I’m shocked that it took me so long to realize that Box Tops for Education was a consumer research program. Brands have clamored for decades to determine who they should be marketing to, but the only hard data consistently available to them is the store and time of day a specific product was purchased at, and efforts like Box Tops required a burdensome consumer action. InfoScout.co recently launched to solve this problem, rewarding consumers for photographing their receipts and completing surveys about themselves, in turn giving brands a full view of who is buying their products, where, when, and how. The details recorded include useful metrics: payment method, store type, other products purchased at the same time. This simple solution could dramatically affect the marketing operations of major consumer packaged goods companies by giving them a 360 degree view of their place in the market and in relation to what may in some cases seem like unrelated products.