Adweek reports that in a recent Nielsen study of shoppers’ in-store behavior, even the study authors were surprised to discover how little some marketers seem to know about what works and what doesn’t. First, they determined how we shop for specific product categories:
The study found that shoppers look for discounts and special offers for canned tuna, canned fruit and pasta sauce, but they want products like cheese, mayonnaise and coffee to be recognizable and easy to find.
For energy drinks and chocolate, shoppers care little about price but want eye-catching ads and snazzy packages. When it comes to salad dressings and chewing gum, they want to try out new products.
Armed with this sort of strangely personal insight, they overlaid data on the type and amount of marketing spent in each category to determine where marketers are wasting money. For example, we shoppers don’t care about price when it comes to energy drinks—we just want funny looking packaging. Companies, however, “are still spending fortunes on price promotions,” says a Nielsen exec. The article sums up, “Traditional consumer research is often just an expensive pat on the back to the status quo.”