Breaking barriers and boosting Sales: Q&A with Mars Wrigley and eye square

Editor’s note: Mars Wrigley and eye square are finalists of the 2023 Client/Supplier Collaboration award, a category in the Marketing Research and Insight Excellence Awards. The winners of the awards will be announced on November 14 during a virtual celebration. To find out more about the awards, visit

The Digital Store Lab initiative was started by Mars Wrigley in early 2022 with the ambition of increasing sales by identifying improvement opportunities for online stores. Mars Wrigley and eye square’s collaboration has identified numerous shopper growth opportunities for Mars and its retail partners. 

The two-year collaboration has transformed the Mars Wrigley processes and customer partnerships, enabling shopper insight to tangibly drive excellence in execution. The work has resulted in stronger retailer relationships for Mars, accelerated category growth online and increased category share.

Both insight teams shared more about the collaboration, which secured them a spot as a finalist in the 2023 Client/Supplier Collaboration Award category. 

How do you uphold each company’s mission while collaborating? 

Mars Wrigley: Mutuality is a core principle for Mars. We believe in the value of mutual growth, and this extends to our suppliers and partners. We are ambitious but we also want our partners to share in our success over the long-term. We therefore focus on longer-term objectives and success factors, not just individual projects. 

eye square: Understanding the human experience as people interface with technology has always been a core mission for eye square. Our collaboration with Mars has proven instrumental in advancing this mission. Through this partnership, we've had the invaluable opportunity to deepen our insights into the human experience within the e-commerce landscape. The challenges presented by Mars not only invigorate our team but also align seamlessly with our mission. 

What skill sets do you find most valuable in a client/supplier collaboration? 

Mars Wrigley: Mars spoke to a number of different tech-focused agencies before selecting eye square. We saw their unique selling point as being a strong account team and willingness to learn our business.  They didn’t just want to sell an off-the-shelf package, but instead complemented it with insight and industry expertise. This showed the willingness to partner and deliver solutions and insights that truly deliver value.  

eye square: In client/supplier collaborations, eye square prioritizes three things: questioning, honesty and transparency. Our approach with the Mars team involves not only fulfilling requests but also probing into the underlying reasons and proposing alternative solutions that can achieve business objectives more efficiently. We maintain a transparent and honest communication channel with Mars, clarifying what can be accomplished swiftly and explaining the factors affecting longer timelines. These core skills underpin our collaborative success, fostering mutual growth and exceptional outcomes.

How has collaboration impacted each company?

Mars Wrigley: It has accelerated our understanding and expertise within digital retail, enabling us to play a leadership role with many retailers.  

Our Digital Store Labs are an insights capability and program that the whole Mars business is excited by. We now have a queue of sales and marketing associates all wanting to utilize its capabilities! Plus, as we have democratized the process, we trust the eye square team to manage the process. So that the insight team does not have to be everywhere.  

eye square: At eye square, it has propelled us towards greater agility and adaptability in catering to our clients' diverse needs. This collaboration has served as a profound learning experience, enriching our understanding of how clients intend to utilize the insights we co-create. Furthermore, it has led us to reconsider our business approach, with a strategic shift towards prioritizing enduring, collaborative partnerships over one-time projects, even when they may be more immediately profitable. This evolution signifies our commitment to nurturing long-term, mutually beneficial relationships with our clients.