With one click, they created a report with all the results to share across the team – for example, “28% of heavy smokers in Canada would definitely see a healthcare professional about quitting smoking,” or “shoppers lack knowledge about what to buy, despite having tried to quit smoking four times or more.”

Instead of investing in research to “know what J&J knows,” the lung cancer disease area stronghold team was able to drive business development decisions with compelling consumer insights. Instead of commissioning new research with an estimated budget value exceeding $1 million dollars, they were able to quickly leverage the OTC learnings at no additional cost.


Insights and intelligence sharing to drive action: the Ignite Platform at Abbott

The main impetus behind Abbott’s Ignite Platform is to inspire teams to become more insights-driven, and more future-focused. The platform is used to bring people together to implement learnings from key insights and drive action – which is even more important during these unprecedented COVID-19 times, said Paul Bould, VP Global Marketing Insights.

Because Abbott is a highly decentralized organization with a heterogeneous mix of businesses (B2B, B2C, B2G), Ignite supports a culture of transparency, knowledge sharing, and “the right kind of dialogue around research and how to leverage it.”

In the highly decentralized environment, Abbott has been able to successfully bring 500 key users from the insights, marketing and commercial divisions.

With over 21,000 documents, Ignite is home to Abbott’s €90 million knowledge asset, and usage numbers are impressive: with 96% usage by the research and marketing community in 2019, and a 120% surge in monthly with the COVID-19 outbreak.

On Ignite, cross-Abbott transparency is driven in part by the rich repository of creative libraries that give users access to over 1,000 innovations and comms test.

This empowers marketers to learn from past experiences, enhancing tested ideas to optimize new ideas. Intelligence dashboards present real-time industry news curated to suit the specific information needs of the different divisions (for example, how does Covid-19 impact medical devices, diagnostics, or the nutrition business).

Flexible functionality on the platform means that individuals can easily create their own newsfeeds, and collaborate on the topic through a common knowledge zone.

Knowledge zones are updated on a regular basis and provide curated information for brands and businesses. Paul said these “storytelling” zones have been “the catalyst for a shift in mindset – teams can now visualize the magnitude and importance of what they’re working on, which instills a sense of pride and inspiration.

The platform has also been instrumental in bringing the right people together across the whole organization – despite its decentralized nature”.


The people and skills driving the culture of knowledge sharing

Industry leaders agreed that talent is key to instilling a culture of knowledge sharing. At Abbott, said Paul, global communities of excellence were created around Ignite that brought together VPs of marketing from across business lines.

This brought more outside-in thinking to everything they were doing from a marketing standpoint, and the value was driven by the fact that board members for the respective business areas nominated participants for these communities of excellence.

Within the divisional insights functions, Abbott ensures that intelligence professionals are also included in these communities. An added bonus from the exercise is that it has created a radar for marketing and insights talent across the organization.

Therese Glennon, VP Customer & Market Insights at Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) echoed Paul’s sentiments around the importance of people and talent. At BMS, she said, the culture of sharing is strong — not only among insights professionals but also the entire business and analytics organization.

Their communities of excellence include insights, analytics, forecasting, competitive intelligence and BI&A teams in therapeutic categories. These communities get together in their therapy areas on a regular basis to share.

They’re currently implementing practices to allow cross-community sharing, as well as an “Insights to Action” series where teams can present the work they’ve done– highlighting inspirational stories. It’s important, Therese said, to give people a platform to share their work and reward them for a job well done.

The panellists also discussed the skillsets needed to curate and present knowledge in knowledge zones. At Abbott, storytelling is a critical skill within the insights function – especially during COVID-19.

With so much disparate, fragmented information, it’s important to be able to take a step back and carve out a story. This ability to see insights objectively is what drives business action. Market Logic provides the technology, but it’s Human Intelligence that brings insights to life.