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    Frito-Lay Uses Online Panels To Test New Items

    Moms, boomer insights gleaned.

    Frito-Lay Inc. is using two online community panels to test product and marketing approaches for its snacks, according to Marketing Daily.

    "Social computing" provides the fifth "P" of marketing: participation, Diane Hessan, president and CEO of Communispace, which organized the two 300-member groups for the Plano, Texas-based snack giant. One panel consists of mom with at least two kids; they other has adults 40 and older, with no children.

    Frito-Lay uses its 18-month-old "Moms Connect" private Web platform to get honest feedback from a key audience, Marketing Daily reported.

    Frito-Lay plans to hold "speed dating" sessions, visiting the women in their homes, and introducing them to the company's brand marketers for face-to-face interaction.
    Participants were screened extensively, and must sign non-disclosure agreements, as would any research panel. They receive a very small stipend for their participation, but are motivated by the recognition and knowledge that they have insider information, according to the report.

    Frito-Lay also uses the online community panels to get reactions to competitive products and sends consumers to supermarkets inviting them to evaluate what they are seeing in the aisle. Campaigns targeted to teens are run past the moms to glean their parental reaction.

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