In the session, Kraft and Megan Copas, Director, Consumer Research, 84.51°, looked at how in a time where data is abundant and time is finite, it can be easy to opt for data that is “good enough.” 84.51° embarked on a journey to understand if research could truly be “good enough.” They unpacked research that compares surveying behaviorally verified shoppers versus using self-claimed screening questions and how this plays out in a real case study. Johnsonville utilized trends in behavioral data to talk to a niche sample definition of verified buyers for a better understanding of how to solve declining trends in two key categories.
Kraft relates, “In this case, we were trying to understand. Kroger is a very big customer of ours, and they had experienced sales drop offs in both the bacon meat and breakfast meats category, so in bacon and sausage. All of the data available suggested it was related to price. It was related to Snap benefits going away. It’s related to inflation. Hmmm. But the buyer really wants to understand this because thanks to promotion, their prices had stayed pretty flat. They really wanted to understand what’s truly going on, why are people not coming to our category as much as they used to?”
“We really needed to talk to verified purchasers that had bought in the category last year and then bought again in the following year, but their behavior had dropped significantly. And the reason we did that is because 84.51°, who was our research partner on this, their sample is the Kroger shopping card database,” continues Kraft. “We knew that if we did this research through some other fast, cheap solution we have—I like to call it cheap and cheerful—that we wouldn’t be able to really dig in because we’d probably just get people thinking, yeah, I haven’t bought it. It’s probably because of price. But we were able to talk to people and identify what their behavior was. They were able to really recall what has changed in their life, and what we learned is it was more than price and it gave both us and the retailer some opportunity to identify tactics that we could use to drive people back to that section to help improve their sales.”
In this case, it feels like what you did delivered some impact to the business. That brings us to a different session you are moderating at TMRE: “Consumer Insights with Impact: How to Keep Companies Begging for More.”
Every corporate research department strives for a seat at the table. This panel of corporate research insights team leaders helped raise the profile of consumer insights within their organizations and work continually to keep insights as part of the conversation. The session included Leslie Pickup, Director of Consumer Insights, Prestige Consumer Healthcare; Dave Anderko, Insights Team Lead, Hormel; and Shivani Shah, National Category & Shopper Insights, Senior Manager, Church & Dwight.
Kraft says, “What’s different about this panel is that it’s made up of corporate researchers and no one has a VP title. No one reports directly to the CEO. Everyone has some space between them and the CEO. So what they do, if it’s going to have impact, they’ve had to learn in the trenches how to share up our information, how to find a voice, and how to get a seat at the table. If you’re in an organization where insights doesn’t have that VP title, you have to show value and you have to be able to tell a story and share it in a way that you can in five minutes when the CEO walks by your cube and tease it to them and make them want to hear more. You have to be able to tell that story and to teach both yourself and your team how to be consultants and not order takers.”
See the full video interview from TMRE, as Adler and Kraft discuss research as a barrier, the relationship between the human element of storytelling and AI, and more.