Tag Archives: Consumer Insights

Insights Interview: Q&A with Diane Powell, Conagra Brands

We sat down with OmniShopper
speaker Diana Powell who is a Shopper Insights Manager at Conagra Brands, to
discuss how retail is being disrupted.
How has retail been
Powell: In the
food industry, traditional grocers are experiencing competition no longer just
from other grocers, but from emerging channels of meal sourcing such as
subscriptions, meal kits, offline and online wholesale/club stores, and
hundreds of new delivery models.  Traditional brick and mortar stores are
having to rethink how they do retail ‘ with more ready-to-go options and
elevating the shopping experience to draw shoppers in.
How has omnichannel
impacted retail positively?
Powell: We’ve
been keeping a close eye on ecommerce and how it impacts shopping for
food.  Shoppers view online shopping as complementary to their in-store
experience and most don’t foresee it replacing all in-store.  Shoppers who
are buying groceries in store AND online spend more overall than in-store only
How is this new era
of shopping everywhere impacting shopper insights? 
Powell: We must
be ahead of the digital transformation to keep up with where shoppers
are.  It’s not enough to just send the same old surveys to mobile phones,
but we must find new ways to use cutting age big data to understand online
behaviors that consumers don’t even know they are doing. Also, with the IoT,
behavior and trends change faster than ever, so we need to update research and
findings more frequently as to not lag in our reporting.
Additionally, in the food industry, we’ve also traditionally
spent our time researching women. However, with equal proportions of men
and women millennials doing the grocery shopping, we can’t have blinders to
both genders!
How are shoppers
shaping the future of retail?
Powell: In food
ecommerce, there is a clash between the shopper’s perspective of value and the
retailers when it comes to ecommerce.  Shoppers are used to shopping
online for other categories (electronics, clothing, housewares, cleaning
supplies, etc.) and when they shop online for these products, they are
expecting to get great deals.  They have cost comparison sites and aps at
their fingertips and are quick and savvy deal shoppers.  They apply this
same thinking to their online grocery shopping and expect to find good prices
and deals. 
However, food retailers think that because of the
convenience of online grocery shopping, shoppers should be paying a
premium.  They charge fees for pickup and delivery, charge higher prices
for the same products, don’t integrate as many couponing options, and some even
ask for a tip for the person delivering.  Shoppers are not willing to pay
such a premium (only about $5) and therefore I don’t think we’re seeing the
shift as quickly as it’s happened for other goods.  It will be fascinating
to see how sites like Jet.com and amazon, which are modeled to give shoppers
great prices, will force the traditional brick-and-mortar- e-tailers to step up
their price savings game.
Why is it important
to link digital and physical shopper marketing? 
Powell: Even when
shoppers are in a physical store, they are connected digitally.  Whether
they are using their devices for shopping related activities or not depends on
the minute! A buzz from their purse or pocket triggers a look, a distraction
from the shelf, but also an opportunity to influence.  Of course, we must
be mindful of respecting the shopper’s desires for how often/what we contact
them about ‘ making sure to give the appropriate value exchange customized to
that shopper.
Where do you see retail moving in the next 5 years?
 I’m excited to see a nice balance of the tangible and intangible.  I
think retail shopping will become more immersive, experiential, and
destination-based.  Offering the benefits that are near impossible to
recreate. Perhaps even more analog, more customized. People have a
desire to disconnect sometimes, and to return to the simple. Or on the contrary,
offering high tech in-person experiences that aren’t possible in your own home
is also going to happen.  I’m also excited to see the continuation of the
tech explosion ‘ with voice search leading the way for a lot of cool
innovation.  Deliveries will be faster, subscriptions will grow, and brand
loyalty may make a comeback when shoppers spend more time speaking to their
devices versus searching through.

Don’t miss Powell’s
session, ‘Knowledge
is Power, If You Can Find It!’
on June 20th at 3:40 PM in
Minneapolis, MN. Use code OMNI17BL for $100 off the current rate:

Study Compares Recall Versus In-the-Moment Surveys

This post was originally published on mfour’s Blog.

If you want to know what consumers buy, you’d better not
hesitate to ask. Because if you don’t ask fast enough, your data will fall into
a recall gap ‘ the chasm that opens when you rely on days-old (or weeks-old)
memories instead of capturing consumer sentiment when the experience is fresh
in mind. 
That’s the takeaway from a comparative study MFour conducted
to explore how memory decay impacts data reliability. The results underscore
how using GPS-enabled technology lets you reach the right consumers in the
right place at the right time for insights that can truly drive the right
business decisions. 
The study involved fielding essentially the same mobile
survey to two demographically similar groups of 200 consumers. GeoLocation told
us that our first group had been shopping that very day in at least one of the
five retailer categories in the study ‘ grocery stores, convenience stores,
drug stores, membership club stores, and mass merchants. 
These panelists were identified inside specific stores and
received in-app push notifications just as they walked out the door to learn
about their shopping experiences. The non-GeoLocated control group was asked
about most recent shopping experiences in the same store types ‘ which may have
occurred days, weeks, or even months earlier. 
Key Findings

When asked to state whether they had purchased
products in any of eight general categories (beverages, personal care, etc.)
during their most recent store visit, all 200 GeoLocated respondents named one
or more categories. Not one of them selected the ‘Don’t know/Can’t remember’
That contrasts with 28% of the non-GeoLocated
control group who said they could not remember which product categories they’d
purchased during their most recent store visit.
There were also significant gaps when it came to
recalling the brands our respondents had bought. The GeoLocated group had a
brand recall advantage for 13 of 16 specific product types.
Notable brand recall gaps include differences of
23.8% for facial cleansers, 14.1% for juices, 13.4% for feminine hygiene
products, 12.3% for shampoos/conditioners, and 10.1% for snack chips.

Talking to consumers when an experience is fresh in mind is
crucial for obtaining accurate data about any kind of experience. Exploiting
GeoLocation and other key smartphone features takes you as close to the moment
of purchasing truth as you can get without tagging along in person. This is why
a Point of Emotion?? response, capturing data the moment when information is at
its most memorable, is the most reliable way to understand what consumers
really think. 
To learn more about how to keep your research from falling into the
recall gap, just reach out by clicking sales@mfour.com.
And be sure to check the MFour blog throughout the week for more insights from
this study.

Insights Interview: Thomas Kralik, VP of Campaign ROI, Revolt TV

In our recent insights interview, we sat down with Thomas
Kralik, VP of Campaign ROI, Revolt  to
discuss how to reach the new age media consumer.
Here’s what Kralik had
to say:
What is the state of
the media research industry in 2017?
Kralik: The
research industry is an exciting place to be in 2017. It is a place where a
researcher must be fluent, not only in measurement, but understanding the
consumers media habits and lifestyles.
What have been the
biggest changes in the industry since you started your career? 
Kralik: It used
to be that a media company could put a program on the air, promote it to a demographic,
and get viewers to watch. Today, the media industry is being led by the
consumer based on their habits and lifestyles. This provides opportunities to a
media company because it can engage consumers via social, digital, linear,
throughout the entire day These tools need to be used to establish an emotional
connection with the consumer.

Have the influx of
social media and mobile made your job easier or harder?
Kralik: It’s
neither harder nor easier, but different. Social, linear and digital work in
tandem, so research has to be involved throughout the process from conception
to execution.
How has the media
consumer changed in the past few years?
Consumers are in charge. New technologies have given them
opportunities to access content anytime, anywhere. Consumers can now design
their ‘packages’ based on their habits and needs.
How can media
companies do a better job reaching the new age consumer?
Media companies need to be completely abreast of new
technologies and how and why they are used. They need to be very deliberate in
how they combine and execute content.
What is the biggest
challenge in the media industry today?
Coming up with an agreed upon methodology for measurement
that is accepted by the industry.
Where do you see
media research moving in 5 years?

Technology and consumers must determine that, but I could
see viewership and measurement moving closer to a digital measurement than

Stop Listening, Start Watching. How Interest-Based Segmentation Gets to the Heart of Consumers

By: Hannah Chapple
In recent years, we’ve seen companies increase their
reliance on social data. Why? Today there are more social signals than ever.
Consumers are sharing comments, their interests, thoughts, and more online. The
result being an incredible amount of consumer-provided data at our fingertips.
The problem facing marketers is trying to make sense of the
deep end of social data. One way we’ve seen businesses and big brands try to
make sense of this data is by investing in a little something called social listening.
If we watch and listen to what consumers are saying in real-time, we’ll paint a
more accurate picture of them, right? Wrong.
Social listening is biased. Many times our online persona is
different than who we are or doesn’t show us in our entirety. And only a small
percentage of those online ever actually engage or vocalize their thoughts,
interests, and beliefs ‘ the consumer insights that companies crave.
I’ll use myself as an example. If you comb through my social
feeds (and please, don’t feel you have to) you’ll find my comments and a flurry
of articles shared on all things marketing. While I am interested in this
stuff, yes (it’s my profession after all), it is not the complete picture of
who Hannah is as a person.
So how do we get to
the heart of the consumer?
One way companies can figure out who their consumers are and
what they want is by leveraging interest-based segmentation.
Interest-based segmentation is when individuals are
clustered and segmented into naturally-occurring, unbiased clusters, by looking
at who or what they choose to follow. Instead of focusing on the vocal
minority, at Affinio we consider
following patterns and interest data to be paramount to listening or
traditional research methods. 

 Image: Interest-based
clusters generated by Affinio
Following and connecting with other people is a fundamental
property of social behaviour. It is also a silent action, whereas social biases
might keep individuals from being honest about their interests (who they
follow) or what they talk about in person. The takeaway: you wouldn’t know
everything that I’m interested in just by looking at what I say, but you would
understand my interests by looking at who I follow.
By focusing on how an audience is connected (analyzing their
shared interests and affinities), interest-based segmentation gets to the very
heart of the consumer. Instantly, companies can identify who and what their
audience cares about, even if they’ve never vocalized it. Or if they have, this
method validates that finding. This approach places focus on the honest
relationships consumers have built and maintained and lets marketers understand
their audience as human beings and not one-dimensional data points.

About the Author: Hannah
Chapple is the Marketing & Content Coordinator at Affinio, the marketing
intelligence platform. Hannah holds a Bachelor of Business Administration with
a major in Marketing from the F.C. Manning School of Business at Acadia

See Who You’ll Meet at The Media Insights & Engagement Conference

See Who You’ll Meet at The Media Insights &
Engagement Conference
The Media Insights & Engagement Conference WILL Sell
Don’t worry, there’s no need to panic yet!
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industry’s annual meeting place AND save $100:

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Conference? Your competitors have already signed up ‘ don’t get left behind as
they uncover what’s next for the industry and how to stay ahead.
20th Television
21st Century Narrative
A&E Networks
AMC Networks
Annik Inc
BBC America
BET Networks
Bravo and Oxygen Media
Charter Communications
Cint USA Inc
Clarion Research Inc
Chadwick Martin Bailey
Consensus Point
Cooper Smith Advertising
Council for Research Excellence
Country Music Association
Creative Artists Agency
Discovery Communications
Disney ABC Television Group
Disney Channel Worldwide and Freeform
Disney World
Dreyfus Advisors LLC
Frank N Magid Associates
Fuel Cycle by Passenger
Fuse Media
Fusion Media Group
HBO Latin America
Horowitz Research
Hub Entertainment Research
Insight Strategy Group
Invoke Solutions
Ipsos Connect
Katz Media Group
Leflein Associates
Lieberman Research Worldwide
Millward Brown
Miner & Co Studio
National Geographic Partners
NBC News
NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises
NC Solutions
Norman Hecht Research
Oakland A’s
Phoenix Marketing International
Radius Global Market Research
RAG Media
RLS Media Consulting LLC
RSG Media
Screenvision Media
Scripps Network
Showtime Networks
Simmons Research
Sony Pictures Television
Spectrum Reach
Starz Entertainment LLC
Trend Hunter
TRP Research
Turner Broadcasting
Universal Music Group
University of Chicago
Vision Critical
Warner Brothers
Join YOUR industry at The Media Insights & Engagement
Conference later this month ‘ Use exclusive Blog discount code MEDIA17BL for an
additional $100 off: http://bit.ly/2jxF7OI
We hope to see you in Fort Lauderdale!
The Media Insights & Engagement Conference Team

Image Recognition and the Future of Digital Analytics

This post was
originally published on the Kelton
Global Blog

The days of text-centric social feeds are officially long
gone. A whopping 1.8 billion images are uploaded to the Internet daily
and of those, 350 million are shared on Facebook. Instagram recently
surpassed 500 million active users, and Snapchat now has more active users than Twitter. The content that flows
into our social feeds is more heavily optimized than ever to deliver more of
what people want’less text and more visuals.
Brands have adapted their social content strategies
accordingly by delivering more visually immersive experiences. And while we’re
seeing significant shifts in branded content, this influx of visual content has
yet to herald a commensurate change in social analytics. Accordingly, few gains
have been made to measure and derive insights from the contents of images or
video. Social listening has historically focused on the challenges of
text-based analysis’specifically, the challenge of determining the context and
meaning behind posts. But as social media habits evolve, it’s clear that deriving
insights from pictures is an increasingly important aspect of understanding
consumers. That’s where image recognition comes into play.
Brands have adapted their social content strategies
accordingly by delivering more visually immersive experiences.
Simply put, image recognition is the process of translating
images to data. Photos and images can reveal a wealth of data
points’demographics, purchases, personalities, and behaviors (just to name a
few). Through next generation image recognition, a mere selfie may reveal a
person’s gender, approximate age, location disposition, and even the clothing
brands that the person is wearing. As text-centric media takes a backseat to
image and video, the opportunity to understand the contents of these formats
grows. These insights represent a veritable treasure trove of actionable data
for brands.
Tools that analyze image and video-based content are still
in development, but increased investment in research is already impacting
commercial products and how they’re advertised. One example is brand logo
recognition’scanning images for brand logos, and flagging them with the
corresponding brand names. This tool is especially powerful considering that 80% of photos shared online depict a brand logo but don’t
explicitly call out the brand’s name.
 This fact points to a sizable
opportunity for companies to measure and understand the impact of these
formerly inaccessible data points.
Photos and images can reveal a wealth of data
points’demographics, purchases, personalities, and behaviors (just to name a
As an example of how this applies to brands, Kelton’s
Digital Analytics team took a look at the scores of backyard BBQ photos that
flooded public forums, blogs, and social feeds over the recent 4th of July
holiday. We experimented to see which of two quintessentially American beverage
brands’Coca-Cola and Budweiser’netted more published images of
patriotically-themed bottles and cans (as well as other forms of branding) on
social media.

In the end, Coca-Cola branding was twice as prominent as
Budweiser’s. We found that Coke bottles and cans popped up in more diverse
settings such as public parks and inside motor vehicles, whereas Budweiser was
predominantly found in bars and house parties. Coke also aroused greater
sentiment around the theme of Americana, as many consumers
photographed vintage Coca-Cola gear and opted for bottles over cans. This might
explain why Coke captured a significantly greater share of social mentions than
This example illustrates several ways that brands can
leverage image recognition technology to build actionable insights:
Ethnographic data ‘ Identify where, when
and how often brands are showing up in people’s lives.
Updated brand health analysis ‘ We now have
a more comprehensive point of view of brands’ online footprint.
Sponsorship and Branding ROI ‘ Extend the
value of branding and sponsorships shared via online news, blogs and social
media through a multiplier effect.
Influencer identification ‘ Find authentic
brand advocates who consume and spotlight your merchandise.
Misuse use of brand iconography ‘ Surface
content that depicts improper usage of brand’s logo or other creative assets.

In today’s ever-shifting social media landscape, it’s never
been more important for brands and their partners to stay aware of the new and
emerging capabilities that can help better understand consumers’ behavior
online. Image recognition is just the beginning. From AI startups to instant
objection recognition devices
, the mobilization and fusion of research,
tech, and capital is quickly reshaping the way we think about analytics. These
new tools will add even more contextual understanding to sentiment on social
platforms, empowering brands to understand consumers like never before.

A Closer Look at Eye Tracking

Eye tracking is about where we look, what we look at, how much time we spend looking at it, how our pupils react to different kinds of visual stimulation and when we blink, according to IMOTIONS.
Put most simply, eye tracking refers to the measurement of eye activity. More specifically, eye tracking implies the recording of eye position (point of gaze) and movement on a 2D screen or in 3D environments based on the optical tracking of corneal reflections to assess visual attention. While the idea of eye tracking is quite straightforward, the technology behind it might strike you as rather complex and inscrutable.
No need to hit the panic button. The following pages are packed with all the need-to-knows and useful tools to help you get a solid grasp of eye tracking technology and best practices.
IMOTIONS created an eye tracking infographic for a fun and easily digestible overview of eye tracking:

Category Insights: Rainy Day Segments #12 And #35

It isn’t often that marketers get to blaze a trail through
an entirely new consumer category ‘ rolling out brand identities and category
signifiers from scratch ‘ but legal marijuana offers just such an opportunity.
Except, as Emily Paxhia of Poseidon Asset Management ‘ a
firm that invests heavily in the budding industry ‘ pointed out in her
fascinating TMRE presentation, marijuana isn’t an entirely new category. The
rich cultural history of the herb in America is something the marijuana
industry has to negotiate as it tries to create an identity that appeals to a
new, more diverse generation of smokers.
Even the word ‘smoker’ is part of the drug’s heritage, not
its present ‘ marijuana users are as, if not more, likely to get high by
vaping, edibles, or topical lotions and patches. Marketers are faced with a
whole legacy vocabulary designed by the authorities to put people off
marijuana, not draw them in. They have to weed out phrases like ‘recreational’ ‘
with its negative drug war connotations. Most of all, they have to contend with
the Cheech and Chong or slacker-era image of the lazy stoner, something that
puts modern marijuana users on the defensive.

Weed culture: from this…

So who are these new users? Paxhia had the figures. 65%
male, 84% employed, average age 30, mostly well-off, and roughly evenly split
between the major political parties. Most strikingly, only 31% of users claimed
they used pot to ‘get stoned’ ‘ but 95% agreed that they used the drug to be
more present in the moment, and in the ethnographic part of the study they shared
stories of how mundane activities from cleaning to fishing to dog walking were
enhanced by cannabis. As Paxhia put it, these people are checking in, not
dropping out. Everybody must get centered.
This wholesale adoption of the language of mindfulness was
the biggest indication of what made this talk so fascinating. Branded Marijuana
‘ the unbranded stuff still does a brisk trade, I believe – is a very modern
category: it’s created by and for younger consumers, and fairly wealthy and bohemian
ones at that. So it conforms almost entirely to what they expect ‘ or what marketers
expect they expect – from consumer goods. Legal pot is artisanal, tastefully
designed, social, inventive and experiential.
Paxhia reported, for instance, that in San Francisco, chefs
and ‘budtenders’ are collaborating on private pairing parties where the
traditionally close relationship between weed and food can be explored in a
more upscale manner. The entire industry is being created along the principles
of post mass-marketing: it’s a trendwatcher’s dream.
Of course, most consumer goods categories balance modern
marketing approaches with a legacy of how things were done in the 20th
century. But while beer, say, struggles to reconcile the Craft-aware kids it
wants to sell to with the Bud-chugging masses it always has sold to, marijuana
gets to make a clean break. It’s at pains to reject its underground image as
corny or childish. No more Reefer Madness ‘ brands like Kiva and Goodship are
almost defensively tasteful. ‘It’s commonplace in the finance business’ said
one earnest young enthusiast, to the sound of weeping from Jerry Garcia’s
unquiet ghost.

…to this: Leafs By Snoop.

But what’s also interesting is that the real breadheads are
staying away. Legal pot is ‘ so far ‘ growing without much input from risk
averse corporations. Celebrities are getting involved: Snoop Dogg has a brand, naturally, though
older consumers recalling the sleeve art to Doggy Style may be disappointed
that it looks as discreet as any other. And the market is set to expand, with
legal marijuana propositions on the ballot in multiple states this November.
But for now, the legal weed industry has a unique, boutique
flavour. It is changing rapidly ‘ the marijuana industry moves in ‘dog years’,
as time in it seems to pass much faster (another departure from tradition). So
the business is collectively getting to grips with issues around portion
control, regulation, and packaging information ‘ a dramatically steep learning
curve. The legal cannabis products of even two years ago look a lot more
homespun and less sophisticated than those on sale now.
In the process, it’s not just marijuana’s past that’s being
rejected. The future that stoners used to imagine for legal pot ‘ paranoid images
of Joe Camel with spliff in hand as Big Tobacco got its claws into weed ‘ has manifestly
not come to pass. Paxhia’s 420-degree overview of the category she passionately
loves showed that instead it’s a unique test bed for the new norms and assumptions of

How Are You Treating Your Organizational Data?

By: Anil Damodaran, Blueocean
Market Intelligence Assistant Vice President

Data fragmentation has been a topic of conversation at
varying levels of intensity for many decades. However, the challenge has grown tremendously
due to an increase in the number of data sources and devices in use, at the
workplace and home. Today, data is generated and stored not only on office PCs
and laptops, but on mobile devices such as smartphones, tablets, online storage
devices, and more.
Most of this data is generated in bits and pieces during
various activities like exchange of emails, feedbacks, chats, IoT feed
captures, and pilot surveys. It lies around in devices or unused drives, and
often treated as office stationery, until one day someone suddenly realizes the
cost implications of this recklessness. According to research from Salesforce,
about 53 percent of organizational data is left unanalyzed that could otherwise
have signified an opportunity for decision makers.[1]
The problem, at a grass-roots level, is leaving data unattended with disparate
sources and not implementing proper data governance.
So what can we do?
Data fragmentation can be addressed if you start considering
data generated within your organization as a corporate asset. By doing so, it
will become more instinctive to institute practices and processes of measuring
data. Once you can measure their data, it becomes easier to tag the data based
on business relevance and quality attributes.
For example, in almost all companies large and small, it is
common to take stock of infrastructure ‘ tangible and intangible ‘ and tag
them, such as company IP, laptops, mouse, and so on to the employee using it.
Similarly, are you then tagging your data generated within your organization to
its source, purpose, time, format and so on? It has been found that only 13
percent organizations have properly integrated data and predictive insights
extensively into their entire business operations.[2]
Companies that drive their businesses using data-driven strategies are five
percent more productive and realize six percent higher profits.[3]
Here are some of the traits of an organization that treat
data as an asset vs. those that do not.[4]
Organization that treats data as an asset
Organization that does not treat data as an
Is more innovative
innovative and tends to become commoditized in the long run
Is more customer-centric
products to customers, instead of
developing products based on customer needs
Harbors a culture of openness and collaboration
and hierarchy based system tend to keep
data in silos
decisions are data-driven
Run on
personal experience and intuitions
processes and performance are measured based on feedback and analytical
Practices age-old business processes; no system for
measuring business performance
Risk mitigation
is proactive
mitigation is reactive
What kind of an organization are you and what is your
biggest challenge with the evolution? Share with us your experience and views.
Blueocean Market Intelligence is
a global analytics and insights provider that helps corporations realize a
360-degree view of their customers through data integration and a
multi-disciplinary approach that enables sound, data-driven business decision.
To learn more, visit www.blueoceanmi.com.

Marriotts’ VP of Consumer Insights on The Challenges and Wins of Personalization

“The next time you are at a restaurant, at a ballgame or even on vacation, your social media posts may be being watched by a number of Fortune 500 companies.” Jessica Golden, CNBC

“The once-ubiquitous social media ‘war rooms’ that sprung up around big events like the Super Bowl are becoming a thing of the past. Instead, brands are now battling to make sense of real-time data on a daily basis ‘ not just the big occasions.” Grace Caffyn, Digiday 

“If it’s not on social media, it didn’t happen.” Vanessa Saw, Digital Executive Marriott’s Creative and Content Marketing department. Hotelexecutive.com.

Simon Hudson, in Marriott Takes Social Media Listening to a New Level tells us that “50 to 60% of customers look(ing) to social media recommendations for products like travel.” So it makes sense that companies like Marriott International are watching our posts and setting up “war rooms”. The Research Insighter spoke to Cathy Hartman, the Vice President of Consumer Insights and Advisory Services at Marriott International to ask what sort of insights Marriott is acquiring, and how they’re putting them to use for their customers.

The Research Insighter: 
“Personalization is the new ‘normal’ imperative in marketing these days and is something that everyone seems to be struggling with. This notion about being able to leverage data for personalization at every touchpoint is something that you certainly have been pursuing. How are you going about this? What is most important to you?”

Cathy Hartman, Vice President of Consumer Insights, Marriott International:
“Our guiding framework is to identify the right person with the right message at the right time. Much easier said than done.

The first step is identifying that right person. We’ve learned to use our data to identify travelers with the greatest potential value to our portfolio. Now, Marriott values every guest that comes to our site or enters our properties, but from a marketing perspective we need to be really smart to be efficient with our marketing efforts. So, we’ve developed ways to actively identify these individuals who are high-potential value, seek them out and engage them given their potential profitability to our portfolio.

A behavioral segmentation initiative enabled us to accomplish that first step and it also helped us to begin to tackle that second objective, as well…that ‘serving up the right message’. Using our data smartly, we can learn so much about our customers and what is relevant to them, not just what we want to say to them.

So, from travel purpose to brand propensities we can learn so much from just taking a look at the data that we have or can acquire through third parties. That ends up really being a win for the customers, as well as us. Our customers are receiving increasingly relevant, meaningful offers and we, then, earn a higher return on investment.

We have also been tackling that third piece ‘ that right time ‘ by studying the customer journey. So, how the customers engage with us or our competitors at every step of the travel journey, what behaviors are important for us to shift at each stage in this journey and how can we leverage data to help drive those shifts. The answers to those questions have helped us to weave it altogether to really deliver that right message to the right person and at the right time.”

The Research Insighter:
“What is innovative that is interesting to you? Is there anything shiny and new out there that has your interest or attention?”

Cathy Hartman, Vice President of Consumer Insights, Marriott International:

“There are some things that are shiny and new. A couple come to mind that we have been increasingly leveraging.

First is just new ways to be listening to the consumer in real-time. Marriott has recently launched multiple war rooms, if you will, for social listening. Our studios are called: ‘M Live’ and we are able to ‘ in real-time and in the presence of not just our insight representatives, but also marketing strategists and agency partners ‘ monitor conversations that are happening in real-time that we can then leverage for real-time marketing activations. It has turned into a really powerful technique that we are able to utilize to just be in the center of conversations.”

The Research Insighter:
“You mentioned real-time activation. How new is that? What does that entail?”
Cathy Hartman, Vice President of Consumer Insights, Marriott International:
“The power of M Live, we’ve found, is to be able to really engage in the real-time dialogue with what people are saying. So, instead of forcing a conversation, instead of just deciding: ‘We want to say this message to people at this time’, we listen to what is going on with consumers and what they are talking about and then we can infuse ourselves into that conversation. Again, this makes what we’re saying more relevant and it enables us to get that permission to talk with them in a way that they might not otherwise be receptive to.

For example, when Pok??mon Go recently came out and took the world literally by storm, we looked for ways to get engaged in this conversation, as well. Once we identified this quickly rising trend, the team developed in activation and once we identified this trend, we identified ways that we could become part of that conversation.

Specifically, the gentleman who was the first to find all of the Pok??mons within North America, we identified a way to send him to remaining continents in order to find the missing Pok??mon and round out his set. It’s a fun example, but it’s an example of becoming part of the conversation where we don’t even need to put money behind these messages because people then pick up the story and do the sharing for us. It’s a fun and interesting way to become a part of these real-time conversations.”

The Research Insighter:
“What are some of the key challenges you’ve run into specifically around personalization? How are you using research to address them?”
Cathy Hartman, Vice President of Consumer Insights, Marriott International:
“That’s a great question. As strange as this may sound, a key challenge is actually having too much data. It’s almost overwhelming. Where do you start? The deeper you go into data-driven personalization, the more changes an organization needs to make to its marketing strategy. 

So, if you personalized a segment or a person within that segment or to a specific touchpoint that the person within that segment is interacting with, each of these levels requires personalized content to make it real. That’s literally a tsunami of strategic content and needs. All of this needs to be planned and produced by someone.

What we’ve learned to do is use research to identify our North Star or those metrics our marketing efforts need to move in order to claim success. That is what is going to help us ensure we stay focused and on track with all of our efforts.”

Don’t miss The Market Research Event this October 17-20 where Cathy Hartman and many more of the most influential market researchers in the world will share their insights on everything from apps to big data as they apply to market research.