Live from TMRE: Day 3 Summary

Great sessions and discussions today at TMRE!

My first session today was with Oskar Korkman of Nokia who discussed his approach to assuring that the consumer is at the heart of product development and marketing.

Here are some main takeaways:
1. Focus on shared consumer context’ not on the defined segments of consumers
2. It’s about empowerment’ not about targeted and pre-defined value
3. What happens between people is more interesting than people themselves
4. It is about everyday life and social change’ not about technologies and adoption of technologies

Social connectivity is for a purpose ‘ people are looking for quality over quantity. Korkman describes the types of relationships that exist and they range from public to private:
‘ Self (private)
‘ Lifelong (intimate)
‘ Friendship
‘ Purposeful (common interests, not really interested in the person – yet)
‘ Incidental (public; when strangers meet each other)

And when segmenting, he suggests a more robust approach is to split behaviors into groups instead of people. The commonalities will exist despite of geography and will be much more robust!

Julia Oswald of Domino’s Pizza held a captivating session explaining the role of insights on the company’s recent turnaround of quality, transparency, brand equity measures, and (most importantly) sales. Specifically, Oswald explained her teams’ use of foundational research (using mixed quantitative and qualitative methods).

The foundational research includes:
‘ Market Mix modeling
‘ Occasion-based segmentation
‘ Consumer trends framework
‘ Industry growth
‘ Brand DNA and Equity

And the insights derived?
‘ A brand DNA
‘ A consumer trends framework that compares the brand experience attributes to macro consumer trends.

In combination with a reformulation of the chain’s pizza, research-driven advertising that showcased their once problem areas proved to be effective with increases in brand equity measures, and highly resonate ads with consumers. A true success story with market research at the core!

My final session for the day was with John Wright of Safeway. He brought us through his teams’ findings of the low-income grocery shopper. (Cue the bullet-points!)

IRI defined lower income shoppers as:
‘ Under 35 and over 65
‘ Families
‘ Hispanic and African Americans

Financial worries
‘ Twice as much financial anxiety as their high-income counterparts
‘ 77% say they generally live paycheck to paycheck
‘ 6 in 10 worry about having enough money to put food on the table

Impact of the recession
‘ Effects them today, but also their expectations for the future

Health & Wellness
‘ 2/3 satisfied with current health (slightly less than population)
‘ Less likely to engage in preventative care
‘ Over-indexes on stress, anxiety, depression, lack of energy, and memory (perhaps b/c of age)

Food trade-offs
‘ Low price tends to trump trade off decisions for the segment, frequently at the expense of nutritional content. Price, taste, nutrition.
‘ Heavy on center store, light on perimeter
‘ Mac Cheese, chips, soda, bottled water, hot dogs. Low cost, and other heavily promoted items
‘ Do not believe their diets are healthy
‘ Strong interest in fortified/functional foods

Grocery Shopping
‘ Spend less per trip, make more trips
‘ Bump in first week of the month (when government checks are dispersed)
‘ Big on circulars (they have an internal gauge of an acceptable price)
‘ Plan their meals using weekly circulars
‘ Create list to stay on budget
‘ Will shop multiple stores, use coupons, buy in bulk and the store brand on their lists
‘ Preparing meals ‘ cook from scratch because it’s cheaper
‘ They make plans for their leftovers
‘ Income is sporadic and uncertain
‘ Buy seasonal, local, and bulk to save money

While the information shared is specific to grocery, I found a deeper meaning in the session: We have to understand our shoppers’ struggles to understand their capabilities. When we can submerge ourselves in our shoppers lives, we can also better understand our data and provide much more meaningful, and actionable research recommendations.

Thank you all for reading! I look forwarding to see you at TMRE next year back here in Florida!

Garrett McGuire (@GJMcGuire) is a Consumer Insights Analyst for a major retailer. His areas of focus are advertising research, brand equity, and providing consumer insights for many marketing initiatives. Prior to his current position, he was a graduate student at Michigan State University where he began his blog, “The Journal of a mAD Man,” that explains the theories and methods of advertising.