Year in Review and Look Ahead

year in review

2018 was another momentous year for Maru/Matchbox. We had the privilege of helping clients see around corners, sidestep problems, enhance their offers and connect more closely with consumers and citizens. We want to say thank you for your support and share an update about the significant progress that we have made. This past year we:

Published The Insights Revolution: Questioning Everything, created to shed light on the urgent changes needed in the sector.

According to the #New MR’s Ray Poynter, “If you work in a client-side insights team, then this is a ‘must read’ book for you. This relatively short book is based on interviews with leading figures from the industry and highlights the need for change in the way insights is conducted. Indeed the message is ‘change or die’.” Authored by Andrew Grenville, Chief Research Officer, it covers all the key challenges facing the insights industry today. The book takes a problem/solution approach; it is organized into chapters which shine an uncomfortable light on all too familiar practices before suggesting a better way forward. If you’d like a copy, contact us.

Launched Implicit Association Testing to capture consumers’ immediate, implicit or subconscious responses.

Adding to our System One toolset, Implicit Association Tests (IATs) are one of the fastest growing approaches in market research. Our online, objective and cost-effective approach captures consumers’ immediate, implicit or subconscious responses to brands, campaigns, new product concepts, packaging designs and a vast array of other marketing related outputs. Free from the biases of conscious rationalization and distracting ploys inherent in quantitative and qualitative research, IATs offer our clients a chance to understand consumers at a deep, emotional level and predict their behavior more accurately than has previously been possible.

Developed a Cultural Framing approach that integrates cultural context with consumer behavior.

Cultural Framing revolves around understanding the unspoken systems of meaning at play in affecting our behavior, our attitudes, and our decisions. There have been a number of examples designed to intentionally uncover cultural dynamics that affect consumers’ hearts, heads, and wallets, most recently Colin Kaepernick, and Nike who is reaping the financial rewards of adeptly tapping into culture by making him the face of their 30th anniversary “Just Do It” campaign. Kellogg’s recently worked with us using Cultural Framing to help uncover snacking needs, attitudes, and behaviors of emerging middle-class consumers in developing markets.

Experienced tremendous growth among the leadership team to better support our client’s needs.

Brian James has recently joined the team as Chief Client Officer and President of Consumer Goods & Services. His position of Chief Client Officer at the company will also see him responsible for overseeing the development of measurements to ensure client satisfaction across Maru/Matchbox, defining and managing best practice with clients across the business, and launching and managing a services model for our technology-enabled insight services company. Industry veteran, Kyle Davies, joined the growing Retail and Technology team as SVP, and assumes the mantle of Head of Syndicated. Michelle Walkey was promoted to Managing Director, Retail and Technology. And we grew our Qualitative Center of Excellence with the addition of industry experts, Danna Kress, Erica Ruyle, Tricia Juhn and Steven Spencer-Steigner. Innovation expert Todd Trautz joined the team in June as Chief Innovation & Solutions Officer. For the past 17 years, Todd has developed relationships and insight products across categories such as media, B2B, CPG, financial services, advertising and marketing. Philip Jones also joined as Chief Financial Officer. Philip has a wealth of experience and a proven track record as a strategic, operationally-focused, and hands-on executive having worked for companies ranging from start-ups to corporations with revenues of more than $200m.

Also, as part of Maru Group, who is leading the way in delivering research, insight and advisory services powered by cutting-edge technology and innovation: acquired social listening software Lissted; launched Maru/Blue and expanded the premium quality data services firm into the UK market, in addition to North America; acquired Hispanic panel Tú Cuentas, expanded into the LatAm market; and appointed many sector leaders.

Onward in 2019!

We are very much looking forward to 2019. Our innovation pipeline will continue to grow, based on a theme of Think, Feel, Behave. We are creating a series of choice-based tools that capture how people behave when they are faced with making a decision. These tools will be used from ideation to simulated in-market purchase decisions. As we build out these tools, we will power them with a choice-based engine that will automate and standardize the creation and output of the choice data into meaningful simulations.

We will also be exploring the power of emotion at the brand level, utilizing our Emotional Positioning System to create brand and category level emotional profiles.

Further integration of our Maru/Lissted social listening tool will be focused on Twitter. Unlike other social listening tools that just capture and quantify the conversation, Maru/Lissted utilizes algorithms to predict who is likely to matter most in a community on Twitter, as well as the size of their sphere of influence. This allows you to identify the content and conversations that matter most.

We are excited about working together with you in 2019 to generate the foresight that delivers better outcomes for your business. Please do not hesitate to contact your Maru/Matchbox account manager if you would like to learn more about any of the exciting initiatives mentioned here.

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