The insight community toolbox: ‘do’ activities

We all know that what people say, does not always correspond with what they actually do. This phenomenon is also referred to as the ‘say-do gap’ and is especially visible in topics where people are prone to maintain a positive image by giving socially desirable responses. This often explains deviating election-poll results, or why stats are off for sensitive topics such as racism, substance use, smoking, or bankruptcies. Wanting to understand human behavior, it is thus not enough to focus on what people ‘think’ and ‘feel’; what they ‘do’ is another vital part of the research mix.


Do activities: zoom in on simulation

To capture people’s actual behavior, we use ‘do’ activities in our insight community projects. As consumers might struggle to recall and report about their own behavior, these activities – where participants are to perform a certain action – allow brands to detect latent needs, feelings and behavior that are hard to translate into words.

An example are ‘simulations’, activities where we mimic or simulate a real occasion or environment (e.g. shopping trip, website or store shelf) and participants are invited to perform a task such as buying a product or selecting an item on a website. This is exactly what we did for Mondelēz International that wanted to understand the impact of shelf-ready packaging and merchandising on shoppers’ in-store behavior.

As a large-scale face-to-face in-store study comes with many logistical challenges and at a high cost, the brand was looking for a more innovative approach that would allow to replicate a realistic shopping experience. We tackled this challenge by collaborating with an AR/VR marketing research mobile platform to get 360° videos of the target shelves in the supermarket aisle and create different fixture planogram presentations. ​We integrated these VR stimuli in a mobile survey, allowing consumers to embark on a virtual shopping trip right from the comfort of their own, using their mobile phones and cardboard VR viewers. The VR experience allowed to capture behavioral data such as attention and purchase behavior, which in combination with explicit survey data delivered new insights.

“At Mondelēz, we continue to look for ways to test and learn hypotheses using agile research approaches. With this project, we’ve been able to combine shopper feedback using VR, alongside capturing behavioural data, to not only confirm our hypotheses but change investment into the shopping environment to drive category growth.”

Malakai De-Morgan, Shopper Insight Manager, Mondelēz International

Next to simulations, we can distinguish two more activity types within the ‘do’ level: ethnography and missions. More on these tools and how to apply them in your insight communities in our free bookzine ‘The power is in the mix: think, feel, do and make’.

Better Together V3: The power is in the mix

Better Together Vol. 3: The power is in the mix

Human behavior is a complex interplay between actions, cognition and emotions. In this bookzine, we showcase how to choose the right blend of ‘think’, ‘feel’, ‘do’ and ‘make’ research activities for the right business challenge.

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The insight community toolbox: ‘make’ activities

Consumers are increasingly taking on an active ‘maker’ role, shaping products and solutions. Just think about the success of crowdsourcing platforms such as ‘My Starbucks Idea’ or ‘LEGO Ideas’. This implies that, next to ‘think’, ‘feel’, and ‘do’, we should also include ‘make’ in the research mix.