Tag Archives: stan Sthanunathan

Keynote by Stan Sthanunathan, Unilever, and Gavin Patterson, BT #MRSlive #MRX #NewMR 

Live blogged at the MRS conference in London. Any errors, bad jokes, or comments in [] are my own.

  • Gavin is CEO of BT
  • Talks about knowing when to let things go [is he foreshadowing my session?]
  • Relationship with a board is different than one with a boss, they are there to test you not train you
  • Says after 2.5 years in the job he feels more sure about what to do [see? Even CEOs don’t feel confident on day 1]
  • You never make decisions with complete confidence, rational and intuition need to be used together to make decisions, focus on making big decisions right and don’t get distracted by little decisions that don’t need your involvement, decisions are rarely binary
  • Many changes in technology and regulations but still need to make decisions, people don’t know what they’ll want or have in ten years
  • Need to anticipate unmet needs, every business has to do this, must stick to this
  • Need to develop instincts for what people want to buy, look for this in your employees, must make bets on trends like data
  • BT is only national provider but there are many alternatives, choice for consumer is significant
  • Need to make sure debates about competitions are fact based
  • Feels BT is innovative, BT has been around since 1800 [my brand new pipes are older than that!]
  • First programmable computer is BT, first fiber networks based on BT patents, reinvented itself a number of times
  • Great companies innovate at all levels of the value chain, admits their work is not done
  • It’s not individual people but a culture that sustains and reinvents itself, , over 100 000 people in the company
  • Key is not data, it’s insights, world is awash with data, need people to identify signal from noise
  • CEO is steward of business, judged on balance sheet you give your successor
  • Focus on immediate future of course but long term thinking is more important
  • Changes make over ten years might include a completely new board, new CEO, new employees
  • Talking about making data actionable [Queue my IIEX presentation :)]
  • It’s not just more data, it’s better decision making

Stan speaks!

  • Stan assures us he is not on drugs ūüôā
  • Curiosity plus insight to the power of revolution is when you get significant impact [what p value Stan? Or is it more about effect sizes? ]
  • Information is getting democratized, incredible access to information, information is not a competitive edge
  • How often does the person who wrote the brief forget they wrote it 6 months later?
  • Google lets you search data, demographics, geography, videos, sharing, differences by region
  • Information is not power, answering the right question is what matters
  • Facebook took 8 years, uber took 5 years to get to 50billion market, they disrupt live on daily basis and add value
  • People have increasing expectations but resources are finite
  • When you pay peanuts, you get monkeys. Need a big paradigm shift.
  • Business as usual is not good. YOu need business as unusual, transformational, unique, leave a lasting impression on the organization
  1. Get social or get ready to be branded ain’t-social
  2. Data commoditized, insights democratized, actions are the edge
  3. Get visual or get impaired, fact filled versus fact based, tell a story, make people feel to make a difference, can’t take big action without feeling
  4. Innovate don’t renovate, renovate is easy because it’s polishing the turd
  5. Become a master of metamorphosis, adapt and change ongoing, everyday, practice everyday
  6. Digitize and humanize, can get lost in mass of data, taming data is table steaks
  7. Think bi-polar, normal curve is becoming less so, it’s inverting, more polarized, a single questionnaire can’t target millennials and seniors, forget consistent questionnaires and focus on consistent feedback
  8. It is too risky not to take risks, we need to be much more bold, taking risk is not an option, someone else will take that risk instead
  9. Never underestimate the power of n=1, brands are being controlled more by people, influences who can make or break a brand, just a few of these people, digital environment lets us engage with influences one on one – think Ghandi, mother Theresa, Martin Luther King 
  10. Real time is the new currency, time lapse from question to answer gives us ADD
  • What do you do with those Ten Commandments, direction to travel to destination
  • Losers use the past to predict the future, winners shape the future
  1. Nerds will rule [yay!], math, science and coding, learn these yesterday, nerds have always been here, always essential
  2. Technology is the tail that wags the dog
  3. Boutiques will flourish and this will accelerate, millenials want to be entrepreneurs with small companies
  4. Integrators are going to emerge, often get interpretation in silos but that will become an exception, agencies may be protective of their data but integrators will put data sources together and have greater insights
  5. Scale becomes a liability, scale prevents being nimble
  6. Quantified self, measures emotions and other parameters, body becomes a source of data, don’t ask people what they did, just ask their devices
  7. Artificial intelligence is going to take over, follow ray kurzwell, human intelligence is always required, but what do we use human intelligence for
  8. I have the answer, what is your question
  9. RIP briefs, dynamic research doesn’t work like this
  10. Insights in hours and not days or weeks, this will be the norm [but this will only work if the analyst already knows the business inside and out]
  • Are we ready mentally and from the skills perspective, do we have the guts to make a difference, cane we do it before it is done to use
  • If you don’t have a seat at the table, you are on the menu. It is never the research technique.
  • Change or be changed.
  • Paragon – coming together end of this month, more joining, unique position to collect data without being overwhelming – http://www.paragonpartnerships.com

    Research Reinvention at Unilever by Stan Stanunathan and BV Pradeep #ESOMAR #MRX 

    LIve blogged at Esomar in Dublin. Any errors or bad jokes are my own.

    • What did you do yesterday? Spent it not with people, but with his smartphone. Lots interaction with gadgets.
    • people look at their phones 150 times a day, that’s a lot of times
    • how do you manage your time – he tweeted 20 times yesterday, he took no surveys because those are an intrusion into his discretionary time, only spend time on things that add value
    • putting people first – people are consumers for a very short time of the day, other than that they are just people, why focus only on the consumer, miss really big insights, need to understand people
    • insights is no longer just for market researchers, its everyone in the organization
    • employees are also consumers, they should be understanding consumers/people as part of their jobs too
    • Unlease the power [BINGO]
    • Need to ask fewer questions and do more observations. Only ask WHY people do what they do. Don’t ask what they’re doing [hello big data and your amazing observational powers!]
    • “What’s for dinner” technology – robot that can have a discussion with people, send a text message to the machine, it chats with you and asks what you have in your kitchen, maybe take a photograph of your fridge, gives you ideas for what to cook and helps you cook it via instructions, maybe tell them to call a real person who can help you in more specific detail. This could easily be a one to one interview. Fundamentally transform interviews. Very cost effective.
    • how do we create double impact in half the time with half the cost. how do you make this happen? Many startups didn’t realize they had technology that could help market researchers, didn’t even know market research existed
    • Sharktank – appointed MR mentors to  startup companies to create a product, products we would never have thought up 18 months ago
    • big data has always been big relative to our computer power, given our processing power big data today is just as big as it was 30 years ago  
    • what do you MEAN by big data, how can we use it smarter 
    • they are now doing meta-analysis on the 200 youtube videos they’ve done to determine what makes a great video
    • the pace of change will never be this slow again [scary isn’t it. we think this is fast!]
    • our valuation is what we DO with the data, not how we GET the data [in other words, actual insights, not just data points]
    • small nimble players are growing a lot faster, 8 week studies isn’t good enough, done is better than perfect, stop “polishing the turd”
    • in last two years, 20% of money moved to learning about the future

    A Discussion with Coca-Cola by Diane Hessan and Stan Sthanunathan (Read!) #TMRE #MRX

    The Coca-Cola logo is an example of a widely-r...

    Image via Wikipedia

    Live blogs by @LoveStats of @Conversition. This is a session summary from The Market Research Event by IIR in Orlando, Florida, November 2011. It was posted mere minutes after completion of the talk. Any inaccuracies are my own. Any humorous side remarks are also my own. Feel free to leave comments and critiques.

    ***                                                                                                          ***

    The 21st Century Market Researcher: A Discussion with Coca-Cola
    Diane Hessan, President & CEO, Communispace
    Stan Sthanunathan, Vice President, Marketing Strategy
    & Insights, The Coca-Cola Company

    • The session starts with standing room only. Lines along the wall and the back of the room. You missed out! What does Stan worry about? What is his story? What’s right, what really matters for his organization.
    • Stan says he has no filter between his brain and his mouth. ūüôā
    • Why MR? It wasn’t what his father wanted, he wanted him to be a doctor or an engineer. He hated engineering. He needed to correct it and he went to business school. He had an inspirational professor – organizational behavior professor and economics professor.
    • Why is Coke iconic? Community over hundred years. Everyone has a story about coke. And not just in Atlanta. 100 000 people in company and more in the bottling industry. They live and work in the community and touch people on a daily basis. It’s a drink that promotes happiness on a daily basis. 1.7 billion times a day.
    • What do they do next? Five by twenty. Five million empowered women by 2020 in Africa. Doesn’t mean computers on her desk. It means wheelbarrows, door to door selling. Some graduate to having a small truck. Either way, it puts food on the plate for women who didn’t have it before.
    • MR is best profession in world.
    • It is the most critical component before any meaningful decision. Challenge is inspiring people. Be a change agent.
      “Research quality doens’t matter” “We’re in the dark ages”
      Why is best profession in the world more boring, most youthless profession? Part of job is boring and won’t let you rise to challenges. You will never solve quality. Quality is table stakes. They don’t get us to glory.
    • Companies want insights function to cost everything. BORING. Processes don’t get glory for anyone.
    • Starting a ppt with methodology slides is probably not a good idea. We get stuck in fact filled presentations. Not fact full presentations.
    • Truth doesn’t mean facts with tons of numbers on the screen. Lots of data makes you look smart as opposed to communicating truths. You don’t need all the facts for that.Surveys aren’t dead. Ask people, they’ll give you answer. Are they telling you the truth? WHY would they tell you the truth? Surveys always have a role, a crucial role. But survey research measures the past. You don’t reach a destination by looking in the rearview mirror. How do we look ahead? Inspire people to look ahead. That is insight.
    • Insight is something that seems intuitive. BUT, did you know before I told you? Probably not. That’s insight.
      80% of budgets are rearview mirror. How do you change that? Surveys are like crack. You just can’t stop. If you can’t influence brand health in one month than why are you tracking it every month?
    • Why do we need gigantic sample sizes in every teeny country? Do you need tracking in every country, all 90 of them? If they aren’t going to be different, then focus tighter and you save money. Put that money into forward looking research.
    • 124 years ago, if we used current protocals, we would have never launched coke. Dark brown fizzy liquid with alien taste? No way. But someone had a vision and the rest is history. Create the future. Don’t just follow it.
    • Hire people who are not similar to who you already have. Not skin colour. Diversity of thinking. Anthropologists, etc. He did an interview where they talked about a girls involvement in the orchestra. She was best hire. She could tell a great story, great team player in orchestra, knows her role.
    • You don’t want people bobbing their head and agreeing with you. Then somebody is redundant. People need to disagree with reason. Doesn’t happen easily. People worry about getting fired and their promotions. It starts at the top. It’s ok to make your boss feel uncomfortable.
    • You can teach technical skills.
    • Make your rearview research look ahead. understand where people are headed as opposed to asking them.
    • What do you outsource? What do you NOT hire for? He hates process. He outsources process. Never outsource thinking. That will get you in trouble. Don’t think insular. Thinking takes time and you can’t do that if you’re worried about processing.
    • Predicting the future is based on the past, not where you want to go. Paint a picture of the future and find the road there.
    • Fundamental principles of rattling, shaking up the senior management – surprise, be proactive. What fact did you create for the day that made people’s jaw drop? Make people think about something in a new way. “Half a China” is the same as “700 million people per day” – That’s fact versus different concept.
    • Never underestimate the power of n=1.
    • Best research is where you immerse yourself personally. Ask employees. It will change the culture. Get audio and video from people on the floor. Use it. They become involved and they’ll love you for it.
    • Insight is just common sense, self-evident. AFTER it is told.
    • Changed your mind recently? Research is a journey.


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