Your Boss Asked For Category Insights To Be Ready Yesterday - Now What?

category insights study

This blog post will explore how quickly you can run a category insights study, how quantilope can help, and an example of category insights findings.

Category insights are market research data points from category shoppers that inform brands of consumer behavior, consumer needs, and other actionable insights.


There are many different categories within a particular industry - such as soda, snacks, and meats in the food/cpg industry, and hotels, rental cars, and airlines in the travel industry. Insights managers rely on these category insights to guide their business planning for new products, pricing strategies, and more. So how do you capture category trends in a timely fashion before the trends pass?



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How fast can you conduct a category insights study? 

The quickness of your category insights fieldwork will depend on the complexity of your study, the audience you’re trying to reach, and how you choose to field it. All these elements not only determine how quickly you can set up and launch a category insights study, but how quickly you can act on the insights to answer important business questions.

Category insights study complexity

When planning your category insights study, you’ll need to decide how complex you want (or need) to make it. This will impact how quickly you’ll be able to set up and run your study.

A surface-level category insights study will capture the primary information a company needs to learn about the industry they operate in. This kind of study is good for brands just entering a new category who want to learn more about category trends or to set up initial benchmarks to come back to for future studies.

A deeper-dive category insights study will ask questions beyond the basic demographic and category usage questions - like reasons behind purchase behavior, details on shopper insights, questions into subcategories or related categories, competitive intelligence, or advanced method insights such as a Key Driver Analysis to see what’s driving category behavior. It could be that a company starts with a surface-level category insights study to set the stage and then expand upon its findings with a deeper understanding study. A deep understanding study will likely take a bit longer to set up and run (given the added complexity) but could be worth the extra time if a brand can spare it.

Category insights audience

The audience you’re hoping to reach as you set up your questionnaire screeners and panel will impact how quickly you’ll be able to close fieldwork. A general population audience will be rather quick to capture, while a more niche audience might take more time to recruit (and could require added incentives).

For brands just entering a new category, a general population sample should give them a good starting point. As brands become more established in their category, they may want to get more selective with their sample audience (such as frequent category users, household shoppers, etc.).

Research vendor options for a category insights study

You have a few options when it comes to running category insights studies, each with its own time expectations. You can choose to run a quick-turn study with a basic survey platform - asking just a few questions with results in a day or so. These types of platforms can answer pressing questions around general category users, basic behaviors, etc. but likely won’t be able to drill down into detailed insights or advanced method findings.

You can choose to go the agency route where setting up, fielding, and reporting may take a few extra days but can accommodate more than a basic survey platform. These agencies can include more detailed data cuts and will likely support more in-depth deliverables than a basic platform.

Lastly, you could choose an end-to-end research platform like quantilope that goes beyond basic survey questions to include questionnaire customization and modules, advanced methods, panel setup, report creation, and a final interactive dashboard.
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How to use quantilope for a quick-turn category insights study

As referenced above, quantilope is the end-to-end Consumer Intelligence Platform that houses everything from survey setup to final dashboard creation.

quantilope users have the choice to run their insights studies completely on their own (DIY - Do It Yourself), with the help of a customer success research consultant (DIT - Do It Together), or have it fully managed by quantilope’s research team. Each option allows for a quick-turn study without sacrificing insight quality.

Setting up a survey takes a matter of minutes with drag & drop modules to build a survey from scratch, or templated surveys to use as a base and customize further. Connect your panel through your own-supplied list, or leverage an external panel provider to link directly within the platform. Get a jump start on insights for your boss or stakeholders through real-time charting and dashboard population. That way, before fieldwork even closes for you to generate a final report, you can inform your boss and stakeholders of key consumer insights in the category to guide marketing strategies or to optimize product development.
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What should be in a final category insights report? 

Once you’ve decided on the nature of your category insights study, the audience you want to reach with it, and how you’ll run it, you’ll have to decide what you want to do with the results.

Your boss and key stakeholders are going to want to know the most actionable findings that they can take a run with - such as insights into profitability, new market trends to jump on, or the growth potential of the category as a whole. Include these findings at the front of your insights report so it’s easy to take away with a glance. You don’t want your boss or stakeholders to have to comb through your report trying to find the most important information.

Once you’ve covered the key takeaways, you can begin to expand on the insights with sub-data cuts, specific demographic lenses, or other deep dives into the dataset’s variables. If you’re sharing the report with stakeholders less familiar with the study or the category, consider adding context about the study itself (like sample size, methodology used, and the study’s objectives).
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Example of a category insights report 

For an example of what a category insights report might include - and what the final dashboard might look like, check out this category insights study into the sneaker industry. The study asked general questions about sneaker habits like recent sneaker purchases, types of sneakers bought, the amount paid for sneakers, where sneaker buyers shop, and what they think about 5 major sneaker brands through an advanced method: a Single Implicit Association Test.


Interested in learning more about how to quickly run a category insights study with quantilope’s Consumer Intelligence Platform to keep your boss happy? Get in touch below!

Get in touch to learn more about quantilope's Consumer Intelligence Platform!



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