Insights 2020: How to build an insights engine

Date of publication: June 15, 2016

Catalogue: Congress 2016: #WOW

Author: Mario Simon


In today's highly dynamic business landscape, customer centricity has become the key competitive advantage. In this case, customer centricity refers to the deep understanding of your customers' needs and being able to fulfill them better than anyone else. In order to achieve a high level of customer centricity, firms like Unilever, have realized that they must turn their customer data into insights, a practice referred to as the "Insights Engine". Much of what Insights Engines do at any firm is gather and analyze data. But today that is the minimum needed for success. Being able to translate this capability into customer-centric growth is what distinguishes winners from losers. The Insights Engine is critical to this process – in fact, it's the most important driver identified by the Insights2020 research (a Kantar Vermeer led study that involved interviews and surveys from 10,000 business practitioners worldwide). By itself, even the most advanced insights engine can't make a firm customer-centric. What is required is leadership from the top to ensure that every function, from R&D to marketing to CMI itself, maintains a singular focus on understanding and meeting consumers' fundamental needs. Building on the findings of Marketing2020 (the largest global marketing leadership initiative of its kind and August 2014 Harvard Business Review cover story) Insights2020 is an Insights leadership initiative focused on aligning Insights & Analytics strategy, structure and capability to drive business growth. The initiative includes contributions from over 325 business, marketing, and Insights & Analytics leaders, and more than 10,000 practitioners from 60 countries. Featured in the 2016 September issue of Harvard Business Review, the article titled "Building an Insights Engine" discusses these findings and showcases ten characteristics of a successful insights engine, driving examples from Unilever's own path to customer centricity and highlights of the I2020 study. During this presentation, Kantar Vermeer CEO, Mario Simon, will review these findings using real life examples from Unilever's own path to customer centricity and the ten characteristics that have been proven to make a successful Insights Engine.

Mario Simon


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