IRI | Thought leadership

Client: IRI

Project name: ‘From data measurement to thought leadership’

For: IRI: leading provider of big data, predictive analytics and forward-looking insights for FMCG (fast moving consumer goods) retailers and manufacturers.

Goals: To re-position IRI from a data measurement company to an industry thought leader

Our idea in a nutshell: For many years IRI has excelled at delivering data driven stories to the media, creating some of the most creative headlines in the UK and across Europe. If there was an interesting or exciting topic around food and drink, IRI was usually the one behind it.

For years IRI became the go-to company for quick turnaround supermarket data leading up to, during and after Christmas, the World Cup, the ‘beast from the East’ and more. IRI was also the company behind such memorable headlines as The Sun’s “Sausage toll’ about the impact on sales of bacon and sausages following a World Health Organisation report on processed meat and the first to report that Prosecco sales had surpassed Champagne for the first time. We created the concept of the ‘three day beard’ to show how the trend for the hipster look had led to a big drop in shaving products!

Two years ago, this changed. IRI wanted to step back from the data-driven news and stories that created exciting headlines but failed to show IRI as genuine industry thought leaders and experts working with retailers and brands to drive sales growth.

Since then, Eureka has worked with the UK and European marketing teams to successfully evolve the company’s role with the media and re-position how the company is perceived by trade, business, national and broadcast journalists. A strategy was developed to help transition IRI from a company that provides sales data on food, drink and other FMCG categories to one that provides insight not just on category and products sales, but also the technology behind this data-driven industry.

Execution and results:

  • To avoid alienating core media and ‘cutting off’ access to all IRI data, the PR team carefully chose stories that allowed us to combine data and insight. One was never without the other.
  • Media who requested data to add into their stories were advised that IRI could provide written commentary based on their data. Requests for data only were politely declined.
  • Stories were crafted around report launches, including IRI’s new European Shopper report, allowing us to comment in broader issues like plastic packaging and nutritional labelling.
  • Capitalised on other IRI report, such as Private Label and Top Selling Categories.
  • Hand in hand with these stories, IRI experts across Europe were used to author articles for key media – WARC, European Supermarket Magazine and ADMAP – on customer loyalty, price disruption, personalisation and out of home.
  • Becoming more confident, IRI has been able to jump on breaking news stories like industry partnerships/mergers between Carrefour and Google and Sainsbury’s and Asda to write for The Grocer, the most respected and widely read trade magazine.
  • As IRI continues to evolve its corporate positioning as a big data and data analytics company, the thought leadership campaign has also evolved to reflect this.
  • The IRI European Summit in London in 2019 provided a focal point and access to experts like CEO Andrew Appel and CIO Ash Patel on augmented decision-making, artificial intelligence and machine learning. The PR team invited press to attend the Summit to see how IRI was evolving as a business, and placing articles on topics like ‘The tipping point: How AI can help drive growth in FMCG’ and ‘Is voice technology the secret weapon in driving retail growth’.
  • More than 40 articles and blogs published in key FMCG, retail, marketing and data publications in the last two years, including The Grocer, WARC, ADMAP,, European Supermarket Magazine, Retail Times, DataIQ and Talking Retail.
  • Business media now contact IRI for insight into key FMCG trends, among them CNBC, Wall Street Journal, The FT and Reuters.

Impact for IRI:

  • Becoming a valued and respected thought leader, IRI is now invited to write articles for publications like WARC, the latest of which looks at ‘Six key lessons for CPG brands and retailers from the last recession’ as part of the WARC Guide to Marketing in a recession in May 2020.
  • IRI spokespeople are also regular speakers for events such as the World Retail Congress, Consumer Goods Forum and are invited to take part in podcasts, and industry webinars.