Kimberly-Clark Partners with aytm to Conduct Advanced Research at Lightning Speed

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Posted Mar 25, 2021
Tiffany Mullin

At Greenbook’s recent Insights That Work event, Kandice Coltrain, Vice President of Global Sales here at aytm, sat down with Andy Basehoar, Senior Statistician at CPG leader, Kimberly-Clark. Andy is part of the Research & Engineering team, which does quite a bit of product testing, including physical testing, bench tests, sensory tests, clinical tests, consumer testing, and more. His group currently supports the consumer tissue group.

Let’s dive into the discussion to learn how Kimberly-Clark uses aytm to power agile insights.

The Challenge

Kimberly-Clark’s Product and Consumer Sciences team is big on giving consumers options via choice-based methodologies. Regularly conducting experiments using Conjoint, MaxDiff, and TURF analysis, the team needed a robust research solution with the ability to handle rigorous data collection and analysis. 

But like most organizations today, they also needed a way to deliver insights faster and within a limited budget, without compromising quality.

“We're always trying to make the most of our budget, which decreases a little bit every year,” said Andy. “And if we can do more research for less cost, that enables us to get consumer input on decisions that we otherwise would have to leave up to internal opinions. It also enables us to be more iterative with our testing. If we can test more often, we can touch base with consumers multiple times throughout the product development lifecycle.” 

Andy was introduced to aytm by an R&E team member who needed to get measurements inside consumers' homes for upcoming product specifications. Kimberly-Clark had old data on this, but the team needed to refresh the data. “He was able to work with aytm to get it done within a week for a national sample. So that really piqued my interest in the platform.”

The Solution

Quick-Turn Advanced Research

For one of its major brands, the Product and Consumer Sciences team needed to optimize a packaging assortment. They needed to screen down from 30 different packaging options to find the eight that would provide the greatest mass appeal without alienating too many buyers. The team was able to take advantage of aytm’s Maxdiff methodology, along with our TURF-based analysis on the back end. 

The Kimberly-Clark team chose to show respondents pictures of what the product would look like via various package renderings. “I'm very pleased with how easy it is to upload images as a stimulus for our choice-based experiments,” said Andy. “And the way aytm presents that in the interface, whether it's a mobile interface or on a tablet, they optimize the survey to deliver the images beautifully.”

Kimberly-Clark’s team presented the images and choice sets and ran a TURF analysis. “Within four days from pressing go, we had our Maxdiff TURF analysis back.” The team was thrilled with the outcome.

The Results

Quality Data

Anytime you do things less expensively, there’s always a question in the back of your mind of ‘Am I sacrificing quality? 

“I'm a big believer in always taking my surveys myself because I want to see what the user experience is like. It has to be intuitive so that even my mother can take the survey and be engaged. That’s important if you want quality responses,” Andy explained.  

“For example, I'll have an open-ended question at the end of the survey, I'll make it optional, and I'll still get an 80% response rate with excellent feedback that shows people were engaged. I have confidence in the quality of the results based on the level of engagement I see in the respondents when they fill out their open ends.”

Another thing that was vitally important to Andy was gaining visibility into the raw data and getting clear explanations of how the platform achieves complex statistical calculations. “As a statistician, I like to see the details and the guts and get an explanation of how the tool is doing the analysis. It lets me know I can trust the results.” 

Aytm provides clients with several different ways of performing TURF analysis along with the details and the raw data. “I could tell right away that they were very knowledgeable about the different ways you could make decisions, and that gave me the confidence that I was getting the right answer,” said Andy.

Ease of Use

While Andy is a statistician with an advanced skill set, it’s important to note that the aytm platform makes adopting these types of choice-based solutions incredibly easy. With drag-and-drop features, automated inputs, and guidance, and easy-to-use analysis output provided to you in real time, virtually anyone can program a Conjoint. 

“The tool is extremely easy to use. If you have a list of claims and want to do a Maxdiff exercise on those, anyone can program that very intuitively; you don't have to be a statistician. But for someone that's more technologically savvy when it comes to the design of those experiments, and you want more capabilities, the platform allows you to customize it for your needs,” Andy explained.  

With aytm, it’s really the best of both worlds. 

Real-Time Reporting

aytm empowers users to translate learnings across the organization seamlessly. It's easy to create a report, customize it and distribute it on the fly. Whether it’s through a link to the dashboard or a PowerPoint presentation, or other exports, we allow you to socialize findings quickly and efficiently. 

“You always get the automated report with aytm. And sometimes that itself is the answer, and that's all you need. So the ability to immediately create a link when the survey is done and send it to the team member that requested the work, without having to spend time assembling the findings is huge,” said Andy.

“One of the best things I've done is just show people what the survey looks like and the automated reports that are generated by it. And the fact that we're able to meet their timing needs makes people really excited about the platform. aytm has helped us gain a lot of trust throughout the organization and interest in using the tool,” he explained. 

Agile insights are here to stay

Before COVID, a lot of companies were still hesitant to adopt agile research. Those who had already done it were able to stay ahead of ever-changing consumer behaviors and mindsets, especially during the last year. Now, more and more organizations realize the need to make the shift to agile research.

But for Kimberly-Clark, this isn’t just a snapshot in time. The company is committed to agile research for the long haul. “Lots of things are changing, both in terms of consumer behavior and how we have to think about testing. So, if you’re thinking, ‘When is it going to go back to the way it was?’ It's probably not. The world is permanently changed,” said Andy.

Kimberly-Clark’s Product and Consumer Sciences team is quickly moving away from the old way of working on one thing for eight months to a year and then putting it out into the market. “Mindsets are quickly shifting, and aytm’s platform helps us deliver against that.” The team now touches base with consumers early and often, with a focus on iteration and continuous improvement.

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