Pfizer relies on multiple data sources for better shopper insights

Discussion
Aug 16, 2019

Pat Lenius

Through a special arrangement, presented here for discussion is a summary of a current article from the bi-monthly e-zine, CPGmatters.

By mixing and matching data resources, Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, the maker of Advil, Centrum and other over-the-counter (OTC) brands, has been able to target shoppers more effectively and identify growth opportunities for its retailer customers.

“It’s all about marketing and personalization. It’s no longer one size fits all. Where is my customer shopping,” said Amy Joyce, director-Walmart shopper and category insights to activation for Pfizer Consumer Healthcare, at the 2019 Shopper Insights & Retail Activation conference in Chicago. “The data sources I use include Path to Purchase Institute, Mintel, WSL, Kantar Consulting.”

She said using multiple sources of data generates more tools and more information for omnichannel insights. By relying on these multiple data sources to look at emerging shoppers/consumers of its product categories, Pfizer discovered a $130 million opportunity for Retailer X via driving shopping trips and online spending by boomers, based on data from IRI and Numerator.

It’s not just where the dollars are going, but what they are buying at the competing store that proved to be helpful information. By using multiple sources of data, Pfizer was able to learn about the categories, brands and items those boomers were buying at the other stores.

“Connect the dots. Keep it simple. Tell the story,” Ms. Joyce said.

For data to lead to meaningful activation, these questions must be answered:

  • What? A commercial question regarding the macro opportunity.
  • Who? You need a shopper profile.
  • Why? How this is relevant to the customer or organization.
  • When? Point-of-sale shopper behavior.
  • Where? Geographic information regarding shoppers.
  • How? Psychographic/media usage.

During the Q&A session, Ms. Joyce was asked how she balanced the data obtained from different sources, such as IRI and Numerator. “For larger total retail data, total class of trade or brand, we use IRI; we use Numerator for more specific information to create people groups. For example: who buys economy-size peanut butter,” she said. 

Asked by another attendee how to handle multiple sources of data, she stressed the importance of providing identical definitions and attributes to each source, then studying the data delivered to be sure it makes sense.   

DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What advice would you have for using multiple data sources for category and customer insights? Where do you see the core challenges in managing and aligning disparate data?

Please practice The RetailWire Golden Rule when submitting your comments.
Braintrust
"Include multiple sources, align the data with common denominators, be open minded and, if necessary, step outside your four walls for objective and unbiased analysis."
"Utilizing multiple data sources cannot be overstated. This is the first critical step in elevating your shopper and category data to insights process."
"My philosophy with insights is to deliver the “what,” the “so what” and the important part – the “do what” – so insights become actionable and measurable to grow the business."

Join the Discussion!

7 Comments on "Pfizer relies on multiple data sources for better shopper insights"


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Dave Wendland
BrainTrust

Congratulations to Pfizer Consumer on discovering the power of data insights and to Ms. Joyce’s recommendation of aligning disparate data sources.

It all begins with defining attributes and “normalizing” the data pools. As a company largely focused in the consumer healthcare market, I can easily relate to Pfizer’s mission when it comes to data analytics. The other challenge that often revolves around data is being too limited (or prejudicial) when considering possible hidden nuggets. I remember one time when Kimberly Clark asked our team to find a needle in a haystack of data. When we delivered the final analysis, they commented that they expected us to find one needle and we had actually uncovered more than 10!

The secret to unlocking data insights is to include multiple sources, align the data with common denominators, be open minded and, if necessary, step outside your four walls for objective and unbiased analysis.

Anne Howe
Guest

The Pfizer team is smart to “tell the story” and to make sure the data makes sense. My philosophy with insights is to deliver the “what,” the “so what” and the important part – the “do what” – so that insights become actionable and measurable to grow the business.

Dave Wendland
BrainTrust

Great advice, Anne Howe.

Paco Underhill
Guest

The basic market research playbook in the 21st Century is to use multiple dip sticks. Qual/quant, survey/observation, in-store/in-home/in-office. Rarely do all your sources tell you the same thing. Our skill is how we take data from multiple sources and transform it into actionable information.

Zel Bianco
BrainTrust
Utilizing multiple data sources cannot be overstated. This is the first critical step in elevating your shopper and category data to the insights process. Aligning, and sometimes truly integrating, data sources around naming conventions, measures, attributes and sometimes even UPCs is a process that needs to take place, but is well worth it in order to achieve the types of wins Amy Joyce alluded to. There is also another very important factor that cannot be overstated and that is the importance of making it easy for the field sales organization to be able to use and present the insights. That is, the need to have a very user friendly interface in which multiple data sources can come together without the user having to figure out the appropriate data selections to make for each data source. We call it “Quick Picks” which allows the user to select what retailer they want to customize the story to from a drop down menu. All data sources are mapped appropriately and displayed on the appropriate slide/analysis so that some… Read more »
Michael Terpkosh
BrainTrust
Use of multiple data sources is now table-stakes for any retailer or CPG to achieve the in-depth level of consumer insights necessary to effectively compete. The consumer today is expecting personalized offers and product offerings. The only way to achieving the insights necessary to make consumer personalization happen is with multiple sources of data. However, there are two core challenges to effectively using multiple sources of data. First, the retailer (and CPG partners) must have effective and efficient data solutions to aggregate these disparate data sources and update this on a regular basis. Syndicated market data, POS data, consumer panel data, etc. does not magically all fall into place in a convenient format that allows for actionable insights. As Zel Bianco states in his post, there needs to be friendly user interfaces that present the data in a way allowing business users to find actionable insights to capture the consumer interest and purchase. Second, we can’t forget that, although all of these great data sources exist today, there is still much retailer hesitation about sharing… Read more »
Gary Read
Guest

Pfizer’s use of data is a great example of what’s quickly becoming the status quo among retailers. When it comes to analysis of competitors’ pricing, retailers that have access to multiple sources of data to glean pricing insights are at an extreme advantage. Retailers are having an increasingly difficult time enforcing minimum advertised pricing (MAP) of products with the growing presence of e-commerce. MAP violations are often not noticed, and it then becomes the job of the retailer to keep an eye on the competitive pricing of products. In order for retailers to keep up with their online competitors, they need to adopt the best practice of tapping their available data sources on a weekly (if not daily) basis to ensure their prices are neither too high, thus losing potential sales, or too low, conceding extra margins of profit.

wpDiscuz
Braintrust
"Include multiple sources, align the data with common denominators, be open minded and, if necessary, step outside your four walls for objective and unbiased analysis."
"Utilizing multiple data sources cannot be overstated. This is the first critical step in elevating your shopper and category data to insights process."
"My philosophy with insights is to deliver the “what,” the “so what” and the important part – the “do what” – so insights become actionable and measurable to grow the business."

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