The Clients’ Perspective

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There are no slides for this recording.


Transcript of recording with Pashmeena Hilal, Ray Poynter, and Kendra Speed – generated automatically by HappyScribe which means it will be about 80% accurate – if you spot confusing errors, please email The timestamps are included to help you jump directly to a point of interest.


[00:00:06.750] – Ray Poynter

So hi, Kendra. Hi, Pashmeena.


[00:00:10.230] – Pashmeena Hilal

Hello, how are you?


[00:00:11.670] – Ray Poynter

Thank you so much for joining us. People find it invaluable to know what other clients think or if they’re on the supply side, what clients think and the perspectives, the challenges. So I think it’s going to be really useful for everybody. So maybe we start with an introduction into your roles. And Kendra, for those of us outside the USA. James Mark is not a massively famous name, too, is familiar. Sounds a little bit about the company and how Insight’s function within that and some of the problems that we probably have heard of him, but.


[00:00:48.570] – Kendra Speed

Sure, Kendra Speed, I’m director of insights and integrated intelligence at J.M. Smucker, J.M. Smucker is a CPG consumer packaged goods company here in the United States, also serving Canada and based in Orrville, Ohio, or Midwestern U.S. And some of the brands you may be familiar with are including Folgers Coffee, Jif, peanut butter, also milk bone from a pet standpoint. So as you think about how we are structured as an insight’s function, we have food and beverage brands and then we also have that.


[00:01:33.180] – Kendra Speed

So I lead the Food and Beverage Insights and integrated intelligence team where we have a series of senior managers leading each of food beverage. And then we also have Schopper included as well as analytics and then full teams beneath that. And it’s also mirrored on the other end. For Pett, we report in through our Innovation SVP and that’s the way that we set. So we do end to end research all the way from very upstream to shopper and retailer. So that’s asset.


[00:02:10.110] – Kendra Speed

J.M. Smucker.


[00:02:11.790] – Ray Poynter

Thanks, Kendra. I think it’s really interesting to hear who you report reporting by, because there’s a sort of when I joined this industry back in the 70s, it was all about the marketing department. And now, of course, it’s much more diverse. So that’s really interesting to hear. Pashmeena, obviously, people have heard of Google, but they may not know so much about what research and thought leadership means. And you’ll role their.


[00:02:40.030] – Pashmeena Hilal

Now, of course, so Pashmeena, I am ahead of industry for research and thought leadership at Google, I actually support our sales team. So there are four sectors at Google. I support one of those sectors, which is called the services sector. The services sector essentially are the fortune. Five hundred services for both personal use and for me to be. So it has everything from taxi to be business, industrial manufacturing, which our B2B segments, and then it has everything from dating to careers to plumbing and lawn care and security services and higher education.


[00:03:18.190] – Pashmeena Hilal

So really, if you think about it, my my customers, actually the seller at Google who represents a suite of Fortune, five hundred clients, and I am conducting research primarily through third party vendors in order to provide our sales teams with the research and insights that they need in order to really give a good understanding of how digital plays role and the innovation that’s happening within the consumer and B2B buyer purchase journeys so that when they’re sharing these insights with their clients, they’re truly understanding their customers.


[00:03:54.250] – Pashmeena Hilal

Customer is. And then the thought leadership side of the House is actually externalising that research outside of Google Walls and our Google clients and making sure that it gets into the hands of as many marketers, researchers as possible. Really. And so that’s anything that you see outside of Google that might be on Adweek or it might be on Amitay or Bayen. A lot of the partners that we work with, we’re trying to externalize our research as well.


[00:04:28.330] – Ray Poynter

Thanks, Pashmeena. I’m just going to pick up on one of the things that you said. They’re using third parties because I imagine quite a few people on the line think, oh, Google search a lot of information, but you highlight the the show using third party partners in terms of this. Could you say a little bit more about that?


[00:04:45.700] – Pashmeena Hilal

Yeah, sure. So I think it’s a little bit of a misnomer. But, you know, Google Google data that we have, we are not able to leverage for our own use. So it’s pretty much a black box. I don’t have access to Google internal data. I can’t use that to share with other clients. I can’t use client data to share with other clients. I mean, you can imagine with regulation, that’s obviously not OK. There are data points that are extremely shareable, but they’re the same ones that you would have access to when you go to trends that Google dotcom and look at index search queries for started and for certain terms or for brands, it’s honestly the exact same access that I have, which is why we commissioned a lot of our research through third party.


[00:05:32.200] – Ray Poynter

Wonderful and Kendra, so how does that sort of balance between internal and external work in James Muka?


[00:05:41.760] – Kendra Speed

Yes, so generally, most of our work is in partnership with third party agencies, vendors, so I will say almost the the great majority. So like 98 percent of our work is in partnership with external vendors. I’ve been in other contexts. For instance, my previous role at Dropbox, where it was very heavy on kind of this internal research, where I will say the majority of the projects that we did or kind of do it yourself, leveraging customer panels, online communities that we had set up.


[00:06:20.550] – Kendra Speed

So it really seems to range the gamut nowadays as you think about where companies are deciding or how they’re deciding to go about doing research.


[00:06:31.500] – Ray Poynter

Absolutely. So with talking about quant research to them, that’s really where we’re focusing it. So what can your bread and butter go to techniques in terms of quantitative research?


[00:06:46.890] – Kendra Speed

Yes, so much of the work that I’m doing is kind of your traditional CPG consumer and shopper research. So as I think about what some of those the majority of those quantitative studies that we’re doing, it’s around still evaluating our copy. And of course, there’s a range of different methodologies that we might use there. But copy testing, concept testing in home use testing, a lot of forecasting and understanding, kind of a general overarching market opportunity. I will say that most of the quantitative research is still in a lot of these traditional methodologies.


[00:07:31.600] – Ray Poynter

And Pashmeena, what bread and butter in terms of the sort of research you’re talking about?


[00:07:38.000] – Pashmeena Hilal

So, I mean, honestly, our bread and butter really lies around clickstream, so we are always looking to vendors like similar web cams for Brdo Analytics in order to understand customer journeys. What I like to say is kind of the what behind the why. So we do run call analysis or we do do surveys that kind of get at the consumer perspective, as said by the consumer, the B2B buyer. But I think you start getting behind again like that.


[00:08:05.150] – Pashmeena Hilal

What, behind the Y when you start looking at their their paths. Right. And how they are navigating desktop mobile app experiences to kind of get a little layer deeper into the behaviors and the navigation of how a journey from maybe consideration to purchase and even loyalty and retention works.


[00:08:28.040] – Ray Poynter

Wonderful. So the majority is automatically collected style information as opposed to asking people questions.


[00:08:39.070] – Pashmeena Hilal

Correct, Yes, I think, you know, the the beauty of having kind of this layered approach of both the survey methodology or maybe an in-home interview or maybe, as you mentioned, like it might just be a community, is you start really getting some some nice hypotheses and some some areas you kind of want to double click deeper into. Like, why do they say those things? Well, let’s look at what they’re actually doing online. And so I think that this one two punch with kind of a little bit more of a quant approach with the clickstream helps to kind of bring a lot of contextual rapper to to what’s happening behind the scenes.


[00:09:18.040] – Kendra Speed

Wonderful. I don’t know if I can come in behind that as Pashmeena was talking, I wrote down one of our favorite sayings within smugger where we talk about do versus, say, data. So really thinking about being able to get more in that behavioral context and a lot for us is in addition to some of the quantitative pieces I talked about in bringing integrated intelligence and analytics into that is really saying how do we get the panel information? How do we get all of our sales data in line with what we’re hearing or claimed, you know, behavior from consumers alongside what they’re actually doing.


[00:09:59.860] – Kendra Speed

So I love that whole piece around Doom versus, say, data and wanting to be more in line with that as we look forward.


[00:10:08.740] – Ray Poynter

Yeah, absolutely. So stay with you for a moment. We’ve talked about the mainstream that you do. What are the innovations, the new things that are catching your eye at the moment?


[00:10:20.510] – Kendra Speed

Yeah, so a lot of this is around experimentation, so I think about across all different industries, we’re always thinking about how do we get new products, new ideas to market faster. And so I see a lot more happening as we work with our business partners and just saying, what can we do to experiment? How do we think about test marketing and really getting things out there in front of consumers earlier? So there’s a lot of things that we’re doing as it relates to methodologies and saying like how might you put product concepts, products out there to be able to really understand what shoppers will do and being able to collect that information very early on in the innovation cycle.


[00:11:14.090] – Kendra Speed

So I have a lot of passion around thinking about the experimentation piece of things.


[00:11:20.630] – Ray Poynter

Fantastic Pashmeena. What’s catching your eye?


[00:11:25.270] – Pashmeena Hilal

I mean, it’s honestly along the same vein, so I cannot agree more that testing and experimenting, whether that’s through like a DNA test or geolocation, is what we like to call it, Google. We are only running in one area. And then you’re looking at the differences where creative was running versus not running. Instrumentality testing is really big for us, too. I can give an example of a piece of work that we had done. It’s very digitally centric, of course, Google, but it was around.


[00:11:54.370] – Pashmeena Hilal

What is the value of running a YouTube ad? What is the value of running a YouTube and display ad? What is the value of running a YouTube display and search ad and trying to understand the downstream impact on conversions or on a KPI but the advertisers is interested in in order to showcase that there’s a better together approach when you’re running across diverse media versus just focusing on what we could call it, a halo effect anchor mentality. But, you know, that’s that’s some of the work that we commissioned with third parties in order to better understand and showcase to our advertisers that you will see an outsized impact when you are diversified.


[00:12:33.700] – Pashmeena Hilal

But at the end of the day, it truly is an experimentation, right. Like you have to have the client or the advertiser willing and wanting to actually test the sort of the sort of work and be willing to kind of wait for the six month, 12 month period of time that it takes to actually see something like this come through. Because we know that a lot of the impact that we measure, especially when looking at things like incrementally our longitudinal nature.


[00:13:00.580] – Pashmeena Hilal

So I would say I 100 percent agree with Kendra like this test iterate experiment approach, whether that’s creative, whether that’s media formats, whether that’s in different locations. I think it’s kind of nice the different ways that you can experiment. And I only mean three, there’s probably another 10 more that could come off the top of my head. It truly is kind of open for the different areas that you really want to double click into.


[00:13:29.650] – Ray Poynter

Right. OK, that was really useful. I’m sure people are going to be trying to reach out to both of you with some new ideas and suggestions on exactly that. If you’re in the audience and you were thinking of asking questions, you need to type it in shortly, because I’ve got just one more that I’m asking for myself. And then one, I’m going to go and have a look at the Q&A panel. So what are the main challenges with you and what are the main challenges you face in terms of insights?


[00:14:00.950] – Kendra Speed

So challenges or I prefer to think about them as opportunities as we think about growing. So there are a lot of the similar themes, I think, about Ray, even in the information that you share via NewMR as we think about where we need to go. So some of the opportunities exist and really thinking about how do we get from just a pure risk mitigation orientation to really being kind of growth agents for the organization, which really talks about moving into the place of thought, partnership, thought leadership and moving into the driver’s seat from an insight standpoint.


[00:14:42.680] – Kendra Speed

So I think about that as one of the greatest opportunities that we’re looking at today from a Smucker team. And what that then calls for are some mindset shifts. And so as we think about these shifts in mindset, it shifts among, you know, my team as we think about showing up as an inside team, but also when our business partners in thinking about being really laser focused. There’s so many things we can learn about how do we focus in on those items that are going to have the greatest business impact for the company and for the brands in which we support.


[00:15:20.090] – Kendra Speed

So that’s really those are the things that I think about from day in, day out. They aren’t necessarily just rooted in methodologies, but they’re rooted in how we show up as business partners.


[00:15:31.770] – Ray Poynter

Great and Pashmeena, no challenges, it could go.


[00:15:36.920] – Pashmeena Hilal

You know, it’s similar in that when I’m I’m conducting research on behalf of our clients and so we have a certain amount of funding. And to Kendra’s point, like at the end of the day, all I’m trying to do is find the sweet spot between what Google’s largest opportunities or challenges and what our client’s challenges and finding that sweet spot of where they meet in the middle and how I can make sure that I’m being the best partner to my my customer, which is a Google seller’s customer, which is the client, I think is really important.


[00:16:07.520] – Pashmeena Hilal

I can only run one study for each vertical that I support annually and thinking about like kind of the pressure that comes along with really coming to the table with with strong, strong, actionable insights that will actually ladder up to a client’s business objectives, revenue, profit, volume, sales, market share. Things that they really, really care about I think is is it’s tough. But I would say that when you approach a study with kind of looking at it in a couple of different ways and thinking about all of the different potential data points that can ladder up to your core challenge, I think it makes it a lot easier.


[00:16:50.390] – Pashmeena Hilal

And then the last thing I would say is, you know, we always say like test, test frequently accept the failures and continue to iterate. And we do look for that sort of support from the vendors that we that we work with. Like if we have to pivot, be OK with pivoting, if you have to do something differently than what you had originally scope, that’s OK. I think as you learn through the process, you take those pieces and you shift as necessary the same way you would as a marketer with a media plan like you change direction sometimes.


[00:17:22.520] – Pashmeena Hilal

And I think we just have to be OK with the agile nature of running a research project when it is custom and quite great.


[00:17:31.700] – Ray Poynter

And so we’ve got a couple of questions here. I’ll take the first one through. We’re being asked, what are your thoughts on integrating audio and video into studies and in particular trying to conduct qualitative studies at scale, which is a phrase we’re hearing more and more. So who wants to go first on that?


[00:17:58.920] – Pashmeena Hilal

So personally, we have never done audio, we have done video, and I’ll say that what we have done video, it’s been looking at traditional formats and the consumer kind of. You know, downstream potential to be more aware of a product versus consider a purchase versus digital, a.k.a. like a video or YouTube, and that can be done through testing in an actual live environment. You know, I think it’s it’s great. I think that it’s not as passive as maybe some of the other options that are out there.


[00:18:39.080] – Pashmeena Hilal

I think that there can be some flaws, but we have done it before. Just to understand, again, from creative messaging, I think what Kendra was talking about, like what really resonates when someone is exposed in a different format, media, creative, et cetera.


[00:18:55.040] – Kendra Speed

Yeah, it’s probably not a direct answer to that question, but one thing I think about when I hear that is, you know, how do we think about qualitative inside in conjunction with quantitative insight? And I’m fairly passionate in thinking about how do we translate qualitative learning into something that we can also quantify. So as we think about getting to the point of sentiment coding and think about how do we translate things that are very qualitative in depth learning and nature into a way that we can feel fairly certain about the quantification of that.


[00:19:38.600] – Kendra Speed

So I have a lot of passion in that space and thinking about how do we continue to do more of that.


[00:19:46.250] – Ray Poynter

And so we’ve got someone picking up here, Kendra, on the phrase use, could you say a little bit more about the do research, the types of do research you do?


[00:19:56.660] – Kendra Speed

Yeah, well, if I think about do research, I mean, that’s exactly what Pashmeena was talking about, is really looking at behavioral data. I mean, you know, especially thinking about in a CPG context, we’ve done you know, we’ve done years of of work based upon what people have claimed that they will do or their attitudes about things, the degree to which we can actually understand and observe behavior as it will be. And market is going to allow us to be that much more certain that, you know, we actually have real insight that we can move forward with in our decision making.


[00:20:39.140] – Kendra Speed

So as I think about do, it really is about like what will people do versus what they’re saying and looking at that behavioral piece. So as I think about do just thinking about kind of the traditional set of, you know, tools at our fingertips today, it’s about looking at what’s happening within my panel data, what’s happening from year to year, month, a month where trends going and then also being able to put alongside that some of the qualitative understanding to dig into the whys.


[00:21:13.490] – Kendra Speed

But that’s my perspective on that. I don’t know, Pashmeena, whether there’s more context that you would would add there to think about do versus say no, I 100 percent agree. It’s spot on. You know, I think if there are marketers in the room like your data is your do I think that is what your customers are actually saying they want from you in that experience. And I think to this point, looking at that over time and understanding seasonality or understanding UX and design and what’s working and what’s not working and testing and iterating on your own owned platform, I think is really important.


[00:21:50.780] – Kendra Speed

You know, I just think that for us, it’s it truly is leveraging our partners in order to help us tell that story. So so plus one, I completely agree.


[00:22:00.830] – Ray Poynter

And the final question, and this is quite is linked also to the next presentation, which Brown is going to be giving, is when we start to collect this due information, this passive information trust is so important. So how do we balance keeping the trust of our customers, our users panelists, while we’re collecting this sort of information about what people do? How do we balance those two together? I mean, if you want to start, maybe.


[00:22:32.340] – Pashmeena Hilal

Yeah, I mean, the answer is short and sweet, I mean, we’re working with panel providers that are no data is passed back. It is a part of their, you know, commissioned panel that they have access to. And these are users who have opted in. And so we aren’t, you know, working with panel providers that that are not under strict guidance and rules. And again, it’s an opt in panel. So, you know, the trust is there.


[00:23:01.950] – Ray Poynter

Shoeb Kindle.


[00:23:04.740] – Kendra Speed

Yeah, I agree wholeheartedly, it’s about ensuring that we have up in that we are also on top of the processes to which are third party providers are following to make sure that we’re in accordance with any regulations. And I think it comes down to I hearken back to my past of drop outs of being worthy of trust and really showing up with, as you talked about, being worthy of trust across our partner network, which is inclusive of our consumers. So that’s the way I think about that fantastic Pashmeena.


[00:23:39.510] – Ray Poynter

Kendra, thank you for spending time with us this morning is very much appreciated.


[00:23:46.180] – Pashmeena Hilal

Thank you. Welcome. Thank you.