Molson Coors Uncovers Influencing Factors with Mobile Research


TNS joined forces with Molson Coors, the second biggest brewer in the UK, to test what insights mobile might uncover to solve the diverse challenges facing the beer category. The beer industry is in decline, with a changing market shape, and retailers are under increasing pressure in the challenging economic climate and the increasingly restrictive environment.



TNS found that clients were in an ever more challenging quest for competitive advantage and were under more pressure than ever to prioritize their investments in retail. As a result they were asking for more and deeper insight at moment of experience and TNS felt that research needed to go to the next level and look for more valuable insight.

Could mobile add to, or even challenge, the extensive catalog of accepted industry wisdom about how decisions are made in pubs, bars and clubs? Existing beliefs about what influences consumers at the point of purchase, has very little evidence because it is:

  • Difficult to accompany them
  • Expensive to accompany them on a night out!
  • Solution
  • Mobile offered TNS the opportunity to capture the ‘in the moment‘ decision cost effectively.

TNS and Kantar Mobile recruited a sample of 150 regular lager drinkers through the Lightspeed Research panel to answer the questions. During recruitment TNS asked their participants to complete an online questionnaire, including a multi-code question about the factors that influence them when they order a drink in a pub/bar.

TNS then invited participants to download the Lightspeed panel application, a Lumi Say product, onto their smartphone. Each time they made a drink purchase, over the course of a week, the participants were asked what influenced them in the choice they just made (again a multi-code question).


The impact of capturing response in real time had dramatic results on the story.

  • 150 regular lager drinkers who consumed some 1,500 drinks between them over the course of the study.
  • 46% of drinks consumed were lager
  • 55% of all lager drinks were consumed out of home
  • 69% of those out of home drinkers brought a brand in their consideration set

Traditional survey techniques told us of 3.8 influences per respondent, whereas Mobile told us of 1.4 per purchase. Mobile stripped down the deciding factors and revealed a sharp swap of priorities. This snapshot of the actual moment of purchase – permitted by the use of mobile – got down to the actual realities of the decision: namely that selecting a ‘well-known brand’ was the principal and dominant driver of drink choice, not price as shown in the original research. This had dramatic ramifications for the end client and meant a significant difference in how they invested in marketing going foward.

TNS found 3 powerful arguments for mobile:

  • Reach
  • Relevance
  • Reality


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