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  • Consumer confidence slides below the ten-point mark
    • 10/26/16
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Public Services
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Consumer confidence slides below the ten-point mark

    Results of the GfK consumer confidence study for Germany for October 2016

  • Global study: aging concerns
    • 10/26/16
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Global study: aging concerns

    Eyesight and memory loss are leading concerns around aging.

  • Physical concerns around aging
    • 10/26/16
    • Global Study
    • Global
    • English

    Physical concerns around aging

    Which physical conditions do people worry most about having, either now or as they age? There are key differences by country.

    • 10/25/16
    • Automotive
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    Automotive marketing: Understanding the multiple touchpoints of the Connected Driver

    Today’s fragmented media landscape presents a significant challenge to automotive retailers seeking to maximize the efficiency of their online campaigns. The growing importance of online media combined with the proliferation of connected devices further exacerbates the problem. How can you influence automotive consumers in an increasingly connected world?

    Automotive marketers face a number of pressing concerns:


    • Which touchpoints should you activate to improve marketing communications?
    • How can you track the performance of online touchpoints?
    • Can you minimize scatter loss and maximize reach within your target group?
    • How can you get the most out of mobile?

    Understanding consumer behavior through audience measurement

    The answers to these questions lie in passive audience measurement. It reveals audience behavior, supports campaign efficiency and provides crucial insights into the purchase journey. It also allows marketers to understand consumer behavior across all channels and multiple devices. You can make informed decisions to optimize marketing strategies and to achieve growth. There are three key ways to measure your audience:


    1. For example, by revealing which websites your primary target group is using so you can plan your media spend more efficiently.
    2. By revealing the role your website plays in the purchase journey. By knowing where users are coming from, you can increase traffic to your website and optimize your impact.
    3. You can identify which online touchpoints your target groups use, how frequently, and for how long.

    Maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns

    By providing key insights into consumer behavior online, cross-media measurement enables you to maximize the effectiveness of your campaigns and prioritize future spend for maximum return on investment.  Armed with these crucial insights, you will be equipped to create compelling marketing strategies that will engage consumers and deliver a solid return to your bottom line.

    To share your thoughts, please email 

  • Smartphones: Growth unabated in 3Q, though China expected to weigh on 2017 demand
    • 10/25/16
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Tech Trends
    • Global
    • English

    Smartphones: Growth unabated in 3Q, though China expected to weigh on 2017 demand

    Global smartphone demand totals 353 million units in 3Q16. Latin America returns to growth after five consecutive quarters of decline.  Demand in Great Britain grows following ‘Brexit’ vote.  China demand to decline in 2017 due to reduced operator subsidies.

    • 10/24/16
    • Automotive
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    Automotive sales: A long and winding road

    When a consumer drives a new car off the forecourt it marks the beginning of one journey and the end of another. The path to purchase is a long and winding road. In all likelihood, today’s Connected Consumer will have consulted numerous sources of both paid and earned media. They will have had multiple interactions with the brand, both online and in the showroom. Only then will they make a final purchase decision. Each touchpoint will have had an impact on the final outcome. These moments matter, both to you and to your customers.

    Consumers choose how they access information about your brand

    Consumers have a vast array of possible information sources on which to base their purchase decision. They range from popular car shows and expert reviews to banner ads and social media. But they also have a choice about how, where and when they access information about your brand. Shopping for cars is now truly omnichannel. Consumers use many channels and devices to gather information along their purchase journey.

    Your challenge is to understand how consumers engage with each of the channels, and to optimize your marketing across all devices.

    Car shopping goes mobile

    Ten years ago, the prospect of using a mobile device to shop for a car would have been unthinkable. Now, the smart phone is the shopper’s best friend – and the automotive sector is no exception to that rule. With online playing an increasingly important role, there is a clear need to optimize online marketing activities. These increase traffic to the touchpoints that drive purchase decisions. Marketers need to know which categories, websites, apps and content have the greatest influence over purchase decisions. Importantly, they need to understand how that varies by device.

    Understanding the customer’s purchase journey

    Our Crossmedia Link has been designed to help automotive clients understand the purchase journey. We track each and every touchpoint in the path to purchase to help you understand how, where and when consumers are encountering your brand, and most importantly, which interactions are converting into sales. This approach helps you understand your cross media exposure, optimize your media mix and realize the true value of incremental reach.

    Create compelling campaigns

    Integrating behavioral data from cross-media measurement, we can provide new insights into audience behavior, campaign efficiency and the customer journey.

    Using these insights enables you to understand your consumers’ media consumption by device more effectively and create compelling campaigns that will engage with consumers at key touchpoints in their decision making process.

    To share your thoughts, please email

    • 10/20/16
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Global
    • English

    Reporting back from Facebook’s Global Partner Summit

    As one of Facebook’s measurement partners, recently announced at its 2016 Global Partner Summit for marketers, we have been tasked with providing a holistic view of ad campaigns for its advertisers. By linking together the ad contacts from Facebook’s platform and our own media panel, Facebook’s advertisers can see a clearer picture of device usage, media exposure such as TV and even grocery shopping touchpoints. Not only are we able to measure the sales uplifts of the ad campaign, but advertisers gain a deeper understanding of the effects and exposure of any type of media and the related purchase journey.

    A complete record of media exposure and purchasing

    What “Data Link” does, is to connect two sets of data: Advertising exposures on the Facebook platform, regardless of mobile, tablet or desktop, and single-source data from our GfK Cross Media Link Panel, which we run in several countries around the world.

    Typically, the GfK Crossmedia Link is comprised of individuals who have consented to having a meter track their TV viewing, and a passive meter tracks their browsing habits on home computers. Finally, they also scan the contents of their grocery baskets when they bring them home, giving us a complete view of TV and digital media exposure and grocery shopping.

    With Data Link, we can combine Facebook ad impressions with our other panel data to arrive at a complete record of media exposure and purchasing. Other digital publishers are tracked using view-tags to track exposure, while print exposure can be estimated using a survey approach.

    Understanding campaign efficacy and efficiency

    This single-source approach means that we are able to detect and measure the sales uplifts caused by various elements of a campaign, and disentangle them from the effects of promotions, loyalty and price.

    The marginal effects of TV, Facebook and other factors such as price, promotions and loyalty are estimated using a logistic regression model that gives the sales uplift caused by each channel. Through this approach, it is then trivial to arrive at a figure for incremental revenue and return on ad-spend caused by each channel.

    By including interaction effects in the model, we can also investigate the synergy effects between different media, or look at effects by frequency of exposure.

    These measurement products referred to as CPA (Campaign Performance Analysis) and MME (Marketing Mix Evaluator) are now largely used by a growing number of advertisers who are able to understand precisely the efficiency and effectiveness of their campaigns on Facebook and across media.

    A Facebook research partner

    Five years ago, Facebook started to host yearly partner events for its “Facebook Preferred Marketing Developers” (PMD). The PMD program was created to help businesses scale their marketing efforts on Facebook and was renamed FMP (Facebook Marketing Partner) in 2015 with a number of additional features available to make it easier for marketers to find partners based on their specific needs.

    Now in 2016, the Global Partner Summit has become the largest Global Facebook event where Facebook invites all of its marketing partners. And, I was in San Francisco yesterday celebrating the future of marketing together with hundreds of partners. It was truly exciting to be there in the middle of it all.

    We have worked with Facebook as a measurement partner for several years:


    This work for Facebook and its advertising clients has resulted in us being named at the 2016 Facebook Global Partner Summit as one of a select few research partners. As of today, we are listed on Facebook Marketing Partner Website in the newly launched “Measurement Partner” category.

    As team GfK, we are honoured and happy for this formal recognition of our work.

    Please email to share your thoughts.

    • 10/19/16
    • Health
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Easing market access of telemedicine in the US: A guide for innovators

    Diagnosing and treating patients remotely through telemedicine in both the private and the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) payer markets has steadily increased in recent years.The global telemedicine market is projected to reach $34.0 billion by 2020 as patients become more aware of these services.2 Telemedicine improves access to healthcare for underserved and rural patient populations, and promotes population health management, resulting in better clinical outcomes for patients and cost savings for providers.3

    CMS set the benchmark definition of telemedicine that private payers often follow

    Medicare regulations cover and reimburse a range of telemedicine services, including the use of telecommunications and information technology, to provide access to health assessment, diagnosis, intervention, consultation, supervision and information remotely.4 According to Medicaid, telemedicine is a cost-effective alternative to the more traditional way of providing medical care (e.g., face-to-face consultations or examinations between provider and patient).5

    What about cost reimbursement and payer coverage for telemedicine services?

    Let’s look at the three categories of telemedicine:


    1. Real-time: A live interaction between a provider and a patient via a videoconference; it can be used to consult with primary care physicians, specialists and other healthcare professionals
    2. Store-and-forward: Captures a patient’s clinical data via a computer or mobile device and then transmits it to a provider for later analysis
    3. Remote monitoring: Allows continuous monitoring of a patient’s clinical data by a provider from a remote location and is more commonly used to assess chronic condition.

    Note that payer coverage and reimbursement are often limited to real-time interaction. Yet, with clear reimbursement guidance, providers and patients will more likely utilize and benefit from the technology.

    Four factors to consider when establishing a market access strategy in telemedicine

    After defining their target population, innovators must understand payers in order to align their services to the rules in place. Then they must keep in mind these four factors when establishing their market access strategy in telemedicine:


    1. Utilization of telemedicine is higher among Medicare patients than private payer patients. Traditionally, reimbursement for telemedicine services is limited to real-time consultations1 for underserved patient populations in rural areas; reimbursement is provided to the originating site (patient location) and distant site (provider location) of services. Remote monitoring is not covered and store-and-forward is only covered in Hawaii and Alaska.6 Medicaid coverage varies from state-to-state, but Medicaid reimburses telemedicine in 48 states.2
    2. Parity laws, which pursue equality, encourage private payers to cover telemedicine services if the clinical service is covered during in-person visits, but coverage decisions and reimbursement levels are made at the state level.7 Some private insurers are experimenting with direct-to-consumer business models, which circumvent third-party suppliers. Provider-based health plans can also offer telemedicine directly to patients and are not subject to standard private and CMS coverage laws.
    3. Legislature supporting telemedicine is constantly evolving. There have been more than 200 telemedicine-related bills launched this year regarding CMS coverage and coverage of store-and-forward and remote monitoring.7
    4. Adequate reimbursement through CMS and private payers will increase the adoption of telemedicine among providers and patients. These stakeholders believe in the clinical and economic advantages of telemedicine, but cannot utilize it without the support of payers. A study found that 90% of providers would use telemedicine if it were appropriately reimbursed.8 For consumers, the number one concern when considering telemedicine is that insurance will not cover it.9

    The utilization rate and investor funding in telemedicine continues to grow, making it an attractive option for innovators. But they must understand and guide the market access landscape and reimbursement definitions in order to successfully commercialize new products and services.

    If you have any questions or would like more information, email



    1. Siegel J, Kush J, Philip S. Telemedicine and the long-tail problem in healthcare. May 2016.
    2. Sibley G. Secure telehealth can improve access, help lower costs and protect patient data. Feb. 2016.
    3. American Hospital Association. The Promise of Telehealth for Hospitals, Health Systems and Their Communities. Jan. 2015
    4. The Code of Federal Regulations. 42 CFR 410.78.
    5. The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services. Telehealth Services.
    6. American Hospital Association. Realizing the Promise of Telehealth: Understanding the Legal and Regulatory Challenges. May 2015.
    7. Beck M. How Telemedicine Is Transforming Health Care. June 2016.
    8. Anthem. Family Physicians and Telehealth: A First Look At Attitudes Surrounding Telehealth. Nov. 2015.
    9. Survey conducted online by Harris Poll on behalf of Xerox in May 2016 among 2,033 U.S. adults 18+.

  • Shoppers love bargains - but which promotions work best?
    • 10/19/16
    • Retail
    • Connected Consumer
    • Future of Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Shoppers love bargains - but which promotions work best?

    Retail marketing activities have a huge influence on shopping decisions. When we asked shoppers what influences their buying decisions, retail promotions ranked as a key factor.

    Have a look at our new infographic for more!

    • 10/17/16
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    How retailers can build brand loyalty through mobile apps




    As mobile technology has increasingly become an everyday part of Connected Consumers’ lives, mobile apps present a unique opportunity for retailers, offering a direct line to consumers on the devices they carry with them everywhere. While branded apps have the potential to enhance the shopping experience, increase conversion and promote loyalty, they are constantly competing for the space on your mobile device with other apps, often being deleted or ignored after a single use.

    So, how can retailers design apps that transcend “one-off” usage and win real loyalty? Here are a few proven winning ways:


    • Inspire FoMO (fear of missing out) – Offering pop-up sales, information and other things on a time-sensitive basis throughout the year can attract shoppers and keep them coming back. Amazon’s Prime Day, for example, leveraged the feeling of FoMO by showing a timer on sale items with a status bar letting users know how many of them were still in stock. Amazon’s app also provided a watch-list of products that alerted users when a deal on items they were interested in went live. However, frequency is key, and they have continued to leverage FoMO post-Prime Day with Lightening Sales that are personalized based on items consumers have searched for in the past.
    • Encourage exploration – Browsing the web is the new daydreaming, a new way of killing time for today’s Connected Consumers. But apps used for e-commerce aren’t typically designed for unfocused browsing. They are primarily used by consumers who are serious and ready to buy, designed more around the transactional experience. If app designs were more attentive to encouraging exploration, comparison shopping and wish fulfillment, they would be more convenient for browsing, which could translate to more usage.
    • Provide more value – Shoppers will return to an app if it offers time and money saving benefits that they can’t get anywhere else. The Starbucks app, for example, allows users to store loyalty benefits such as coupons, deals, and points as well as offering a convenient mobile payment option. Apps that work in conjunction with a brick & mortar location to provide omnichannel perks can produce valuable benefits as well. The Kohl’s app provides free shipping if it is used to order an out-of-stock item while at the store, for example.
    • Make it easy to use – An effective app should be simple and easy to use. If accomplishing something on a website, the phone, or in-person is easier than using a mobile app, then the app is not serving its purpose. Tasks like making hotel reservations, finding restaurants, or checking the weather can all be done in no more than a few clicks on an app, whereas performing the same task on an actual website takes longer. Apps are meant to be used on the go, therefore the time it takes to use them can make or break the experience.
    • Bring consumers back to the app – Email messages from retailers typically drive readers to their website. By changing the direction of the funnel, retailers can encourage app use by creating a communication flow that pushes consumers to their app.

    Mimicking your marketing on other platforms is simply not enough. Giving consumers a reason to download and return to your app can provide a number of benefits, including brand loyalty. The more frequently apps are used, the more they become ingrained in their users’ habits. Making them easy and effective to use while providing value that shoppers can’t get elsewhere are keys to success in the future of retail.

    *’Taking the App Challenge: How Retailers Can Raise Their “Stickiness” to New Heights’ originally appeared in Internet Retailer.

    Please email to share your thoughts.















    Discover how to win the battle for the connected shopper of the future



    Learn more about the Future of Retail














  • How to get bigger in the business of fashion
    • 10/14/16
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    How to get bigger in the business of fashion

    We have developed a tool that enables you to have a thorough understanding of what consumers do both on and offline, in order to gain intelligence into the crucial ‘why’ of their actions.

    Accompany Jess on her purchase journey to find out how we can analyse various details about a specific journey to show a true picture of the consumer.

    • 10/14/16
    • Health
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Using virtual reality in healthcare product design to build patient empathy

    A common complaint we hear from healthcare providers is that while they have developed a deep understanding of the patient experience by providing day-to-day care, product developers are typically several steps removed from the patient experience. But what if we could close that gap? What if we could facilitate a better understanding (and empathy!) of the patient experience by putting product developers in the shoes of target users?

    Consider virtual reality (VR) – what if you could virtually “become” any patient with any condition at any time; you could immerse yourself in the context that they experience their daily challenges. VR technology now makes this possible, which opens the door to unlimited possibilities in user experience (UX) research.

    Current application of virtual reality empathy

    We’ve started to see examples of virtual reality empathy applied in other industries. Several news outlet apps invite the viewer to virtually immerse themselves in a news story: the Paris attack vigil, a battle with Iraqi forces and ISIS, a solitary confinement cell, or standing helpless as a patient goes into diabetic shock. Done well, this technology creates a new way to gain a powerful empathetic response from viewers.

    Now imagine using this virtual reality empathy experience to begin your research and development (R&D) process for a new healthcare product. Presently, virtual reality empathy experiences for the healthcare sector are publicly accessible, e.g. what it’s like to have dementia, schizophrenia, or a migraine. Your team could refer back to this experience and customize it to sub user groups. A robust virtual reality empathy tool or lab would be necessary for this to benefit an entire R&D process and multiple products.

    The virtual reality empathy design lab: become your target user

    Let’s imagine what this lab might look like. There could be a library of virtual reality experiences of different target users from which you could pull. Or, imagine walking into a room in which you could custom design the target user. For both of these experiences you could virtually “become” the target user avatar. Within seconds you could “become” an aging woman with arthritis and asthma or a teenager with diabetes and low vision.

    Could this help your R&D team keep the user top of mind? Or even better, emotionally hook you and the team to the target user needs as product design, packaging, and marketing strategy decisions are made?

    Virtual reality empathy in UX research

    While these initiatives continue to be explored, we are helping clients gain empathy for their users through VR. We recently wrote about our VR ethnography in Mexico and our experimentation with VR imagery. We are interested in pushing the limits of this method.

    An example where we see the benefits of this application is in-home VR recording and streaming. Instead of flipping through a PowerPoint with pictures at the end of a study, product teams can virtually immerse themselves into a patient’s home while the patient shows and describes to researchers the impact of the challenges they encounter on a daily basis. Product teams can feel as though they are sitting next to patients as they tear up in happiness describing how the product has saved their life. No picture in a report or video clip could offer this level of immersion or empathy.

    We can also see applications to experiencing a patient journey in a hospital. Product designers can experience the patient journey first hand, e.g. from stretcher to operating room to discharge. You’d feel just like the researcher and be able to observe patients when they experience pain, confusion, fear, or sadness.

    Beyond patient empathy and next steps

    In addition to designing best-in-class experiences, there are other benefits VR could offer throughout the R&D process, including team buy-in. Once a C-suite executive, board director, or engineer immerses themselves into a virtual first-hand experience within a patient’s home or a hospital room, investment in next steps or design changes become a discussion instead of persuasion.

    Some aspects of applying this technology in the healthcare industry are a ways off in terms of feasibility. Patient privacy is also always a concern. However, easy access to simple exploration apps and cardboard VR goggles facilitates easy experimentation and seemingly endless possibilities. It’s even more fun to think what, if anything, we could do with this technology to ultimately enhance the quality of life for patients around the world.

    Would the ability to “become” your target user be useful for your team?

    Hope to see you at the global innovation and technology healthcare conference in London in November!

    Please email to share your thoughts.