Market Intelligence Crisis

Case Stories are coded for quick reading

Blue: What Wasn’t Working
Black: Systemic Method
Red: Outcome

When a major pharmaceutical company launched a new product that was aimed at the impulse buying niche of the market in supermarkets and service stations, they quickly realized that their market intelligence was totally inadequate. The realization came as they discovered traditional data collection methods, which were dependent on long term stability of sales, were meaningless in the almost hourly fluctuations in the impulse buying market.

The company commissioned a Holonic Assessment Mapping of the product’s performance. The task was to identify mismatches in the company’s traditional market intelligence collection, interpretation and application to what was needed for this new product and its niche market. The systemic assessment quickly identified a number of issues contributing to the poor intelligence:
• Sales staff were not used to working in the impulse-buying market and thus were not attending to signals affecting the product’s performance;
• Sales staff had no means of sharing what learning they were gathering so that no coherent corporate and market learning was being generated;
• Senior management therefore lacked a basis to respond to and refine the product’s presentation in the marketplace.

The training of sales staff in the systemic technique of Learning Narratives rectified the problem. An immediate improvement in the product’s market performance was achieved through collaborative and transferable skills among their marketing teams.