Tag Archives: market research

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
disrupted?
 
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
shoppers.
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:
https://goo.gl/XY25DW

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’
option.
??        
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.
Conclusion 

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
linear.

Insights Interview: James Petretti, SVP, Research & Analytics, Sony Pictures TV

In our recent insights interview, we sat down with James Petretti,
Senior Vice President, U.S. Research and Analytics to discuss how to reach the new
age media consumer.
Here’s what Petretti had to say:
What is the state of
the media research industry in 2017?
Petretti: Media Research is more complicated than ever
before ‘ more platforms, more channels, more kinds of content and more measures
than ever before ‘ the different types of data sets, and sheer amount of it
that  we are required to work with today means we need to bring in new
skill sets and core competencies ‘ so it’s a constant learning process on top
of trying to stay on top of an ever-increasing amount of information’ it’s exhilarating
and exhausting at the same time.
What have been the
biggest changes in the industry since you started your career?
Petretti: We’ve
moved from an analog to digital world ‘ that’s changed everything.
Have the influx of
social media and mobile made your job easier or harder?
Petretti: Both ‘
there’s more data to have to consider ‘ but it’s often a rich data set that
allows us to have immediate feedback
How has the media
consumer changed in the past few years?
Petretti: The
Consumer is King today’ they’re in control
How can media
companies do a better job reaching the new age consumer?
Petretti: We need
to make sure we respect the consumer today ‘ when Media was a one to many
medium, media companies were driving the relationship ‘ but that’s changed and
we must respond in kind ‘ we can’t just look at consumers as ‘audience targets’
‘ we must understand them as individuals and consider how we can help satisfy
their needs and expectations.
What is the biggest
challenge in the media industry today?
Petretti: The
Business Model has not yet evolved to meet today’s realities ‘ the ad supported
television model is based on a captive audience trapped in linear time ‘ but
today viewers are liberated with extraordinary options that empower individual
control and increasingly asynchronous viewing.
Where do you see
media research moving in 5 years?

Petretti: Analytics,
Data Science and Data Visualization continue to become increasingly important
disciplines for media researchers ‘ we need to incorporate core competencies
from each to meet the demands of the new media world today and beyond.

Meet the Powerful Women Driving the Future of Customer Insights

TMRE: The Market Research Event and OmniShopper have some
exciting news to share’
Not only is TMRE partnering with WiRE (Women in Research)
for the first annual TMRE/WiRE Women in Research Award to celebrate some true
rock-star researchers, but we’re happy to share a preliminary list of powerful
women in insights confirmed to take the stage at both the TMRE and OmniShopper 2017
events.

Check out the inspiring women speaking at TMRE 2017:


??        
Dawn Cunningham, Chief Insights Officer, 3M
??        
Amber Case, Cyborg Anthropologist, Author, Calm
Technology
??        
Cole Nussbaum Knaffic, Founder, Storytelling
with Data
??        
Kristin Luck, Founder, WiRE: Women in Research
??        
Marina Kosten, VP Research – International
Theatrical, 20th Century Fox
??        
Elizabeth Merrick May, Head of Customer
Insights, Nest
??        
Christina Jenkins, Director, Global Business
Marketing, North America, Twitter
??        
Anna Fieler, Chief Marketing Officer, Popsugar
??        
Lisa Courtade, Head of Market Research, Merck
??        
Judy Melanson, SVP, Travel & Entertainment,
Chadwick Martin Bailey
??        
Amanda Hill, Chief Marketing Officer, A+E
Networks
??        
Margo Arton, Director of Ad Effectiveness
Research, Buzzfeed
??        
Lauren Zweifler, Senior Vice President
,Strategic Insights & Research, NBCUniversal
??        
Terrae Schroeder, Senior Director, Wholesome
& Shopper Insights, NA Snacks, Kellogg
??        
Theresa Pepe, VP of Research, Viacom
??        
Sarita Bhagwat, Vice President, Market
Intelligence, Fidelity Investments
??        
Julie Brown, President, The Center for Strategy
Research
??        
Lori Tarabeck, Global Market Insights, Abbott
Diabetes Care
??        
Renata Polcicio, Vice President, Fan and Media
Intelligence, International, Global Markets, ESPN
??        
Jennifer Avery, Director, Consumer Insights,
Universal Orlando Resort
??        
Sara Fahim, Senior Research & Innovation
Consultant, Seek Company
??        
Tiffany Sanders, Business Intelligence &
Research, CBS
??        
Emily Akinson, Insights & Planning, Consumer
& Market Insights, Kellogg
??        
Mary Beth Jowers, Consumer Insights Lead for
North, Central and Eastern Europe, Gruppo Campari
??        
Stephanie Cunningham, Senior Manager, Customer
Insights & Analytics, eBay
??        
Lina Roncancio, Insights & Innovation
Director, Discovery Communications Latin America
??        
Michelle Gansle, Director, Consumer & Market
Insights, Wm. Wrigley Jr. Company
??        
Karin Kricorian, Director, Management Science
and Integration, Disney
??        
Sarah Beachler, Director, Market Research &
Client Insights, Sephora
??        
Beth Coleman, SVP Marketing and Partner
Insights, Viacom
??        
Samantha Dawkins, Vice President, Client
Strategy & Advocacy, ADP
??        
Gabriela McCoy, Director of Global Consumer
Insights, Bacardi
??        
Kassie Deng, Director, Marketing & Partner
Insights, Viacom
??        
Lyndsey Albertson, Director of Sales Research,
ABC
??        
Maria Cristina Antonio, Director, Metabolic
Insights & Analytics, Novo Nordisk
??        
Julia Oswald, Senior Vice President, Strategy
& Insights, Domino’s Pizza
??        
Carley Metsker, Vice President, Client Service,
Directions Research
??        
Monika Mandrakas, Market Researcher &
Customer Advocate, Mutual of Omaha
View the TMRE brochure
for a full list of speakers:
https://goo.gl/1Ricj2
Check out the inspiring women speaking at OmniShopper 2017:

??        
Shopper Marketing Activations: Marketing &
Merchandising: J Lynn Martinez, Vice President & Team Lead Kroger, Dr
Pepper Snapple Group
??        
Customer Experience Design: How Research &
Design Collaborate to Build New and Differentiated Experiences: Kate Kompelien,
Customer Experience – Center for Excellence for Research & Strategy, Best
Buy
??        
Omnichannel Customer Analysis: Lakshmi
Venkataramari, Senior Director, Customer Insights & Analytics, Walmart
eCommerce
??        
Winning in Her Purse: Kelley Styring, Principal,
InsightFarm
??        
Knowledge is Power, If You Can Find It: Ashley
Starke & Diana Powell, Manager, Shopper Insights, ConAgra Foods
??        
Team Structure Doesn’t Matter: Sue Butler, Director
of Omnichannel Insights, Walmart
??        
Going Beyond Behavior to Drive Category Growth:
Monica Melichar, Senior Manager, Consumer Insights, Beam Suntory & Erin
Barber, Senior Vice President, C+R Research
??        
Longitudinal Data & the Low Purchase
Frequency Category: Stacy Carty, Shopper Insights, Samsung
??        
Driving Change While Driving the Business:
Improving Tools & Automation: Theresa Hendrickson, Director, eCommerce
Engineering – Business Tools & Processes, Best Buy
View the OmniShopper
Brochure for a full list of speakers: https://goo.gl/Qw8Juo
Use exclusive
LinkedIn discount code TMRE17LI for $100 off the current rate. Buy tickets to
TMRE now:
https://goo.gl/1Ricj2
Use exclusive
LinkedIn discount code OMNI17LI for $100 off the current rate. Buy tickets to
OmniShopper now:
https://goo.gl/Qw8Juo
Also, don’t miss our
upcoming free webinar ‘Storytelling with Data’ http://bit.ly/2o0bpAS
featuring speakers Kelsy Saulsbury, Manager, Consumer Insight & Analytics,
Schwan’s Shared Services, LLC and Bill Greenwald, Founder and Chief
Neuroleaderologist, Windsor Leadership Group, LLC. 
Driving the value of
insights forward requires much more than just unearthing great data. You need
to use that data to tell a story and command influence across the broader
organization. Because storytelling may not be an inherent skill, this webinar
focuses on how to use data to create an engaging, informative, compelling
story.  Register for the webinar here:
http://bit.ly/2o0bpAS
Cheers,
The TMRE & OmniShopper Teams
@TMRE
@OmniShopper

Why Social Influence is Important in Business: Q&A with Jonah Berger

We were lucky enough to recently catch up with one of our
favorite conference speakers Jonah Berger, who is well-known as a Wharton
Professor and Bestselling Author of Invisible
Influence
and Contagious:
Why Things Catch On
.
Berger shared some key insights about why social
influence is key to business from his new book Invisible Influence.

Here’s what Jonah had to say:
What is ‘social
influence’?
Berger: Social
influence is the impact people have on others around them. We vote if our
spouse is voting, run faster if someone else is watching us, or switch our entr??e
if someone at the table orders the same thing.  In each instance, others’
behavior influences or affects our own. Those others can be spouses and
friends, but also people we never even talk to, like the stranger sitting next
to us on the plane.  Social influence effects small things, like the food
we eat, but also big things like the career we choose or whether we save money
for retirement. Ninety-nine-point-nine percent of all decisions are shaped by
others. It’s hard to find a decision or behavior that isn’t affected by other
people.
Why is social
influence important in business?
Berger: If we
understand how influence works, we can harness its power. We can convince
a client, change the boss’ mind, and motivate employees to take action.  One section of the book, for example, talks
about how being a chameleon can make you more successful. Researchers looked at
what makes someone a good negotiator. 
What makes them more likely to reach a deal when all looks
lost. And they found that one simple trick led negotiators to be 5x as
successful. That trick?  Imitating or mimicking the language,
behavior, or facial expressions of their negotiating partner. If their partner
crossed their legs, they did the same.  And if their partner leaned back
in the chair, they did so as well. Not obviously, but subtly mirroring
their partner.  Turns out the same trick works in a range of
contexts. Waiters or waitresses that mimic their patrons’ orders get 70%
higher tips.  Mimicry increases liking, trust, and affiliation.  It
deepens social bond and makes people feel a kinship that turns strangers into
friends and acquaintances into allies.
Why is social
influence key to reaching the right customers?
Berger: Word of
mouth is 10x as effective as traditional advertising. People trust it more and
its more targeted.  So, to reach the right customers, we have to turn our
existing customers into advocates. Use social influence to get them to
talk about and share our message and bring new converts in along the way. 
 
How can individuals
harness the power of social influence to make better decisions in their
personal lives?  
Berger: If we
understand how influence works, we can take advantage of its benefits and avoid
its downsides. Following others can provide a useful shortcut that saves
time and effort. If lots of people chose or did something, it’s probably pretty
good. So, others can be a valuable source of information, a heuristic that
simplifies decision making. Other times, however, following others can
lead us astray.  So, simple tricks like considering whether others have
the same preferences as we do can help us avoid going the wrong way.
Have you ever been personally affected by the power of
social influence? What is an example?
Certainly. I was telling lawyer friend of mine from DC about
the book and he was lamenting the effect of social influence on his
colleagues. He said the first thing new lawyers in DC do when they make
partner is go out and buy a BMW.  I said that was interesting, but then
pointed out that he himself was a DC lawyer and drove a BMW. He said yes, but
they all drive grey BMWs. I bought a blue one.
What I love about this story is that it perfectly
encapsulates the tension inherent in social influence.  People often think
being influenced means doing the same thing as others, but it’s more complex
than that.  There’s more than one flavor of influence. Sure, sometimes we
imitate those around us, but we also care about standing out and being
unique.  So, when do we do the same thing as others and when do we do
something different. 
In your book, you
share an experiment about cockroaches and how their behavior changed when they
had an audience.  What insights can you share about how we behave when our
actions are observed?
Berger: It makes
sense that people and animals might work harder when there is a
competition.  If two pigeons are racing to get the last piece of bread, or
two people are competing to win a golf tournament, the desire to achieve the
reward or win the competition might lead people and animals to work harder.
Even the mere presence of others though, can have similar effects. 
Cockroaches, for example, ran faster through a maze when
other cockroaches were watching them, even though those others weren’t directly
competing.  People behave similarly.  The mere fact that someone is
watching us can increase motivation and performance.  But for new or
difficult tasks, others can sometimes have the opposite effect.  Having
someone else in the car when we’re trying to parallel park, for example, makes
it harder for most of us to fit in the spot.  So, whether others presence
helps or hurts depends on the nature of the task.

Q&A with Nielsen’s Chief Research Officer Mainak Mazumbar

In our Insights Interview series, we sit down with insights
executives to discuss the state of insights and where it’s going in the future.
We were fortunate to catch up with Nielsen’s Chief Research Officer Mainak
Mazumbar recently.
Here’s what he had to say:
What is the state of
the media research industry in 2017?
Mazumbar: Acceleration
of fragmentation and digitization of media will continue to create unique
opportunities for the media research industry. 2017 is the year when media
research will deliver massive measurement innovation by incorporating various
data (e.g. mobile devices, set top boxes, over the top, location etc) into the
current measurement methodologies in ways no one ever has before.
What have been the
biggest changes in the industry since you started your career’?
Mazumbar: Decline
in consumer participation in surveys and rapid adoption of mobile devices have
posed methodological and measurement challenges. Researchers have much better
insights into media behavior than before because of digital data. New open
source tools and cloud now allows researcher to deliver measurement at speed
and scale’. New data science talent who are versed both in statistics and
computing.
Have the influx of
social media and mobile made your job easier or harder?
Mazumbar: It’s definitely
easier because social and mobile data now allow us deeper understanding of
media consumption in almost real time. The challenge is how we, as researchers,
develop methodologies addressing both scale and speed.
How has the media
consumer changed in the past few years?
Mazumbar: While
we see continued fragmentation, consumers are spending more time on media than
ever before. I think mobile and new forms of video make a huge difference and
have revolutionized how we consume and interact with media.
How can media
companies do a better job reaching the new age consumer?
Mazumbar: Continue
pushing forward new strategies for mobile and video.
What is the biggest
challenge in the media industry today?
Mazumbar: Three
challenges:
1) It’s all about consumers’ “attention” on
various platforms and devices
2) Get ahead of fraud/ viewability issues and regain
advertiser’s and consumer trust
3) Data protection and privacy
Where do you see
media research moving in 5 years?

Mazumbar: There is an increasing
need for a third party and objective view of consumer behavior. This will
require researchers to develop independent and high quality data sets that
reflect the true behavior of real people — to address biases, limitations and
incompleteness of device level data. And the speed at which clients need to
make business decisions is increasing. Therefore, we need to deliver research
and insights with speed and scale.
Want more expert insights on the market research industry? Attend one
of upcoming 2017 insights events:
Marketing Analytics
& Data Science
April 3-5, 2017
San Francisco, CA
Use code MADS17LI for $100 off.
Buy tickets: https://goo.gl/YqXZdx

TMRE in Focus
May 1-3, 2017
Chicago, IL
Use code FOCUS17LI for $100 off.
Buy tickets: https://goo.gl/c2UdIv

OmniShopper
June 20-22, 2017
Minneapolis, MN
Use code OMNI17LI for $100 off.
Buy tickets: https://goo.gl/oUB85g 

TMRE: The Market
Research Event
October 22-25, 2017
Orlando, FL
Use code TMRE17LI for $100 off

Buy tickets: https://goo.gl/SKtcUv

How the Internet of Things is changing the face of retail

By: Ali Newton

This article was originally published on SmallBusiness.co.uk

There hasn’t been an advancement in retail as drastic as the
IoT revolution since the Industrial Revolution. The Internet of Things (IoT) is
the idea that everyday objects can be connected in the same way that computers
are today. And, with consumer adoption of IoT devices on the rise, now is the
perfect time for retailers to get informed and capitalize on the IoT.
Whether it is to improve their overall customer experience,
or to create new revenue streams, the IoT truly is changing the face of retail.
Here are three ways the IoT could be integrated into every aspect of retail ‘
from store displays, to storage equipment, to the shop floor.
1. Smart shelves
Panasonic is currently developing a product called the Powershelf. These shelves
have built-in sensor technology that keeps track of inventory in real-time,
saving businesses thousands of pounds in paid hours that they could reinvest elsewhere.
However, Powershelves also have the potential to be
extremely useful on shop floors, as they can collect data about shoppers based
on the products that they have chosen. In addition, these shelves give
customers real-time prices that are based on demand. The shelf labels are
wireless and can update prices based on the quantities that are left. The
shelves can also detect when the products are about to go out of date, and
alter the price according to this information too.
Jobs like stock counting, market research and stock
replenishment can take human workers hours. Alternatively, they could be
automatically performed by Powershelves talking to each other via the IoT.
2. In-store beacon tech

In-store beacons were set to become very popular for a
while, but they haven’t quite caught on as previously anticipated. Beacons rely
on customers coming within proximity of a shop, at which point they can be sent
a message or an email to encourage them to come into the store ‘ provided that
the shop already has their contact details.
Still, it’s a solid idea in principle. A ’10 per cent
offer when you buy today’ push notification could be sent to the consumers’
mobiles as an incentive to lure them into a shop if they’re nearby.
The issue with beacon technology is that it relies on Bluetooth,
which many consumers don’t have switched on as it is known to drain battery
power. In addition, customers usually need to have the brand’s app downloaded
too. This places several obstacles in the way of the retailer before it can
contact the customer directly.
Despite these obstacles, many brands are using proximity marketing to help drive their retail sales.
3. Smart shopping carts and cashless stores
IoT is a powerful tool for brick and mortar shops to compete
with eCommerce stores that are taking over the retail world. Walmart recently
began to develop shopping carts that can drive themselves to help customers
find their way around its shops. It is also working on a technology that allows
customers to order online and get their shopping delivered by a driverless cart
directly to their car, or Uber, in the car park.
Similarly, Amazon’s Seattle shop has no checkouts. Customers
simply enter the shop, pick up the items they need off the store display, and
leave. Sensors around the shop record the items that customers pick up,
removing the need for them to check out.
Whether or not any of these ideas will become an integral
part of retail’s future remains to be seen. Predicting the future is always
difficult and businesses and individuals are right to be skeptical of anyone
telling them that the future is going to be radically different because of the
IoT.

However, just because people should be skeptical about the
idea that the IoT may change retail entirely, it doesn’t mean that they should
write the idea off altogether. One IoT development is unlikely to change retail
on its own, but as more of these technologies enter the market and they become
more affordable, a greater impact will begin to be seen throughout retail.

Is Amazon in the Room?

By: Laura Sigman

This post was
originally published on the LightSpeed Research blog.

On a recent
earnings call
, Sir Martin Sorrell, CEO of Lightspeed’s parent company WPP, talked
about what keeps him up at night. And no; it’s not (necessarily) his infant
daughter ‘ it’s Amazon.
‘And I would just mention the rise of Amazon, because in
answer to the question, my favorite question is what worries you when you go to
bed at night and when you wake up in the morning. It’s not a three-month-old
child (laughter), it’s Amazon, which is a child still, but not three months.
And Amazon’s penetration of most areas is frightening, if not terrifying to
some, and I think there is a battle brewing between Google and Amazon.’
The fear mostly seems to be of the unknown, as Amazon is
thought to be quietly
pursuing an advertising strategy
 carefully away from the watchful eyes
of Wall
Street
.
Is Amazon really committed? They are by pure virtue of their
strategically evolving business model. By being among the first big players on
the e-commerce scene, they cemented their early adapter consumers to them.
They’ve grown a multimedia offer around their core competency, and now Amazon
knows not only what we read, but what we search for, what we buy, what we
watch, what we listen to. I’m an Amazon Prime customer, and I take advantage of
all of the bells and whistles that come along with it. So they know what
content I’m engaging with, and whether I’m connecting to the content from my
PC, smartphone, tablet or Alexa. And they can leverage this vast supply of
shopper and behavioral data to sell hyper-targeted advertising to brands who
can then speak directly to me.
When you look at it like that, it’s really not much
different than how we’ve worked in the panel world. Historically, we have facilitated
the conversations brands have with consumers, and have evolved by taking
advantage of emerging technologies to help amplify those conversations. And,
like Amazon, we grew our business by embracing early on that panelists
(consumers) are people, too. 
(Believe it or not, it’s not as obvious to
everyone as that sounds!) Today’s consumers want to have meaningful
interactions, but they also want to have them when and where is convenient to
them. So we meet them on their devices of choice; we always design surveys
mobile-first (in fact, Lightspeed has an
entire team dedicated to this
) and we use
data appends
 to reach the right consumer with the right questions. We
invite survey respondents to answer open-ends with video
responses
 ‘ an engaging experience for them resulting in more
meaningful data for brands to act on. We’re able to blur the line between quant
and qual, intercepting surveys with invites to participate in deeper, on-point
conversations. And brands can leverage all of this to create hyper-targeted
advertising that speaks directly to their consumers. Which ties back to that
Amazon example I shared above.
As Kantar pointed out at their FragmentNation
event
, the marketplace is splintering — not with a whimper but with a
bang. So while the ad world should fear the Amazon in the room, it should also
embrace it. It’s an eye-opening reminder that consumers are advertising’s most
valuable assets in a marketplace that is more diverse and fragmented than ever.