Desi Jagger's Blog

My Story #19 [P&G] How to make decisions with limited data

I wanted to implement some new in-store claims for our brand. The effectiveness of these claims was supported with internal data. I created a mockup shelf and brought it to the next team meeting for feedback.

The beauty of working in multi-functional teams was having access to experts and getting a variety of perspectives. I took the team’s feedback onboard and, at the next team meeting, presented what I believed would be the final version of the shelf claims. Easy, right?

 

Not quite, as it turned out. Everyone was excited about these new shelf claims. They wanted them to be perfect. Perfect meant proven to grow sales. Proven meant backed by data. We already had some data from the claim tests, but this was deemed insufficient. Insufficiency led to insecurity, which opened the door to a myriad of suggestions: “What if we change this color?”, “What if we change the wording?”, “I have seen data supporting another set of claims. Let’s dig into which data is more reliable…”

I was curious at first – it wouldn’t hurt to explore a few more options. I proposed another version, and then another… soon I couldn’t keep track of the latest file. The discussion spilled out of our team and crept into senior management reviews, where even more experts contributed even more opinions. We even had a vice president weighing in. It was a catch-22: we needed data proof before implementing the claims but we could only get this data after the claims were implemented in-store. Whilst we were stuck in this theoretical debate, the consumer was stuck with the old shelf claims.

 

Six painful months and no conclusive proof of the superiority of any of the versions, we simply chose one and rolled it out across stores. The following week, our competitors followed. Apparently they trusted us more than we trusted ourselves.

 

Get unstuck by choosing one option and moving forward. It may not be perfect but most times you can learn (from real data) and adapt along the way.

 

Are you stuck for lack of data? Coaching can help you explore different ways of qualifying ideas so you can move forward. Discover how by booking your free consultation now.

 

 

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