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How Godrej dealt with too much data

How Godrej dealt with too much data

The 2018 Mumbai Market Logic Insights Executive Roundtable took place in Mumbai, India and Saurin Shah, Head of CMI, Godrej Consumer Products, hosted. In attendance were executives from Marico, Aviva, Axis Bank, and Tata Global Beverages.

Saurin opened the 2018 Mumbai Roundtable with a tale of personal experience. When he first joined Godrej, he found an organization that was struggling with too much data and not enough insights. Different data sets weren’t linked together. Manual effort was needed to codify research for reuse, which meant that insights weren’t widely used in business decisions. People were more inclined to rely on traditional thinking and had no time to invest in hunting through past research for potential answers.

Knowledge management initiative

In February 2017, Saurin’s efforts to turn the situation around got a timely boost when Managing Director Vivek Gambhir challenged his organization: “Wouldn’t it be amazing if we could have a common repository to get regular access to consumer insights?”

To scope a potential solution, Saurin considered the unique needs of his CMI organization, as well as best practice platforms used by other successful consumer companies such as Unilever. He needed a platform that could enable Godrej to “share knowledge across categories and markets to cross-pollinate ideas.” Cross-learning would help Godrej to grow stronger.

The transfer of ideas could occur without losing sight of cultural relevance if marketers could view an insight in the context of one local market or category, and then adapt and apply it to their own. The basic idea was to create an environment where great ideas could come from anywhere, not just within a business line or territory.

Empowering Marketers

Secondly, Saurin wanted a solution that empowered marketers to craft brands, rather than spend time retrieving data. The platform had to be easy to use and intuitive, so “no matter what level of data skills you have, you can glean insights smoothly and swiftly.”

Ultimately, Saurin wanted to build a knowledge asset that would be owned by the business, and stay with the business if employees left. This would entail security and access levels to ensure that all data can be collated and disseminated appropriately, and rights of access for smaller regions that might not be able to afford fresh research at every turn.


To achieve these goals, Saurin and his team deployed a Market Logic Insights platform which they branded the CMIR (Consumer and Market Insight Repository). With a powerful search engine, an organized structure for intelligence and performance reports, and carefully curated knowledge, CMIR fulfilled their needs.

Less than a year after launch, the platform encompasses over 1000 primary research projects and 3500 research findings. It also houses over 1000 verbatims, quotes taken directly from consumers, as well as creative libraries where marketers can trawl through hundreds of concept and copy tests in search of inspiration for new ideas.

Culture, incentives and fresh research

CMIR rolled out to 60 marketers in October 2017. Based on overwhelming support for the platform, it extended to another 80 marketers in January 2018. Within the first six months, Saurin decided the platform had met his objectives.

The current user community spans all 12 business lines, enabling cross-pollination and providing answers for marketers—in fact, 100% of Godrej marketers visit the platform at least twice per quarter.

Attendees asked Saurin how he had changed the organizational culture to ensure platform usage. He explained key triggers, including content curation objectives for all marketers to promote their success stories, carrot and stick incentives for suppliers to upload fresh research, and endorsement from senior management. Ongoing maintenance effort is negligible for his team, as agency contributions and Market Logic service support levels are sufficient to ensure smooth operations.

The AI differentiator

Andrea Villani, VP APAC at Market Logic, shared the latest developments in AI and their impact on insight executives, where a key differentiator is the deployment of a cognitive platform. As unstructured data such as PowerPoint presentations, RSS feeds, videos and tweets are difficult for machines to understand, Market Logic uses supervised learning to teach the machine the language of your business.

Document miners move through files, annotating entities inside the content, which the machine can read and learn. The machine also evaluates data based on its age and source.

The next step is to connect all of the entities together into a knowledge graph that describes the marketing fundamentals in your industry. This helps the machine to understand that consumer segments have shared needs which can be fulfilled by both functional values and emotional associations. Insights can then be uncovered by clustering and classifying information, creating dossiers and detecting events and trends.

Information coming to the user

Insights should be served in a way that’s engaging, actionable, and natural. The goal is to flip the paradigm from “marketer going to information” to “information coming to the marketer.” Andrea shared two examples of this.

With a cognitive search, all customer and market-facing data is brought together. AI algorithms search and summarize answers in a dossier that visualizes relationships between insights and identifies relevant experts who have published content on the topic. Meanwhile, with a cognitive dashboard, self-service delivery of relevant market intelligence helps to explore early warning signals and trends.

Finally, Andrea shared the new marketing assistant, a smartphone app that understands what the marketer wants to achieve, guides them through the company’s best practice method to get the job done, and suggests relevant insights along the way. In summary, he argued that AI will change the way marketers work with insights: cognitive assistants will anticipate intentions and offer support to get the job done.

Transformational AI

In response to the presentation, attendees discussed ways that AI could transform business. A key area is to help guide marketers to ask the right questions. Another area of great potential comes with the ability to automatically compare “what people say” in social media with validated search results.

The conversation turned to return on insights, where Market Logic cited typical savings of up to 20% of annual research spend by eliminating duplication of research. When researchers spend less time searching for answers, they can add more value as proactive partners.

And with cognitive intelligence on the rise, next-generation platforms will work to answer questions before they even need to be asked, injecting insights directly into the workflow.

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