The demands of consumers* are constantly evolving and we strive to meet them – not just today, tomorrow too. This means listening to the wants, needs and preferences of smokers* around the world, and making sure our portfolio of brands fits that demand.
Forecasting the future
Data on consumer insights is the road map that guides marketing teams in FMCG (fast-moving consumer goods) companies all over the world. This comprises information based on sales trends, competitor intelligence and market research.
In many companies, consumer insights aim to capture what people are buying today. This data is then used to create demand models, and help companies work out what products to sell in which locations. But JTI’s insights team is on a mission: to use this same information to work out what consumers will want to buy tomorrow, and in the future.
This means that while most companies are simply keeping track of what is happening in the marketplace, JTI is more focused on what’s going to happen next.
Best in class
Stephan Rissmann, Vice President of Strategy and Insights, leads a team of 30 analysts at JTI’s global headquarters in Geneva. He comments: “We annually invest millions in research, so we have a big responsibility to turn that raw data into something that can help our business: not just tell us what’s going on today, but help us work out what will happen in future.”
“Our team of marketeers want to look beyond the here-and-now; they want know what’s going to happen next. Our mission is to steer the business, rather than sit in the passenger seat. Our skills profile has changed radically as we strive to achieve this. We now compete with the top global consulting firms for talent.”
A sophisticated approach
The limitless access to data we enjoy in the digital age can overwhelm our ability to use it productively. With a portfolio of more than 100 brands sold across some 120 countries, navigating this sea of statistics – that changes daily – is a particular challenge for a company like JTI.
To overcome this, we have developed a sophisticated platform to centralize our intelligence gathering and analysis. Our approach takes three streams of intelligence: JTI sponsored research, syndicated external data from international agencies like Nielsen and Ipsos, and competitive insights. This intelligence is analyzed and packaged to form a ‘landscape assessment’. Our marketing and sales teams around the world then use the platform to get an instant understanding of current trends, and work out how to adapt their approach to meet consumer demands in the future.
The advantages of a platform like this are endless. A major benefit is that the system helps us to avoid research duplication. With its precise search criteria and a tracking functionality to identify what types of information are most useful to our colleagues, our platform makes us more efficient as a business.
Stephan has the last word: “There’s a wealth of information out there, but it takes the best talent to mine through it and get to the bottom line: what will our consumers want tomorrow? Our business is listening – going beyond the numbers so that we are really listening to our consumers, and adapting our business so that we are meeting that demand.”
* The words “smokers” and “consumers” used in this article refer to existing adult smokers