11 monochrome world However, traditional market research has never been ideal. It's expensive, it's relatively slow and it's not entirely accurate. A traditional market researcher is posing questions that he or she deems to be important. This leaves little or no space for insights that may be important to the customer, but are not considered or acknowledged by a business. Market research took a long time to design, commission, conduct and analyse. This means the data took a long time coming. It was usually delivered to manufacturing clients three months or more after the sales were made. By that point it was difficult, and certainly costly, to tweak a new product or change an unpopular advertising campaign. Once the research had been evaluated, a marketer was more likely to make necessary changes during the next annual brand planning review. Speeding up Today, there's been a fundamental change in the connection between customer and business. Loyalty cards enable savvy analysts to examine customers' purchasing behaviour in order to better understand who they are. We've all done it ourselves in a supermarket. As we stand in queue waiting for our turn, it's tempting to peer into other shoppers' trolleys and work out what kind of person they might be. Second, virtually everything is faster. From a leisurely three-monthly reporting lag of bi- monthly data, today dunnhumby can provide hourly grocery sales data for more than 14m shoppers within days of the actual event taking place. Indeed, dunnhumby can identify shoppers of a particular product, invite them to participate in research and have integrated feedback on attitudes and behaviours for the same customers almost immediately. dunnhumby has become a pioneer in new real- time relationships between businesses and their customers. Truth hurts? Today we live in a transitional world where we can find out what millions of people are doing instantaneously. We know the real- time transactions of over 200m households across the world through the loyalty schemes of our clients. There are no errors. There are no smoke and mirrors. This is not a sample. It's just fact.
12 This customer data is real. It's honest and it can sometimes be brutal. When asked in a focus group a customer may say they like a new nutty cereal bar, or the widgets in the latest BMW, but that doesn't mean they will buy these products. It's a reflection of real life. It's not like BARB, the British TV viewing data analysts, where 5,000 households have to press a button before they turn TV channels. It's not like UK grocery panels, where 20,000 homes have to scan all their shopping when they get home. Or the US leading consumer panel where 60,000 households record all their purchases when they get home after a shop. Every retailer knows what they sold, but transactional customer data delves deeper. It also knows who these shoppers are. If a brand wants to know if a product launch has been successful, this data can reveal which shoppers are buying a new product again and again. This helps to distinguish between sales based on trial and sales based on repeat purchase - crucial information. Reality can be rather ugly. Transactional data will clearly tell a business, ' No they didn't buy that new product again.' So the customer didn't like it. Edwina says customer data, " has an honesty and an immediacy that historically marketing hasn't had." However, attitudinal research can still play a role today's world, especially if it's linked back to purchasing data. dunnhumby has a panel of 65,000 Tesco shoppers known as ' Shopper Thoughts' who can swiftly respond to online surveys, to tell Tesco in more detail what they want and to help dunnhumby better understand their behaviour. Crucially, Shopper Thoughts enables dunnhumby to talk to someone who bought Marmite yesterday, for example. Its ability to serve up the right respondent in a timely fashion is vastly different to most research, which is based on claimed rather than actual behaviour. Why is it good for customers? Fast forward to today's shopper's experience in a customer-focused organisation like Casino, Tesco or Kroger. It's a world where customers are rewarded for loyalty, where retailers shape their offerings according to demand, and where customers are sent targeted, relevant messages rather than junk mail. any colour you like as long as it's any colour you like