Procter & Gamble, the FMCG giant, is using an “eyes on the consumer, hands on the keyboard” approach to understanding its target audience, meaning it can tap into a wide variety of research techniques for this purpose.

Kirti Singh, Procter & Gamble’s chief analytics and insights officer, discussed this subject at the Association of National Advertisers’ (ANA) 2018 Data and Measurement Conference.

“P&G developed the concept of market research in 1924,” he said. (For more, read WARC’s in-depth report: How P&G’s “eyes on the consumer” insights drive product (and advertising) innovation.)

“What we do hasn’t changed all that much. But what has changed – what we are completely transforming – is how we go about doing that. We have embraced new ways to get close to our consumers and do more ourselves.”

And the evolving research model for the owner of Pampers, Tide and Charmin can most neatly be summarised with the expression “eyes on the consumer, hands on the keyboard,” Singh said.

When it comes to having “eyes on the consumer”, P&G’s research programs look well beyond focus groups and surveys that allow brands to assess reported behaviour by “observing and listening” too.

“For years,” Singh explained, “the analytics-and-insights industry has focused on asking consumers what they like through survey-based research. But we know that what consumers say is, oftentimes, different from what they actually do.

“Behavioural science has demonstrated to us that attitude follows action, not the other way around. Observing and listening in a way that is respectful to consumers opens the door for surprising insights that have the ability to touch consumers in many different ways,” continued Singh.

“And this leads to breakthrough human insights and ideas that are a very, very critical part of developing successful marketing campaigns.”

Back at their keyboards, P&G’s data and analytics specialists are also tapping a range of new tools and techniques for crunching the numbers, and fusing the findings with qualitative insights.

“We are innovating and experimenting using today’s next-gen technology, the power of big data, and the nuances of behavioural sciences, all to better understand consumer behaviours and the context that shapes them,” said Singh. “Those insights lead to stronger brands and better business results.”

Sourced from WARC