Pocketbooks across the country are feeling a bit squeezed. Personal financial counselors tout the importance of “spending wisely” – thinking about what you really must spend on and cutting out unnecessary extras. This advice applies equally to personal finances and research function budgeting. By figuring out what research projects are strategically important, shopper insights can stretch a small budget to have big impact.
ConAgra Foods’ shopper insights department approached the research agenda setting process by implementing a retailer-manufacturer Co-Business Planning process which delivers specific actionable research findings to a wide variety of retailer partners.
Here are the steps they take:
- Figure out what they want: Through a series of meetings, ConAgra Foods develops an understanding of the strategic priorities of its key retail partners, and associated research needs.
- Look for overlaps with what you want: Research interests are then tested against internal capacity, and projects are selected based on areas where retailer interests overlap with ConAgra’s strategic priorities.
- Look for overlaps in what they want: When the planning process shows that multiple retailers are looking for similar information, work is conducted as foundational research than can be repackaged for multiple retailers.
By developing customer learning plans in conjunction with retailers and internal business partners, shopper insights at ConAgra Foods is able to determine and produce insights and actionable recommendations that retail partners will be interested and engaged in.
Additional information about ConAgra’s Co-Business Planning process is available in our new whitepaper, Boosting the Impact of Shopper Insights.
The same agenda setting principles can be applied by consumer insights teams – ConAgra’s Customer Learning Plan process is a shopper insights-specific example of a tested consumer insights learning process. Johnson and Johnson’s Strategy-Driven learning agenda process to identify company-level known’s and unknowns is similar in its structure and approach.