P&G, Babies, a Honeymoon and Digital Qual
A recap of my favorite session from the Market Research in the Mobile World Conference, the story of P&G’s exploration on growing babies over the course of three months and how mobile and online qualitative provided the perfect solution
By Day 2 of the 2012 Market Research in the Mobile World Conference in Cincinnati, I was feeling a bit fatigued in general from the super fast, dual-track format and overwhelmed from trying to keep up with real-time blogging, so I decided to do more listening and just blog about the most compelling session I attended. That’s this one, which was definitely a conference favorite for me. (In fairness, I missed Robert Moran’s session on the future of market research, which I heard was amazing — I look forward to reading about it in others’ blogs).
NOTE: As this blog is focused on qualitative research, my filter for listening and
blogging is slanted in that direction. Be sure to check out Greenbook’s other blog for more report outs from MRMW: www.greenbookblog.org.
From Andrew Sauer (P&G) and Steve August (Revelation):
- Product transitions don’t happen, they unfold… so moment-in-time qualitative can’t capture the entire story
- Need to understand context, emotions and behaviors within that story
- Problem: P&G was losing volume and market share when moms switch sizes of diapers (but why? price sensitivity, brand confusion, performance issue?)
- Objective: understand the process mom goes through when switching, at her pace and uninfluenced (without the research team present or even knowing the real topic, at first)
- Design: 3 months of immersive exercises conducted online and via mobile with weekly assignments, both 1-on-1′s and group interactions, retail adventures and, at the end of the study, product placement of products she did NOT choose to try
Key to the retail adventures was trying to understand which product comes next
Used regular activities (every time you go shopping, record what baby products bought), then if diapers mentioned, what size diapers?
Other activities followed… also used “fun activities”
to create a sense of community and understand
what’s going on in their lives
Advantages of Digital Qual
- Captured natural experiences
- Able to compare technical data (moms measured babies) with consumer perceptions
- Fraction of the cost of in-home research
Ok, so you’re getting the P&G, Babies and Digital Qual parts… what about the Honeymoon?
Andrew was the in-house moderator on this 3-month-long study and right in the middle of it, he got married and went off on his honeymoon. Amazingly, he kept logging in and posting new activities for the moms to do while he was off in the Caribbean! When this tidbit snuck out during their presentation, someone at my table suggested that the diaper study probably paid for Andrew’s honeymoon. Having worked at P&G myself, I pointed out that he was on salary, so no such luck. Later, I shared this little exchange with Andrew and he joked that his new wife works for P&G too — so she understands. Now that’s love!
Thanks P&G, Andrew and Steve for so generously sharing with the industry. That was a great case study to showcase how digital qual can capture the unfolding story of product transitions.