Are CMO’s Giving More Importance to Consumer Insights?

Severine Tarayre

Recently I read several articles highlighting how Chief Marketing Officers of large CPG companies were stressing the importance of consumer insights.

Nuno Teles, CMO of Heineken USA,  talked to the New York Times about how they turned lagging sales of Heineken Light around by adding Cascade hops, an ingredient mostly found in craft brews. “Everything in marketing should start with a consumer insight.” The key insight that led them to that decision, was that “40 percent of 21- to 27-year-old consumers desire a light beer with full taste.”

In some companies, this change of attitude involves some important internal reorganization. The CMO of Newell Rubbermaid, Richard Davies, explained to CMO.com that his company doubled the market research budget. “The reality is that a lot of marketers are not overly interested in understanding the consumer. They’re just playing lip service to the consumer,” said Davies. But at the end of the day, it’s the depth or complete lack of consumer understanding that will determine your success or failure. That was true 40 years ago, and it will remain true 40 years from now.”

Earlier this year, Advertising Age mentioned that he also doubled the market-research staff as well.

Are these two examples representative of a trend or not? Are you seeing some moves by CMO’s that might hint that they they are changing their vision of consumer insights within their organization? What are your thoughts on the matter?

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