Tips & Tricks

WOW Your CMO Even While You’re WFH

April 16, 2020
Emily Coughlin

WOW Your CMO Even While You're WFH

Your insights team is now working remotely. In this new environment, have expectations changed? The answer is most likely no. So what does your CMO expect of your insights team?


To get the answer to this question, we spoke with Phil Clement, Global CMO at Johnson Controls, to get his take on what executives expect from their market research teams in these times.


“The directive from any C-suite is to win in the marketplace,” he said. “There’s not really one simple answer, but you need to be able to adapt to and support the strategy of the moment.” 


Whether the economy is booming or your workstation du jour is a makeshift desk in the garage, market insights teams need to be able to pull data and deliver actionable insights. And in a climate where everything is changing rapidly, your insights team must be as capable as ever of accessing actionable insights from your company’s survey results. Here’s what CMOs expect from their insights org when they (or their team) can’t walk down the hall to ask for a quick answer in person.

Market Insights Leaders Must Meet Their Obligations to Key Stakeholders

Understanding consumers may be even more important for many companies now than it was a month ago. But even before the COVID-19 moved many of us into our home offices, insights teams were charged with providing key insights to stakeholders. One of these groups, in many organizations, is the marketing team.


Marketing leaders need the help of market researchers to ensure they’re going after the right segment with the right campaign at the right moment. As Clement said, “Your market insights team needs to understand how to frame a new product for a new set of customers,” and the urgency of this request is greater than before. As belts and budgets tighten around the country, coordination between market researchers, marketing, and sales leaders is more important than ever.


Market research costs can be significant. As companies look to market researchers to demonstrate that there will be a return on investment on each dollar of spend, it’s crucial that market insights teams have the ability to pull and analyze data in a timely manner. Surfacing answers to key questions will allow your company to place smart bets on new products and make strategic moves with better insights to back them up.

A Renewed Imperative to Get More from Your Survey Data

Your market insights team is sitting on a figurative mountain of past survey data. Whether your team is stationed at their desks in the office or in their homes, they must have access to centralized, de-siloed historical survey data in order to do their jobs well.


Say your company is about to target a demographic that you haven’t directly approached in two years. In this case, you might want to know what you’ve already learned about this group and their past preferences. With the help of a data discovery platform, your market research team can ask that question and get insights straight out of your survey data without having to sift through past decks, email vendors, or comb through a library of workbooks.


The other major benefit of pulling insights from survey data that you paid for two years ago is the cost savings. By taking “the whole buffalo” approach, you can cut down on market research costs. Repurposing the data you already have also eliminates delays associated with commissioning a new study.


In today’s market, the location of your team matters less than the location of your market research data. By storing your data in a cloud-based data discovery platform, your whole team will gain access to the answers previously buried within your company’s institutional knowledge.

A Call to Identify New Opportunities through Data Discovery

When your market insights team is running smoothly, they won’t just be able to help your executive back up their main talking points with data, they’ll also be able to show you where there are market opportunities.


In addition to showing you a fuller picture of the people you’re serving, your market insights team must have the tools they need to identify the gaps that their market research reveals. “At their best, they can also observe absences in the market,” said Clement. “This takes creative thinking." With the help of a data discovery platform, your team gains:


  • A strong understanding of your customers and their needs.
  • A clear view of gaps in that market that your product or service can fill.
  • Enables your company to move faster with deeper insights, working smarter and with more agility than the competition.


Your market insights team’s ability to communicate their unique insights and connect the dots between data sets will help your company adapt and succeed.

Cloud-Based Tools Are Required for a Mobile Workforce

CMOs need their market researchers to move fast and provide solid insights to help them craft successful marketing strategies around a budget. Cloud-based data discovery tools enable market researchers to do their work well wherever they are. In addition to helping answer questions and meet their CMOs objectives, this tool can free up the whole organization to access the information they need from wherever they’re working.


A data discovery tool that enables your workforce to access the market insights they need without learning coding language can be a huge asset to your company’s leadership during a time of great change. When people are empowered to explore data using a natural language search tool, they don’t have to go through your market insights team to locate the answers they’re looking for.


In this moment when everything seems to be shifting quickly and priorities are changing, a CMO’s expectations for their market researcher team hasn’t changed, but the urgency of their ability to adapt has increased. As Phil Clement said, “They must have the ability to meet the challenge of the day.” And with the right tools, they will.

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