PepsiCo, the food and beverage manufacturer, has been able to call on the power of a cutting-edge insights platform it rolled out not long before the COVID-19 crisis arose in formulating its response to the pandemic.

Ryan Dirkmaat, PepsiCo’s director/consumer insights, transform brands & insights capabilities, discussed the role of its “Clevr” insights platform – developed in partnership with specialist software provider Market Logic – in a session during the TMRE (The Market Research Event) Digital Week Conference.

This solution, which was initially rolled out in early 2019, “allows us to spend less time looking for insights and more time actually using them,” said Dirkmaat. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How PepsiCo’s new knowledge platform became a crisis-management tool during COVID-19.)

Clevr draws together PepsiCo’s in-house research and insights gathered from external sources in one place, with search functionality allowing users to quickly identify projects that have already tackled questions they have.

And the value of such a resource grows at a time when PepsiCo has needed a thoroughgoing response to the Coronavirus – with Dirkmaat leading a taskforce focused on this activity.

“I feel like that's been my full-time job now for the last [several] weeks,” he said. “Basically, we've been the eyes and ears of all things Coronavirus- and COVID-related, [focusing] on all the various implications across the [company] and across the industry.”

As the COVID-19 situation started to “rapidly evolve and escalate,” he further explained, “we quickly jumped to very close monitoring of the situation.”

That process has involved gaining overall perspective of “how it's impacting our business”, and an on-the-ground view of “how it's impacting our communities, how it's impacting our brands, and how it's impacting our customers.”

As COVID-19 continues to play out and change the shape of brands, and the research insights that support them, Clevr has been in the right place at the right time for PepsiCo.

“During this COVID-19 ongoing situation,” Dirkmaat said, “we have to have a finger on the consumer’s pulse as everything evolves so quickly.”

With Clevr, “from day to day, and week to week, we have to have the latest, greatest information pouring in,” the PepsiCo executive asserted.

As the terms of insight development flipped on their head, he added, “a robust, well-running knowledge management platform has served us well, and made sure that we stay up to date … It’s been a blessing for us.”

Sourced from WARC