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Smarter decision making at Colgate-Palmolive

Smarter decision making at Colgate-Palmolive

Colgate knows that fast decision-making based on easily accessible insights is key to meeting evolving consumer preferences and vigorous competition worldwide. At the Market Logic virtual Insights Executive Roundtable this year, we heard from Colgate’s Richard Thorogood, VP, Global Head of Consumer and Market Insights and Christian Niederauer, Director of Strategic Insights & Consumer Affairs.

Lost studies, duplicate research, and guarded knowledge

Despite Colgate’s dedicated knowledge management function, the insights team faced 30 years of documents and studies continually lost in local hard drives and SharePoint folders.

The main challenge: finding those documents again when someone needed them. Explains Christian, “you can have the best storage system in the world, but usually, the documents end up in some local drives or SharePoint folders and nobody ever finds them again.”

Difficult-to-locate past research was the main ingredient for redundancy and duplication in research and insights. Understandably, Colgate’s insights and business professionals commissioned research they didn’t know they already had in order to respond to the needs of the organization as quickly as possible.

Colgate’s insights professionals knew that being gatekeepers for an organization’s knowledge is inefficient, cumbersome, and drastically slows the organization’s decision-making processes.

But without a trustworthy, user-friendly solution, actionable insights remained ring-fenced until the team could properly curate them for the business.

A one-stop-shop for insights

After 30 years running separate knowledge management and research execution processes, Colgate piloted “DIG” (Driving Insights Globally), their one-stop-shop, Market-Logic-powered insights platform.

In just a few short years, DIG grew from a research tool to a business platform that drives commercial decisions with its $300-million knowledge asset.

DIG delivers five key technological solutions for Colgate’s teams:

1. Customized insights at the fingertips of an entire commercial audience in marketing, innovation, and sales. Says Richard, “we’re finding people go into DIG to find one piece of research and stay longer to browse 20 other relevant pieces. That’s so powerful.”

2. Knowledge checks dramatically reduce duplicate research. When any team around the world submits a research brief, an AI algorithm scans data from across the globe for matching or related studies, then automatically displays the results.

3. Automated budgeting, planning, approval, and vendor roster management. By 2017, every newly commissioned study was automatically uploaded to DIG.

DIG supports project budget creation, project detail development, signoff with internal stakeholders, supplier selection, proposal development, procurement approval commissioning, and acceptance of results and publication—all within the platform.

Not only that, but teams can only choose the best-authorized agency and review the past performance of agencies before selecting them again.

4. A single sign-on system unlocks a one-stop-shop for insights. During the initial stages of Colgate’s DIG platform development, the insights team focussed on removing the first barrier users feel when they dip their toes into new systems—multiple passwords and logins.

They prioritized a single sign-on (SSO) system, a feature Christian confidently recommends, which was also key to the platform’s later integration of secondary data sources like Mintel and DIY/agile vendors like Toluna.

5. A mobile app to bring insights to marketing, sales and insights professionals when they’re in the field. Remote access means that insights managers use their mobile DIG app in meetings to challenge positions and arguments on the fly.

Says Christian, “everyone has access to everything. It’s all integrated into one app. When approving a research study, I can immediately see on my landing page on my mobile device what’s been published around the globe.”

Time savings prove return on investment in DIG

DIG introduced over 10% budget savings from knowledge-checks and vendor roster management alone. Christian considers the 10% figure conservative because, before 2016, the firm was “spending way too much time searching for information.”

DIG also saw a tenfold increase in users in just two years. Instead of the firm’s employees searching for information, DIG’s AI and the insights team’s expertly curated content is systematically finding its users and encouraging them to come back for more.

DIG is home to $300 million in knowledge assets and over 10,000 insights summaries. The platform delights the organization’s marketing, sales, and insights teams with a massive amount of information, all beautifully and clearly curated into relevant zones and news feeds.

On DIG, employees can access +1400 BASIS concept tests, +600 Ipsos Ad tests, +690 PRS InVivo, +280 Brand health KPIs, and +150 MMM analyses. In just one click, employees ensure they’re always up to speed with rich, relevant content to inform decision-making.

Colgate-Palmolive’s insights, marketing, and sales teams all now self-serve in a way that’s much more than just using a tool to do research. With a responsive, fully integrated system, the impact on the business is felt in the way people are saving time, reusing knowledge, and making faster decisions and smart choices.