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Integrating Diverse Insights to Help Build Automobile Brands

by Alexandra Cummings , 07.06.2013

BMW has teamed up with GfK to overcome the information overload that goes along with “big data” and design a solution for insight integration. In the automotive industry, two facets are of the utmost importance: long-term brand building and short-term operative measures. Integration of these two aspects and of multiple data sources is the challenge.

Like most market research companies, BMW has an innumerable amount of survey results to back and influence every major decision. Through these surveys the company acquires an immense amount of individual, self-contained pieces of information to address a variety of questions and concerns. In many instances however, there is no broader, over-arching perspective to link all these data sources and allow for a more comprehensive interpretation. This is where GfK comes in to play, aiding BMW in the joining of these research dots. Together, the two companies have managed to connect a large amount of data from multiple studies.

The main issue in joining research dots is the fact that the ever-increasing amount of research is not equivalent to the limited capacity for insights integration. A broad knowledge of and access to the different research pieces is essential, so good planning is crucial, but not always properly executed. Organization and intensive communication between agency and client are also imperative for linking different data pools, and these things too often go unchecked.

The joining of research dots focuses on two key goals:
• The systematic processing of insights from multiple data sources
• Explorative Integration to answer specific ad hoc questions
Through both framework and evidence-based integration, GfK and BMW have been able to deal with high level complexity in an increasingly unpredictable market environment. Framework-based integration, multiple data sources in the form of ad hoc studies are put into context by joining the dots on the basis of a preexisting framework. In evidence-based integration, rather than working off a preexisting framework, explorative integration of many data sources is used to deliver a broadly-based explanation in response to specific ad hoc questions.

We have identified four key steps in the joining of research dots:
• Analyze funnel performance
• Identify causes and measures to optimize this performance
• Analyze communication performance
• Provide information about the potential success of different campaign executions

If done correctly, there are tangible benefits for both client and agency. The client is able to acquire a deeper understanding of markets and target groups while simultaneously getting more out of existing research. The Agency in turn is able to produce more comprehensive recommendations, and strengthen customer relationships.