The unique approach a charcoal brand used to fire up tasty claims

By Bill Salokar on May 07, 2019

Launching a premium product means convincing consumers to trade up, without driving them to the competition.

This is the exact challenge faced by the Global Insights Manager at a best-selling charcoal brand as she prepared to launch two new premium products.

The brand offers various charcoal products and sauces which have been synonymous with American BBQs for decades. As consumer grilling tastes have evolved, the brand recognized there were unmet needs among the most enthusiastic grilling aficionados. The result was the development of new premium products. However, this innovation posed its own set of marketing challenges. The original product remained popular; the brand couldn’t risk putting claims on the premium packaging that would negatively impact its baseline product.

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How Kellogg's built a global insights platform for claims tests

By Mike Mabey on April 17, 2019

From a single corn flake to a global presence, Kellogg’s has been fueling better days for more than a century. Today, the food-manufacturing giant markets 24 brands, in 180 countries. The sheer size of Kellogg’s, coupled with today’s changing insights environment, created a daunting challenge for the company’s global insights team last year.

How could they decrease turnaround times for claims research, standardize approaches for comparability of results, while extracting better insights and decreasing costs all at the same time?

At Quirks Event Chicago, Kellogg’s Category Strategy and Global Brand Insight Lead, Sebastian Schuliaquer, revealed how he tackled this dilemma and, in turn, is improving future claims generation and testing, thanks to SKIM’s global Insights Ecosystem platform. Remy Denton, Director of Research, shared

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Achieving big impact with small HCP samples

By Daisy Lau on April 02, 2019

How to unlock the numbers in niche indications by using Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis

If you’re in a highly specialized area, such as MedTech or rare diseases, you’ll be only too familiar with the challenges of working with small sample sizes. Qualitative insights are important but when go/no go decisions are at stake, you may need a more data-driven approach. But, how can you obtain robust market data for decision-making when your target population and treating physicians are limited?

Having worked with leading pharma companies over the years, our team recognizes the issues that small samples present. Since we never want to sacrifice analytical rigor, especially when key milestones in product development are involved, we realized this was a dilemma we wanted to tackle. Always keen to explore (and validate) new research techniques, we’re recommending a creative approach that addresses small HCP samples and delivers big value. Here, I’ll explain how leveraging a little used tool in pharma market research – Multi-Criteria Decision Analysis (MCDA) – can reap a big impact. 

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How Constellation Brands is overcoming mobile shopping challenges in the alcohol category

By Nicole Gardere on March 15, 2019

What you missed from Quirks Brooklyn 'BYOB (Build your online brand)' session

“How many of you have purchased alcohol online? What about groceries?” This is how Lisa Caro, Director of Insights & Analytics for Emerging Opportunities, Constellation Brands, kicked off her remarks to a room full of insights professionals at The Quirk’s Event in Brooklyn. The responses to those two questions reflect the challenges and opportunities that alcohol brands face in eCommerce.

In the ‘BYOB: Build Your Online Brand” session, Lisa, along with my eCommerce colleagues, Mike Mabey and Elizabeth Kadrich, shared how we helped Constellation Brands in its eCommerce journey.

Since mobile accounts for the majority of online alcohol purchases, Constellation Brands wanted to help these consumers find exactly what they were looking for more easily, while also helping retailers advance the alcohol category online.

Since I was lucky enough to have a front row seat for their session (no samples!), I’m sharing how this

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How pricing research is helping FMCG brands fight inflation in developing countries

By Robin de Rooij on February 25, 2019

When inflation hits, your pricing strategy inevitably feels the pressure. On the one hand, raising product prices will protect margins. On the other, you can’t risk pricing yourself out of the market. When consumers feel this pressure, their spending habits are likely to change, especially in developing countries and high-inflation regions.

In Asia, the introduction of a sugar tax aimed at improving public health has added extra tension, affecting FMCG brands - from raw materials to the point of sale. For instance, in the Philippines, the sugar tax now mandates a tax of PHP10/ USD 20 cents per liter of sugar-sweetened beverages such as juices and soft drinks. The rate will increase by 4% each year, with other countries, including Thailand, Vietnam and Malaysia, phasing in a similar tax over the next five years.

So how do you set prices in different countries when market changes like inflation and regulatory developments hit?

Taking the guesswork out of your pricing strategy is the first step to protecting your revenue. How well

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Why it's time to optimize your approach to brand trackers

By Giacomo Sartori on February 20, 2019

Explore a driver analysis solution for analyzing stated and unstated factors

Tracking studies provide extensive information on brand perceptions over time. They play an important role in understanding what influences consumers and professionals to make decisions. However, as these groups become more empowered and have more choices to consider, your approach to brand trackers needs to evolve as well.

Unfortunately, current research methods used to measure brand health don’t uncover what causes perceptions to change. Only by unlocking these specific insights can you truly understand what drives value in your market. Armed with the brand drivers, you can focus on the marketing strategies needed to optimize your brand perception.

We recommend brand driver analysis to gain these important insights. Here are some of the reasons

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Optimizing subscription pricing with a new approach to segmentation research

By Wessel Roose on February 06, 2019

Today’s subscription economy not only presents consumers with more choices, but also more personalized experiences. For telecom, tech and online brands these heightened expectations place even greater pressure on maximizing the revenue per user.

Whereas in the past you could position your products and services based on traditional demographic insights, those rules no longer apply today -- especially when it comes to pricing.

If you want to uncover why consumers are attracted to your brand, the value they get from it and the price they’re willing to pay, you should consider a needs-based segmentation approach to pricing research.

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How a subscription meal-kit company plans successful recipes each week

By Nikki Smathers on January 08, 2019

Cooking up consumer insights for the creative masterminds

Consumers around the world are eating up the convenience, choice and personalization that online meal-kit delivery services offer. Today subscription boxes offer a variety of options for online shoppers and a host of challenges for brands. To stay ahead in this competitive online space, you must delight your customers with every box that hits their doorstep. But what type of consumer insights are needed to inform the creative masterminds behind what goes in that box every week or month?

We recently set out to help a leading meal-kit delivery company answer just that. 

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How online leader funda’s subscription pricing will help steady revenue stream

By Wessel Roose on December 17, 2018

Using a subscription pricing model to lay stable foundations

Funda is the top online real estate platform in the Netherlands and one of the largest in Europe. It’s been described as the “Amazon of houses” in its homeland, because it’s said that almost every house that’s sold in the country will have been advertised on its platform first.

The online leader generates revenue by charging realtors to promote residential and commercial inventory on its platform. When there are more homes than buyers, properties are advertised longer and funda sees revenue soar. However, when the market is booming, properties sell quickly, listings come and go on the platform, and revenues dip.

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Introducing the Habitual-Deliberate Loop of consumer decision behavior

By Christina Liao on November 26, 2018

How a new view on the purchase decision spectrum can drive better market research outcomes

I recently got in a taxi cab with a few colleagues and we were so engaged in conversation that we didn’t realize we weren’t moving until the driver asked: “So, where are you headed?” As heavy Uber customers, all of us were in the habit of not specifying a destination verbally since the app conveys all the pertinent details to the driver. We assumed that upon entering the car, the driver should know where to go!

On that taxi ride, we reflected how consumer behavior, and our habits, changed so drastically in a few short years thanks to new technology. Uber disrupted consumers’ traditional routine (hailing a taxi on the street) to form a new habit (grabbing your smartphone to “call” one). What started out as a deliberate new choice to use a rideshare app, quickly turned into an automatic, or habitual, behavior.

This scenario perfectly illustrates our view of the consumer decision behavior spectrum: The Habitual-Deliberate Decision Loop. Disruption of consumer behavior seems to be happening at a faster and 

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(Infographic) Voice Tech Trends in US, UK and Germany

By Cori Deutsch on November 15, 2018

With the increased adoption of voice technology, smart speakers and digital assistants, there’s no denying that Alexa, Siri and Google Home are changing consumer behavior. However, to what extent? Are consumers simply curious about these devices? Are their purchase decisions being guided by AI?  Will purchase trials shift to new shopping habits? 

As decision behavior experts, we set out to examine these questions by conducting research on consumer attitudes and adoption of voice technology in the U.S., U.K. and Germany (the markets the technology manufacturers have focused on). This infographic previews some of the research highlights.

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e-Commerce experts share advice for brands adapting to AI

By Julia Görnandt on October 02, 2018

Key takeaways on voice and digital assistants from ESOMAR Congress 2018

Artificial Intelligence, voice and digital assistants were all the buzz at ESOMAR Congress 2018. The promise is that when these technologies come together in digital personal assistants, they’ll make our lives easier, remove our “choice stress” and will become our trusted advisors. Sign me up! But, how will voice technology affect consumer behavior and how will brands tackle this new decision environment?

Our recent voice trends research included qualitative interviews with digital and eCommerce experts on this very topic. At ESOMAR, some of these respondents participated in our “Brands on Fire – How to adapt to the new market reality of AI platforms” panel. Danone, Wehkamp, Beiersdorf, Ericsson and SKIM had a lively discussion on the digital implications of AI for brands, marketers and insight professionals. I, along with Yasemin Ozdemir, had the honor to moderate the panel. Here’s what you missed and need to know.

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“Hallo Google, Alexa, Magenta: How's voice changing German consumer behavior?”

By Julia Görnandt on September 18, 2018

Voice technology and Artificial Intelligence were all the buzz at IFA, Germany’s largest consumer electronics show in September. Established players launched new products in Europe and there were a few surprise offerings from new market entrants.

Google introduced its premium smart speaker -the Google Home Max- here in Germany, along with a bilingual voice assistant feature that responds to queries in English and German interchangeably. And telecom giant Deutsche Telekom introduced plans for its own smart speaker activated with the magic words “Hallo Magenta." This introduction is the first smart speaker coming from a German company and includes Amazon’s voice assistant “Alexa” too.

As I was setting up our new office in the heart of Berlin, I reflected on how much technology has disrupted consumer behavior from the time I grew up here. Is Voice all hype in Germany? How and will German consumers embrace these AI technologies? What are the implications for brands? 

My team and I recently set out to answer these questions in Germany, and also in the US and UK. We explored Voice technology usage and awareness from the consumer and brand perspective. 

Here I’m sharing the Germany insights, which we unveiled at ESOMAR Congress 2018 in Berlin.

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Why it’s time to get emotional about the patient journey

By Adriënne Hoevers – den Hollander on September 10, 2018

Analyze patient needs to maximize your impact on treatment success

Emotions affect our behavior, what we do and how we do it. In the same way, as patients grow more influential, their emotions also affect decisions about their care and satisfaction with treatment. Yet patient research shows, particularly in the case of chronic conditions, that many of their emotional needs remain unmet. Frustration with progress, stress from the burden of taking more medication, or a sense of isolation are common, making them less likely to commit to their treatment or gain the maximum benefit. All of which could be bad news for your brand.

The good news is a new, holistic approach to decision mapping. We recommend a framework that recognizes the importance of patient emotions. One that moves beyond the clinical treatment path to the states they themselves have defined through the lens of their own needs. Here we explain patient’s various emotional states and offer practical tips on how to enable healthcare professionals to support patient needs. 

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Cracking the case of mobile-friendly conjoint surveys

By Joost van Ruitenburg on July 16, 2018

Originally designed for the desktop environment, conjoint research on mobile requires a more innovative approach

Ensuring your market research survey is mobile-friendly is no longer a “nice-to-have” for insights professionals. With more survey respondents opting for smartphones and tablets over computers, this requirement poses an ever greater challenge for conjoint analysis.

Conjoint is the go-to methodology for measuring customer preference for product features, to determine how pricing changes affect product demand and to forecast likely acceptance of new innovations. However, it was originally designed for desktop and doesn’t marry well with the smaller screen sizes and shorter attention spans of today’s mobile respondents.

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New considerations for mapping today’s physician journey

By Robert Dossin on July 03, 2018

Conventional research approaches to understanding prescribing behavior lack the insights required today

A physician's decision - or reluctance - to prescribe your drug over the competition has long been influenced by a number of factors, such as clinical efficacy, sales rep touchpoints, marketing materials etc. However, the proliferation of online medical information, social media referrals and wellness apps have added more considerations to the mix as patients take more control over their health. Now physicians, and other healthcare professionals, are assuming more of a “listener” role during consultations vs. solely the “adviser” role.

This shift in interaction between prescriber and patient, coupled with mounting time and cost pressure from the payers, places more importance than ever on accurately understanding why and when physicians make their prescribing decisions.

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Top Takeaways from SKIMspiration Europe 2018

By Mini Kalivianakis on June 29, 2018

Robots, tech trends and market research innovations take center stage in Rotterdam

Summer in the Netherlands not only blooms tulips, but also inspiration for marketing and market research executives at our annual SKIMspiration event. On June 21st, we opened our headquarter doors to clients and industry peers from leading companies across the Benelux region, such as Unilever, Roche, IKEA, and Aegon. Attendees, ranging from brand marketing and shopper insights managers to net revenue management and healthcare professionals, all joined us to learn how to Drive Digital Success. 

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3 Tips to Optimize Your Voice Commerce Strategy

By Ana Martin on June 08, 2018

“Alexa: do you remember the last consumer tech “must-have product” to hit the shelves?”

According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), it was the iPhone (2007) and iPad (2012). And now voice-controlled smart speakers, like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, have achieved that coveted status. CTA predicts 56.6 million smart speakers will be sold in the US next year; two years ago that number was just 7.2 million!.

Voice technology is set to fundamentally change the environment in which consumers make decisions, and who (or what) influences that decision. To stay ahead of the competition, brands will need to exhaust every opportunity to optimize their position in this new “4th sales channel” of voice commerce. 

Do you know how voice searches for your product category begin?

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Adaptiveness could be the key to predicting consumer preferences

By Jeroen Hardon on April 30, 2018

As telecom and technology markets are continually disrupted, our approach to their specific market research challenges needs to evolve with them.

What are you to do when you’re facing intense price competition, losing volume to the competition or launching new product innovations? Today’s digital consumers have more telecom and technology product options than ever before. For marketers in these industries, historical data will only take you so far when optimizing your product portfolio.

And the challenge only becomes more complex when you consider how today’s empowered consumers make purchase decisions differently than they did just a short time ago.

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The Long and Short of PepsiCo’s Promotion Strategy

By Maureen Arink on April 16, 2018

Discover the approach PepsiCo Benelux took to optimize the immediate and long-term impact of its promotions.

While short-term impacts on cash flow are often front of mind for the fast-moving consumer goods industry, after-sales dips and other aspects of sales recovery can prove detrimental to a brand’s financial health in the long run. Shopper insights managers looking to develop a promotions strategy with sustainable impact on sales and revenue growth, must be equipped with market research insights that address both the short-term and long-term impact of promotions.

This was the challenge PepsiCo Benelux faced with its savoury snacks, nuts and cereals categories, all of which are under constant pressure from competition.

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AI: Friend or Foe? 5 Tips to Add Automation to Market Research

By Samantha Bond on March 12, 2018

Getting Started with AI: Speed + Quality

From Uber’s self-driving cars to Amazon’s warehouse robots, artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be reaching human-level dexterity nearly everywhere. You might be wondering like us: how are brands actually taking advantage of next-gen automation innovation in market research today? Can artificial intelligence identify better insights cheaper? Will computers and robots render human researchers useless? As market researchers, who also happen to be human beings, we’ve been exploring many of the same questions!

Danone, one of the world’s leading food companies, recently sought to understand consumer consumption drivers for a new product category. 

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Unilever shares journey with SKIM on mobile ready hero image design

By Scott Garrison on March 05, 2018

eCommerce success in the consumer goods category doesn’t happen overnight — it’s a journey

Defining a set of marketing guidelines that drive a measurable increase in sales is an incredible feat, never mind doing so for 2.5 billion smartphone users across the globe.

Yet that’s exactly what our client, and consumer goods giant, Unilever is tackling with the challenge of developing a consistent and cohesive set of mobile ready hero image guidelines for all brands, in all countries to follow with all retailers. When co-presenting with us at the OmniShopper International Conference, Oli Bradley, Unilever’s global e-commerce experience design director, shared details on his eCommerce journey. Here’s what we learned:

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(Infographic) Brand Strategy Considerations for Voice Technology

By Cori Deutsch on February 27, 2018

The increased adoption of voice assistants is forcing many of our clients in the consumer goods category to ask, "Alexa, how are you affecting consumer decision behavior?" From search through the path to purchase, the implications of voice-enabled technology are far reaching for brands. Now recognized as the “fourth sales channel,” voice tech represents an evolving channel, requiring new insights. You know you want to gain consumer preference in this lane, but what questions should you ask?

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Driving successful CPG omnichannel strategies with the right customer journey framework

By Alex Zhu on February 20, 2018

Remind yourself why the right customer decision journey framework matters—and which one you should be using.

Today’s consumer path to purchase has evolved a great deal. To succeed in the omnichannel world, you can't afford to rely on outdated assumptions regarding your consumer’s decision journey.

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SKIM Expert Q&A: What you need to know about Customer Journey mapping

By Dhika Democrat on August 31, 2017

Every customer’s decision journey is unique, especially in an omnichannel world.  Customer journey mapping allows marketers to understand the different stages customers go through before, during, and after purchase. It also examines how to influence customers at the various stages of their journey.

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6 Learnings from OmniShopper Conference 2017

By Alex Zhu on July 21, 2017

It was my first time to attend OmniShopper Conference and I was fortunate to present with Tara Colalillo and Nikki Smathers on Disrupting the Habitual Consumer Decision Journey. There were many great learnings from the conference, but I'd like to share my top six here: from omnichannel customer experience to the future of eCommerce:

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4 Mapping Frameworks for Customer Decision Journeys

By Alex Zhu on May 20, 2017

Whether you’re a CPG brand manager or a B2B marketer, your customer’s decision journeys are complex, dynamic, and easily disrupted by new options and inputs – online and offline. Today’s omnichannel world has created a new path to purchase for consumers, business professionals, and healthcare decision makers. Their decision journey is influenced by technology and media that didn’t even exist a few years ago, but do you know how, where, and when?

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Why marketing should take back ownership of pricing

By Oskar Toerneld on March 19, 2017

Setting the right price is one of the best ways to positively impact a company’s bottom line. Yet, price-setting is not always top-of-mind nor owned by a single department within a company. This holds true across industries, whether it is consumer goods, healthcare, telecom, finance or technology. Sometimes Marketing takes responsibility for pricing, while other times Finance takes on the task. Often, we find that there exists no pricing strategy at all in companies, and thus, no clear ownership of pricing responsibility.

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The future of roaming in the EU

By Wessel Roose on February 17, 2016

On October 27th, the European Parliament voted in favor of a proposal on net neutrality. As part of this proposal, it was also decided that roaming costs within EU territory will be abolished, starting June 1, 2017. This does not concern all roaming, but “roaming within the range of normal usage”. It isn’t yet quite clear how normal usage is defined, and we have to wait until the end of this year to find out.

Topics: Telecom
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The promotion paradox

By Maureen Arink on October 19, 2015

Offering price discounts on consumer goods seems to be a quick answer to tough competition and to consumers who are more demanding and price sensitive these days. Many times our clients ask us which promotion strategy is most effective in driving share. However, the answer for short term sales boost is different from the one that maintains your brand’s financial health. Let us explain in this article what type of promotion offers the best long term effect.

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Customer Insights in the year 2020

By Dirk Huisman on June 09, 2014

Join us on a journey into the future, where even 5 years from now, many of today’s challenges of insights specialists will no longer be challenges. But, how will we evolve?

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Move it already! What is holding your potential customers back?

By Wessel Roose on November 29, 2012

In many service markets - like telecom, energy and finance - consumers do not switch providers very often and service providers are having trouble activating these potential customers. Even though some consumers might want to switch due to an interesting offer from a new provider, often they still don't act.

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Understanding sales promotions

By Oskar Toerneld on August 28, 2011

During harsh economic environments, companies have to make deliberate choices on how to invest marketing budgets to optimize profits. Especially in the competitive FMCG industry promotions are often used as a tool to increase sales. However, what is the most effective type of promotion? And what are the implications of these promotions on your overall product portfolio revenues?

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MaxDiff - What's the score?

By Jeroen Hardon on July 02, 2011

Have you come across the situation where many items (descriptions, statements or concepts) had to be put in preference order? Ranking and rating type questions are often used in these situations, although the last few years MaxDiff has been gaining more attention as a good alternative.

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From Rx to OTC drugs: Challenges for marketing and market research

By Robert Dossin on May 05, 2011

In light of increasing patent expiration rates, a switch from Rx to OTC proves to be a successful counter-strategy against generic erosion. As a result, marketers face challenges entering a new competitive environment. Our Consumer Health team has valuable experience in bridging the knowledge gap between healthcare and consumer markets to facilitate your decision making process.

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