Market research is an essential and fundamental component of Almond Board of California’s (ABC’s) global marketing programs. In the early stages of market exploration, it helps us to identify opportunities, understand the most motivating almond benefits, and clearly define which consumers will be most likely to seek out almonds. Once we have begun executing programs, research is just as valuable, allowing us to evaluate whether our programs are penetrating through busy media environments, which almond benefits consumers are recalling, and how consumer’s perceptions about almonds are changing.
In-home research provides insight into consumer behavior
that can be used to develop more effective marketing
ABC works with research firms all over the world to stay on top of research trends and ever-improving methods to learn more, learn faster and to be able to more effectively apply the lessons learned from research. A relatively new technique that we have been applying globally is direct consumer interviews. Several direct interviews are done, for example, in the consumer’s home or with the consumer while they grocery-shop, and the combined results are then used to create composite target profiles. What used to be done in the group setting of a focus group is now frequently done in the consumer’s home, where a more casual conversation allows the research team to explore interesting consumer concepts on the spot. This method brings with it a major advantage: When the consumer shares information of interest (“I eat almonds every day”), the research team can follow up on that immediately (“Can you show us where you store your almonds?”).
This approach to market insight development has brought a deeper level of understanding of the rationale behind the consumer behavior associated with almonds around the world. It has also brought about the best insights to date on what consumers really do, as opposed to what they may think, or tell you, they do.
Most recently, the ABC used this research technique in India, with the goal of understanding what new opportunities exist for almonds in the Indian diet. Being in-home with consumers allowed the research team to challenge some long-held beliefs about the role of men in food selection, and which consumers may be most motivated to consider almonds for a new consumption occasion, among other things. The results of this work will be used in program planning and resource allocation moving forward. Insights like these are being used in each of ABC’s markets to improve our marketing program effectiveness and measureable impact, year over year.
Listen to Almond Board’s Stacey Humble, Executive Director, Global Marketing, describe how direct consumer interviews provide insight to tailor marketing programs for target markets.