Spot on Market Research, 2nd Edition


Spot On Market Research

January 10, 2018 


Ken Sonenclar, Oaklins’ market research specialist, is pleased to share some high-level industry intelligence in this edition of Spot On.

“Technology is transforming the field of shopper marketing. Long a slow-moving, reactive segment of market research, the infusion of new algorithms, sensors and databases, plus a bottomless well of cheap computing power, has brought shopper marketing alive. As the article below, written by my colleague John Matthews, observes, shopper marketing is now a dynamic, in-the-moment activity, in which data is gathered and analyzed quickly enough to influence behavior before a shopper can click to a new site or walk to the next aisle.

“In a similar vein, a recent visit to Seattle, home to Amazon, Microsoft and countless tech innovators that orbit those twin suns, introduced us to a small but significant company disrupting both focus groups and insight communities. What is interesting (and depressing for long-time market research practitioners) is that the founder has no background in the sector. Rather, he was – and is – an engineer who simply recognized an everyday problem facing marketers: how difficult, time-consuming and expensive it is to engage real consumers in a two way dialog. The result is the pop-up-store version of a focus group, enabled by cheap bandwidth, an intuitive user interface and a clever business model. Does this offering replace big, expensive, battle-tested and methodologically pure focus groups and insight communities? No. But it does the job well enough in enough instances that the company is growing faster monthly than most market research companies grow in a year. It is also taking market share from other players who can react in only three ways: ignore it, mimic it or buy it.”


Shopper-marketing research is a branch of consumer market research that helps retailers and Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brands better understand shopper cohorts while targeting individual shoppers more accurately.

Traditionally, shopper marketing combined consumer insights gained from consumer surveys and customer data, including purchase histories captured and managed in CRM databases. That data was used to segment and target shoppers with more personalized advertising and off ers. Catalogue merchants (precursors of today’s online shopping websites) and grocery chains such as Tesco in the UK pioneered these early shopper-marketing methods.

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