Pernod Ricard proves it’s possible to democratize insights

Get a behind-the-scenes look at how Pernod Ricard empowered marketing users to run their own creative research, freeing up the insights team to do more strategic work.

A true transformation

  • Freedom within a framework

    Marketers were empowered to pretest on the Zappi platform, customized under the brand Ask Now, with strict guardrails in place.

  • A single platform

    Zappi’s platform satisfied both the insights team’s need for robust methodologies/results and the marketing team’s need for simplicity.

  • A more strategic insights team

    Democratization allowed insights professionals to become strategic partners to the business — not order takers.


Truly democratize research

Catering to the diverse tastes of consumers around the globe, Pernod Ricard is a decentralized organization with different groups managing each brand and market.

As a result, consumer research had historically been executed in a number of different ways with little standardization across teams. Pernod Ricard created four Centers of Excellence for consumer insights (CI) to standardize processes across the company so research could be compared more easily and efficiently.

One of the Centers of Excellence was focused on marketing mix optimization — which includes creative assets, packaging and new product development. Jennifer Picard was brought in to lead this initiative.


Standardize, automate, empower

Jennifer had a few key goals for this initiative:

  • Standardize all research methods, specifically around pretesting, so everyone could speak the same language and compare against the same metrics.

  • Automate as much as possible to get insights faster and while decreasing costs.

  • Empower marketers to run the day-to-day research they need to make decisions. This would free up time to allow CIs to focus on the most complex pieces of research and become strategic partners to the business — rather than order takers.

The CIs were understandably wary of giving research responsibilities to non-researchers, and the marketers were wary about taking on this responsibility. A focused and thoughtful rollout was needed for this initiative to be successful.

Zappi makes it simple for non-experts to use the platform. When marketing users log in, they know exactly what they have to do. From a research standpoint, they don't have too many decisions to make by themselves so they can actually make it happen.
Jennifer PicardHead of Centre of Excellence for Mix Optimization at Pernod Ricard


A joint effort with a lot of support for marketers

Jennifer and her team included insights and marketing people from the start to make sure every new tool and process fit both their needs.

Step 1


They created pilot teams to test all tools in real conditions and get feedback from both sides.

Zappi was one tool that was piloted for pretesting creative and new product concepts at all stages of development. In Zappi’s platform, users could add their stimuli, select their audience, and launch a project on their own — and get results back in hours.

Within the pilot process, CIs were satisfied with the research methodologies and results while marketers found the platform easy to use.

Once they selected Zappi’s flexible platform, the team customized the Zappi solutions (under an internal brand called Ask Now) to respond to their marketing users’ specific needs — which was a crucial step to help generate widespread adoption of the platform.

Step 2


Taking it slow to start, marketers were only able to pretest final creative assets with Zappi.

Each marketer who would be responsible for testing received training to introduce them to the vision and help them get started with the platform, facilitated by Zappi and Jennifer’s team.

And before they could begin testing on their own, each person had to run three tests with a CI to make sure they could set up and interpret results correctly.

Step 3

Run research and share findings

Jennifer and her team provided guardrails, automated by Zappi, to make sure marketers weren’t able to do anything the CIs didn’t support (which would reduce the comparability of the findings).

With these guardrails in place, the CIs could feel confident that all research run on Zappi would be consistent and accurate.

Additionally, all research run on Zappi was immediately made available to both marketing and insights teams on Pernod Ricard’s knowledge management system.


A win/win

Jennifer and her team continued the rollout to include more use cases across creative testing, relying on Zappi’s partnership to build confidence with marketing users over time.

Within 10 months, over 350 marketers were set up to run their own projects on Zappi!

And the best part is that Jennifer and her team have been able to do what they do best: Use their research expertise to tackle the most complicated questions the business needs answering. With the day-to-day pretesting in the hands of the people using the data, the CIs can finally turn their attention to the bigger picture.

We have built a very strong partnership to transform insights with Zappi, and Zappi has been very willing to actually accept our need for customization so we could push the program within Pernod Ricard.
Jennifer PicardHead of Centre of Excellence for Mix Optimization at Pernod Ricard

The Zappi difference

  • Strict guardrails

    Zappi’s survey questions are rigorously tested and standardized across projects so data can be trusted — even if the project is set up by someone with limited research experience. Plus, Jennifer’s team set guardrails in Zappi’s platform to give users freedom to work within a set framework.

  • Easy-to-use, flexible interface

    Zappi’s flexible platform could be customized to respond to the specific needs of Pernod Ricard’s users, and marketers and insights users alike found Zappi’s platform intuitive and easy to use.

  • A real partner

    Pernod Ricard relied on Zappi’s experience helping enterprise companies digitize their insights functions. Democratizing insights is certainly not an easy task, but it’s important to have the right partners with you on the journey! let's talk about you!