ORLANDO, FL: Chobani, the yoghurt manufacturer, has witnessed substantial benefits from constructing a “demand creation” department that pulls marketing, sales, insights and similar functions into a streamlined business division.

Çağdaş Şirin, SVP/Chobani, and its head of “demand solutions and research”, discussed this subject at The Market Research Event (TMRE), a conference held by KNect365.

“We don’t have a marketing department anymore; we don’t have any sales department; we don’t have any insights department,” he explained. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: Chobani’s new structure magnifies power of insights.)

“We combined all of them … We said, ‘Why don’t we bring all these groups together?’ ... So we have one department that works with the same goal: generating demand.”

Such a consolidation promises to increase the influence of Sirin’s team – which provides insights into categories, consumers, customers, and investment decisions – over everything from innovation to packaging and brand management.

Under the Norwich, New York-based enterprise’s new structure, a “team lead” from a given area of the business (say, a trade specialist interested in pricing or a marketer wanting to pre-test ads) can ask questions of Sirin’s unit.

“Basically, for every work-stream, there is an owner. But, in all these processes, we make sure there is a research stream in it. And then we partner and criss-cross the work with them,” he reported.

His division may lead when it comes to gathering insights, but translating this information into a business driver typically draws on multidisciplinary inputs – with, for example, salespeople often attending focus groups and looking at surveys.

“All the team members come together to unlock the insight from the research that we are doing – so, not just researchers, but other groups also participate in this process,” Şirin said.

“The storytelling – or the story-writing – is a collaborative effort. So, at the end of the day, we have the story, [and] all the team members have contributed. And the good part is they all own that outcome, because they contributed.”

Sourced from WARC