ZURICH: Kraft, the food company, is using a range of new tools and techniques as it seeks to secure meaningful insights about its target audience across Europe.

Speaking to Marketing Week, Daryl Fielding, vice president for marketing at Kraft's European unit - now falling under the remit of the firm's recently-unveiled global snacks arm - revealed it is pursuing a modified research strategy.

"We look at deep cultural insights, which is what we are doing for all our brands as part of our new marketing framework," she said.

An example of this is ethnographic analysis undertaken on behalf of Milka chocolate, watching shoppers in France, Germany, Poland, Russia and Serbia in the everyday context rather than simply interviewing them.

Fielding said: "If you look deeply at people there are many similarities. That is an absolute requirement - if you are ever going to do decent global communications, you have to find the deep human stuff."

More broadly, Kraft has built digital systems to monitor the "customer journey", drawing on data from sales figures, on-pack and in-store marketing materials, brand awareness metrics and wider information regarding the purchase process.

"This is a piece of software in which you input data or priorities based on the collective wisdom of the team and it helps prioritise channel or media investment," Fielding said.

"This tool and thinking will enable you to understand where is the priority for the brand at that particularly point in its cycle and where you should most readily deploy your investment."

When applied to Kraft's Tassimo coffee machine, this demonstrated a clear, linear path of first buying the product, then learning how it works, before making repeat purchases of sachets of tea, coffee and hot chocolate.

Milka has similarly been assesses using this technology, while Lu, a premium biscuit brand in France, and Trident gum are undergoing parallel research at present.

"Advocacy is also a part of it. Really understanding how the consumer makes that journey has created some very different investment decisions around media channels," said Fielding.

"We now recognise the importance of some channels over others that we hadn't identified before having this approach. This tool allows us to understand where we should most readily deploy investment."

Data sourced from Marketing Week; additional content by Warc staff