NEWS6 January 2015

Stan Sthanunathan on why insight is a broad organisational function

News UK

UK — Stan Sthanunathan, senior vice president, Consumer & Market Insights at Unilever, believes a critical role of the insights function is to enable the whole organisation to create insight.

“Insights should not be the responsibility of any one function,” he said in an exclusive interview with the Market Research Society. “It should be a broader organisational responsibility because insights can come from anywhere. People need to be constantly looking out for insights, and enabling that is where the insights function can play a critical role.”

Sthanunathan also talks in the interview about his belief that the agency-client relationship will evolve rapidly because gathering data on a global scale is no longer a competitive edge. Instead, he says, the differentiator will be the hardware that is used to process the data. “What can you do with the data? How can you add value to the data so that it inspires and provokes transformational action?”

He also urges agencies to think beyond working on the basis of project silos and instead focus more on long-term relationships.

“When you work on the basis of project silos, the relationship becomes transactional over a period of time. Transactional relationships really don’t add value to the client or value to the agencies.

“I almost visualise a day when the research agencies could actually end up becoming marketing consultants and they’re joined at the hips with the client, solving a problem and working on a brand on an ongoing basis.”

The full interview can be accessed here.