Automated Insights Help Keurig Refine Advertising

Posted on by Beth Negus Viveiros
Research helped Keurig refine campaigns promoting the Dark Magic and Sumatra blends.

A more disciplined approach to consumer insights research powered by automation is helping Keurig Green Mountain better target its advertising approach.

“Insight automation has enabled us to get timely insights at all the points we wanted in the ad development cycle,” says Sarah Snudden, who works in consumer insights for the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters brand.

“It was a pain point for us,” she says. “The testing cycle is invariably rushed. In the past we often had just one shot to try to test, learn and improve our ads. The length of time that research took and the cost got in the way of an ideal process.”

Partnering with Zappi’s automated insights platform helped the company test iteratively, at multiple points in the ad development cycle. Keurig Green Mountain can now do multiple tests in less time than just one test took previously.

For example, the company was looking at two possible creative executions for the Green Mountain Coffee Roasters brand—one centering on the Sumatra Reserve and how GMCR sources its coffee beans, and the other on the Dark Magic’s Vermont heritage and blending process. Automated testing helped Keurig see in real time which parts of each approach worked best, and allowed them to both optimize the ads and also to effectively cut down to the most impactful parts of the creative to make shorter format copy and digestible digital formats.

“Normally getting one campaign into great shape is a major win, with this process, we were able to fully optimize two winning campaigns,” says Snudden. “It’s a great situation to be in as a marketer. We led with Sumatra and then did subsequent bursts with Dark Magic.”


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As Keurig matures and the company becomes more of a “teenaged sized business,” it has to be more thoughtful about innovation, she notes. “In the early days, it was just introduce a [coffee] pod and get it on the shelf. Now, we have to be more disciplined in terms of delivering on consumer needs.

Keurig Green Mountain also uses insight automation to rapidly test new product innovations. “We can now get iterative consumer feedback without impacting our product development timelines.” After a recent new product ideation session the company was able to do twice the testing on the same timeline—enabling rapid optimization so that the strongest ideas could move forward faster. “We could quickly see which ideas were working best and why,” she says.

The biggest pain points many marketers have with research is getting consumer insight with context, says Ryan Barry, chief revenue officer of Zappi. In many companies, consumer research becomes an afterthought, and there is no cross-functional eco system to get information to the people who need it within the brand.

Earlier this year, Keurig Green Mountain announced plans to acquire Dr. Pepper Snapple, in a deal that will create a new beverage industry giant with $11 billion in sales. Andrew Springate will be CMO of the newly merged company, Keurig Dr. Pepper.

 

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