Exclusive Interview with Bret Toplyn – Speaker at MarketsandMarkets Competitive and Market Intelligence Summit


Chicago, US March 29, 2019 – MarketsandMarkets recently interviewed Mr. Bret Toplyn, Product Market Intelligence, ABB regarding MarketsandMarkets Competitive and Market Intelligence Summit taking place on June 13-14, 2019 in Chicago, USA.

Bret started working for ABB in 2012 performing analysis on the energy markets. As Product Manager of Market Intelligence Bret helps ABB clients with new tools focused on market analysis, simulation and forecasting.

1) What is the significance of Market and Competitive Intelligence role in an organization in today’s era?

A. We see it as imperative.  In the ‘Google-it’ generation our clients have more access to information and have become more savvy but also more disparate with their needs.  It is a full-time job to keep up with client and market changes.  Similarly, technology continues to advance at a faster pace.  We need to be aware of the next disruptive technologies as well as the broader market evolutions.  Naturally, understanding our competition aligns with this approach.  Our competitors are attempting to track and evolve with the market too.  We need to account for these updates.

2) What role does Market and Competitive Intelligence team play in your organization?

A. We try to foster an Intelligence Community where market information is gathered by all users, shared with a single source and then distributed to the broader group on a weekly cadence.  Other information like competitive intelligence or specific information is constantly shared between teams.  We find that in our industry there are many specific knowledge experts so one of our biggest hurdles is efficient knowledge transfer between groups.  There’s too much information for one person to know everything.

3) How important is Competitive Intelligence support from executives and managers? Is as commercial CI and MI tools necessary? If yes, what kind of tools?

A. The most important support from executives and managers comes in three forms.  First, understanding the value and allocating time/energy to it. Second, absorbing intelligence and dispersing intelligence.  Thirdly, actually making decisions from the intelligence.  Sometimes the information we gather aligns with goals and sometimes it doesn’t, but our actions need to account for this either way.

4) How to employ Marketing insights to identify trends, develop products and innovate?

A. This is a very difficult task for our groups.  We find the best approach is to take methodical and calculated plans and implement them strategically.  Doing this involves a deep level of market research and understanding followed by a thoroughly well-groomed plan.  Then we often execute on the plan scientifically, which involves implementing the plan step by step, with time for data collection, and then adjustments from what we learn.  We use this method for learning more about the markets, and especially in developing and maintaining our products.

5) What are your views on the agenda and how helpful it is to the targeted audience?

A. The agenda looks very applicable to attendees.  Instead of covering very market-specific approaches it covers broader best practices that can be discussed and deployed regardless of industry or background.  I’m excited to hear how other companies address these topics.

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