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Atlanta 2017: Coca-Cola hosts first executive roundtable

Atlanta 2017: Coca-Cola hosts first executive roundtable

Market Logic Software experienced ‘Southern hospitality’ at its best! We were very pleased by Coca-Cola’s generous invitation to host our November roundtable at their fabulous conference centre at 1 Coca-Cola Plaza in Atlanta. The four-hour session and networking lunch were attended by insights and marketing executives from Aflac, Arby’s, AT&T, Newell Brands, P&G, The Home Depot, SunTrust, and Turner.

ROI of Insights by Coca-Cola

When Galya Frayman Molinas, EVP Global Strategy at Coca-Cola, welcomed the roundtable participants, she emphasized all participants’ shared motivation to accelerate growth through the use of insights. Another item top of mind in Atlanta was the ‘ROI of insights’ and how to measure it.

Galya handed over to Martin Egger, Global Senior Director, to recap Coca-Cola’s history with Market Logic that started with a European pilot in 2013 and today spans a global deployment. Roberto Cymrot shared his experiences and learnings leading the North American deployment.

Four key transformations for greater ROI on Insights

Market Logic’s CEO Kay Iversen anticipates a shifting landscape for insights professionals, and argued that AI will change the way marketers work with insights in the following four ways:

  1. “Searching for results” on a platform will be replaced by cognitive delivery of the direct, best “answer to the question.”
  2. “Question answering” will be pre-empted with “insights injection” in the job to be done, so the marketer doesn’t even have to think about the right questions to ask.
  3. Corporate news will transform with “early warning and opportunity detection” services.
  4. We’ll all be spending a lot more time with “artificial coworkers;” cognitive assistants will anticipate marketers’ intentions and offer support to get the job done.

All these changes point to far greater ROI on insights, as “an insight can only deliver a return to the business when we do something with it.” Cognitive technology promises to make the application of insights far more transparent and accountable than ever before.

In the discussion, attendees pooled ideas on efficient machine learning techniques through the formation of knowledge alliances. For example, supervised learning could be applied to develop core industry models that cover marketing fundamentals across one sector, (i.e. a beverage industry model would include sensory properties, while a telecoms model would include bundle pricing).

Attendees also endorsed the general principle of using AI to self-serve answers to basic questions, so insights managers can focus on sophisticated problems.

With regard to task support, where cognitive assistants support the job to be done, it was seen that insights professionals have a major contribution to make by “identifying the questions to answer and building out from there.”

New thoughts on ROI

Attendees shared their experiences using insight platforms to avoid costs. Speed to insight gains included efficiencies achieved by centralizing all information in one place, so analysts don’t have to go hunting for numbers, and regions don’t have to invest time and effort submitting information for corporate analysis.

With regard to research automation, one contributor noted that they entered and reported on savings achieved through platform use, as part of the research workflow.

With regard to the impact of insights on growth, attendees agreed that an insight can only deliver a return to the business “when we do something with it.”

They discussed various efforts to prove impact per project, by comparing objectives and modelling outcomes, and by establishing gold standards for effectiveness, building on case studies and success stories.