The Stories We Tell (Part 1): The Product Launch

Marketers today are awash in data - from in-house CRM data, to sales numbers, to digital KPIs. While all of these sources provide valuable perspective into a marketer’s customers, these are each limited primarily to “what” customers are doing with a company’s product - be it a physical product, digital experience, or media property. Custom market research can very effectively peel back the “why” behind behaviors and attitudes within a marketer’s competitive set, but - by design - this view focuses on a specific set of behaviors, in a specific category, at only a single point in time, and among a relatively small sample of consumers. When a consumer interacts with a brand, he or she does so in the context of a whole host of motivations that simply cannot be understood with proprietary data alone. Large scale, nationally representative research that measures attitudes and usage across categories can fill this gap across a number of use cases. This type of data is expensive to gather on a one-off basis, requiring detailed survey development, complex and multimodal fielding approaches, and advanced methodologies for cleaning, weighting and processing results on the backend. Subscription-based “syndicated” solutions like MRI-Simmons’ are a cost-effective way to tap in to this kind of data, without having to incur the significant costs of study design and fielding. These solutions provide marketers the flexibility to understand their audiences or users across tens of thousands of data points that can be combined and customized to tell detailed stories about who will buy a product, what motivates these buyers, and how to reach them.

This series of blogs covers three MRI-Simmons customer success stories: The Product Launch, Breathing Life into Transactional Segments, and Building a Media Strategy.


The Product Launch

A successful product launch requires both strategic and tactical savvy - big ideas and qualitative intuition around what could sell, with data that extends that intuition to quantifiable trends. Consumer marketers - with budgets big and small - can use syndicated data to prove out their intuitions by building the definition of their target market, finding key data points that hone the story on why the prospective market is lucrative, and prioritizing which geographies should be the highest priority for launch efforts.

One food company did just this, in order to achieve the impossible – selling a meatless alternative to non-vegetarians. The marketing team and agency partner for this company came to MRI-Simmons with one goal in mind: after an upcoming launch in the San Francisco market, they needed to know what local markets should be next on their list for expansion. These teams had defined a handful of segments based on in-depth qualitative work they’d done to refine their value proposition; however, little quantitative research existed on this food category, and they didn’t have the budget for a large scale custom study. MRI-Simmons’ team of consultants worked directly with the client team to build customized segment proxies, pulling from combinations of food and health attitudes, social and lifestyle attitudes that signaled willingness to try new things and influence others, as well as behaviors around where consumers eat out and what they eat at home. We then “turned on” these segments across our national and local studies and crystalized insights on three key areas:

  • Sizing the overall market opportunity: MRI-Simmons’ nationally representative data quantified the size of each segment, which justified marketing investments to reach these new consumer groups.
  • Prioritizing segments: Following segment definition and sizing, MRI-Simmons quickly profiled each target on measures such ad-receptivity, social media influence, grocery and restaurant spend, and lifestyle motivations. This exercise homed in on which segments to go after first, based both on their appetites for trying new things and their ability to influence others.
  • Targeting local markets: Rather than launching with a national campaign, this client wanted to build momentum in local markets. With their segments made available in MRI-Simmons’ local study across over 200 markets, the client was able to rank the top geographies for each of their segments and build out a plan for local marketing and distribution partnerships.

Insights that would have taken months to uncover on a custom basis took only a few weeks. And what ever happened to that small startup with an impossible dream? Its core product – a burger – is available in over 3,000 locations across the US and may be on track to evolve how meat-loving Americans perceive plant-based alternatives.

To read the full case study, download it here.

To learn how MRI-Simmons' dedicated solutions team can help support your next product launch, contact us today!

Tamara Barber
Tamara Barber
Tamara Barber is Senior Manager of Custom Analytics at MRI-Simmons. With 20 years of experience in marketing and research at both clients and agencies, she leads the team responsible for delivering customized research, data and insights that answer clients’ burning business questions.