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Information Resources, Inc. (IRI) has unveiled a host of new market research tools aimed at helping retailers and CPG companies to better connect with their consumers, develop deeper insights into shopper behaviors and more effectively drive customer relationship marketing programs during its recent event, “Summit 2009: Reinventing CPG and Retail Conference,” held at the Wynn Las Vegas this week.
Voice of the Consumer
With its new ConsumerVoice platform, Chicago-based IRI can create custom, proprietary online communities and forums that enable CPG marketers to directly interact with their consumers on a continuous basis. The platform enables users to address business issues around equity across the category, brand and store; customer satisfaction; new product concepts; pricing and promotion strategies; in-store shopping patterns; and shelf planograming via virtual shopping and other capabilities.
The platform is a direct extension of IRI’s Consumer Network; the new online communities and forums are used in conjunction with IRI’s longitudinal panel to deliver integrated insights to clients and address key business issues.
“Historically, clients have been unable to integrate the qualitative insights provided through online consumer and shopper insights with the actual behavioral metrics obtained from longitudinal consumer purchase panels,” says IRI Consumer and Shopper Insights president Robert I. Tomei. “The result has been an incomplete understanding of the impact of key marketing and sales programs on actual purchase behavior [m] the true measurement of return on investment (ROI). Through ConsumerVoice, manufacturers and retailers now have a platform to perform this integration and, perhaps more importantly, begin to develop marketing programs directly tied to the customer insights they collect.”
The new tool is designed to integrate across all types of consumer and shopper insight platforms. In many cases, these communities can be built from a manufacturer’s internal customer relationship management (CRM) databases or a retailer’s frequent shopper programs.
One component of ConsumerVoice is the creation of proprietary consumer and shopper samples developed to specifically address a manufacturer’s or retailer’s specific needs, says IRI. The insights collected include qualitative research, segmentation studies, advertising and promotional tracking, concept and copy testing, need state analytics, and insights into shopping and purchase behavior.
Take Advantage of the Situation
IRI has also launched its new Advantage portfolio of business applications — powered by IRI Liquid Data — to provide on-the-fly intelligence on consumer and shopper insights; brand, market and category performance; and shopper loyalty across the enterprise.
“IRI’s Advantage Portfolio empowers today’s leading consumer packaged goods (CPG), retail and health care companies to fundamentally change the way decisions are made,” said John Freeland, president and CEO of IRI. “These applications provide immediate access to strategic information and insights that leverage fully integrated data assets, redesigned workflows, advanced analytics and the ability to predict the success of future decisions and initiatives to stay ahead of the competition.”
According to IRI, the application provides CPG companies with the flexibility to integrate entire suites of applications at one time or to add specific targeted applications over time. The IRI Advantage Portfolio consists of new and enhanced enabling technologies powered by IRI Liquid Data, including:
• IRI Shopper Insights Advantage combines content, such as built-in scorecards and best-practice analysis templates, with the speed, power and flexibility to identify opportunities to attract shoppers, drive trips and increase basket value.
• IRI Health & Wellness Advantage contains measurement information pertaining to more than 100 “claim” statements and nutrition panel facts and ingredients to optimize market positioning by helping manufacturers and retailers better understand health-and-wellness messaging and benefits that resonate with consumers. The application was designed to deliver insights for the entire edible section, segmenting departments and categories by product attribute and by health-and-wellness function.
• IRI Sales Advantage leverages the power of total store data to create insights into strategy, retailer performance and overall go-to-market behavior through the lens of retail partners, competitors and consumers. Results are driven by automated workflows, scorecards and best practices that are customized to specific needs. Supported by IRI’s consulting services and change management expertise, IRI Sales Advantage is designed to harness and identify new growth opportunities for sales teams of all sizes.
• IRI Total Store Advantage includes a fully integrated database of all edibles and nonedibles in the CPG industry, organized by department, aisle and category. The depth and breadth of the information, combined with flexible, interactive reporting, empowers users to enhance and differentiate their marketing efforts with an unparalleled view of the total marketplace.
• IRI Enterprise Advantage enables companies to view the market holistically by presenting fully customized views of the marketplace and the potential to align key data sources, including point of sale, IRI Consumer Network, media and audit. Unique insights down to the store level translate into competitive advantage, such as shorter cycle times, faster response to issues, more finely tuned messaging and an incremental return on investment (ROI) on current spending.
• IRI Loyalty Advantage leverages transactional and loyalty data to drive better retail decision-making through a collaborative analytical process with vendor partners. The portfolio helps manufacturers and retailers better understand the behavior of retailers’ most loyal shoppers to drive business results and successful collaborative partnerships.
IRI developed its Shopper Marketing Suite and supporting services to bring together data and insights from disparate sources to provide an increased depth of insight.
“Today’s retailers require fast and insightful answers to a host of questions about their shoppers, such as who they are, what they buy, why they buy a particular category or brand, how loyal they are to an individual retailer, and many more,” says Tomei. “There is a massive untapped opportunity to help retailers understand and improve shopper loyalty and shopper marketing activities. We are committed to delivering the full complement of capabilities required to solve these critical business issues.”
The Shopper Marketing Suite was created to help retailers and manufacturers define and implement enhanced shopper strategies using an integrated segmentation framework that is customized for each retailer’s business and is delivered via user-friendly platforms for sharing insights across the entire organization and trusted vendor partners.
The suite addresses the following areas:
• Customer segmentation
• Trip missions and opportunity
• Store clustering
• Localized assortment
• Localized pricing
• Shopper promotion
“The economy is forcing retailers to totally rethink the way they address the needs of their most important shoppers and focus on the ‘zero moment of truth,’ which is the moment at home when the shopper is reviewing the weekly ad insert, making their list and, for once in their life, sticking to it,” said IRI global retail president Tom Peterson. “It’s a completely new game now. Retailers that understand the new rules and concentrate on delivering a new shopping experience — one that is rewarding on what truly matters to their loyal shoppers today — have the opportunity to reset the rules of competition and win.”