Contributing Blogger – Sue Nosworthy, Past Vice President ESOMAR

Next up after the coffee break, Wim Hamaekers of Rogil Research, Belgium reprised the award winning paper from the Athens Congress – “Getting into the real world of the shopper”, with Ronald Laan from Heinz Europe to add the client perspective.

Ronald Laan, Heinz Europe

They started their presentation by continuing the now familiar theme of very cluttered retail environments and the difficulties which brands have to stand out in such an environment.   With 20,000 SKUs in the average Belgian supermarket, and an average shopping trip time of45 minutes, it is clear that each brand has very little time to impress itself on the shopper.  With decisions being made largely on an unconscious level, traditional research approaches are not equipped to provide a full understanding of this process – it is necessary to add behavioural measures to address the unconscious, emotional brain.

When Heinz wanted to launch a new pack which would deliver significant cost savings, they approached Rogil, to use their SensPack mixed methodology test – incorporating eyetracking, store simulation, traditional questionnaire and conjoint analysis.  The traditional survey questions showed that the new pack was almost at parity but the eye-tracking revealed significant problems and indicated a no-go decision, which was easily and clearly conveyed to management.  A very compelling case for the use of mixed methodologies, and the inclusion of behavioural measures into survey research.


(L-R) Adam Phillips, Alexander Linder and Niels Schillewaert

Following this presentation, Adam Phillips, Chairman ESOMAR’s Professional Standards Committee chaired a panel discussion with Alexander Linder of Swarovski, and Niels Schillewaert of InSites Consulting, about the legal implications of Social Media Research. A video of the discussion will shortly be available for download from MyESOMAR, and in the meantime the ESOMAR Draft Guidelines on conducting such research have just been released for consultation.

These guidelines can be downloaded here guideline on social media research, and we would welcome any comments you may have on this document. Comments on the draft guideline on social media research can be sent to

Adam Phillips, chair of ESOMAR Professional Standards Committee and the project team in charge of drafting the guideline moderated the discussion and noted that the shift from asking questions to listening to your target audience has been transformational – research provides greater consumer insight with these techniques requiring less intervention from the researcher.


The day ended with a jont networking event – sponsored by ESOMAR and FEBELMAR – the Belgian National Association and featured, beer tasting, Belgian Gastronomy and very entertaining presentations from Belgian brewers, Alken-Maes and Duval-Moortgat.