KS&R Blogs



Welcome to the 4th post in my blog series! Last week I talked about an innovative approach that allows you to catch your customers' in-the-moment reactions as they enter a specified location -- geo-fencing. This week I'll discuss another agile methodology -- shopper path insights.

As a researcher, how many times have you been challenged to deliver "better, faster, cheaper" results? I've probably heard this saying a hundred times over the last 25 years. My typical response is that I can give you two of the three, but all three requires too many compromises.

There are instances where we have been able to make "better, faster, cheaper" work, particularly with clients looking to capture shopper path insights across multiple product categories or multiple markets. In these situations, the business team does not want to pay for a new custom project every time research is needed.

How do we make this work?

  • First, we change the way we talk about shopper path research. These are no longer stand-alone projects. Instead, they are now programs that encompass all shopper path research corporately.
  • We then break down the shopper's path into blocks or modules of typically asked questions. These modules reflect such question areas as brand awareness and equity, retailer choice, path to purchase, purchase drivers, product factor importance, profiling, etc. By breaking down the questions in this way, we create a standardized survey that is consistent across all categories tested.
  • We recognize that there is a layer of customization that is sometimes essential in order to capture the category's unique requirements. For those programs, we allow for that, but limit the scale and scope of customization to 20% of the survey questions asked.
  • A manageable sample size is another key to success. Completing a couple of hundred interviews is much more manageable quickly than completing thousands. Moreover, we assume high incidence consumers or customer lists for sampling.
  • The deliverables are consistent across studies with minimum customization. In other words, every report in the program has a consistent look, feel and approach when communicating the learnings.
  • Turnaround is fast. There are situations when we deliver results within 48 hours of survey approval. This is not the typical outcome, but demonstrates the speed with which we can move. The level of survey customization and respondent incidence dictates speed.
  • And finally, no advanced analytics are conducted. By design, advanced analyses often drive both cost and time. In cases where such analyses may be helpful, we handle them on an ad hoc basis.

These shopper path programs are up and running in a matter of 1-2 months, with agreed upon survey modules, reporting and 2-3 pilot programs completed. KS&R has conducted hundreds of these studies across multiple clients who truly find these programs better, faster and cheaper than a more customized approach to shopper path insights. Another good example of how agile KS&R has become.

That completes my series on Becoming Agile. In summary, none of us have a crystal ball to help us see the future. We can, however, be agile enough to move quickly and easily once we recognize what we need to do. Design thinking, geo-fencing, and shopper path insights are 3 ways that KS&R has proven becoming agile is the secret to long-term success. How can we transform the way your organization answers key business questions? Contact me to find out.

Miss a prior blog? Don't worry -- it will only take a couple of minutes to catch up! Read them here.

Jay Scott

Jay Scott

Jay answers the tough questions. He believes better information leads to better understanding, and his clients come back because they trust him to get it right. He is an innovator, looking for new ways to expand the research toolbox, whether by technology or methodology. With a broad understanding of qualitative, quantitative and design techniques, Jay is passionate about identifying business opportunities, creating new products and services, and bringing them to market. This dates back nearly 30 years when he led research that extended the product mix for key CPG brands. The lessons learned are now applied more frequently in B2B situations, including answering tough questions in e-commerce, global transportation, supply chain and logistics. Jay holds a Master's of Marketing Research (MMR) from the University of Georgia. When not at work, you can often find Jay watching his daughter's soccer games or sneaking out of town to catch the Atlanta Braves.