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Social and Strategic Research

Our Vision: To be the essential global partner for scientific caliber solutions that withstand scrutiny

Who we are

SSR is the global Social and Strategic Research division within GfK- driven by quality and trusted by our clients. Through our European and US based research hubs, we provide our clients continuous high quality project delivery by combining rigorous social research with cutting-edge digital tools executed by subject-matter-experts, policy specialists, data scientists and methodological specialists. 

Our tailor-made approach and out of the box thinking creates research solutions that provide a robust evidence base and actionable insights in a holistic way enabling clients to make informed decisions. We offer a custom mix of traditional and innovative methods, diving into measurement, data analytics, policy and behavioural trends to help our clients understand the current landscape, evaluate effectiveness and plan for tomorrow. 

Our work helps our clients understand and shape social and cultural issues today and in the future. We don’t just know how to collect and deliver the best quality data, we translate it and help our clients use it to achieve results.

Christine Tresignie
Christine Tresignie
+3216742918

What we do

Our global team brings together the right set of skills, knowledge and tools to help government, academic and commercial clients answer key social questions with no topic too sensitive or too complex. Our reach is global, local and specialised for virtually every demographic; whether your needs require insight that is representative of the general population, the views of key stakeholders, indicative of businesses or should reflect hard-to-reach populations and communities.

Social Research - Key Social Questions

Whether the question is applicable to a city, region or is global in scale, our social research teams create custom smart solutions to build an evidence base and provide in-depth insights into any given social topic. Our Key Social Questions relate to how society works and the way people think and behave within society to inform the public debate, policy making and theory building. The most important social questions of today, relevant to topics ranging from our population and the economy to the use of technology, the future of energy and the image of our cities and nations are answered through a lens of both social science methods and cutting-edge marketing research innovations.

Our Key Social Questions relate to:

Citizen/consumer/stakeholder attitudes and behaviours

  • What are citizens’ attitudes and behaviours towards existing and emerging social or economic phenomena (e.g. religious attitudes, online social media, e-commerce)?
  • How do citizens’ attitudes and behaviours change over time? What do we predict attitudes and behavior to be tomorrow?
  • How can we improve outcomes (health, education, labour market, consumer awareness) for citizens and specific groups in the future (e.g. minorities, vulnerable groups, leaners, unemployed)?
  • What drives consumers to change their purchasing habits?
  • What issues are our key stakeholders thinking about today – and how will that affect our business in the future?”

Market/Economic performance

  • How satisfied are consumers and traders with the current way the market operates?
  • What are the barriers to and drivers of economic progress?
  • What factors drive the adoption of new technologies?
  • How do specific economic sectors perform over time and what can we forecast for the future? From a consumer perspective – what are the future opportunities? From a business-to-business perspective?

Consumer awareness and protection

  • What is the level of consumer knowledge and trust in specific economic sectors (financial services, renewable energy)?
  • What risks do technological developments and market evolutions pose to consumers/citizens?
  • What are the specific actions and trends of the current market towards consumers? Do consumers understand these actions and how do they affect consumer choices?
  • How can specific market behaviours (the availability of offers, the way products/services are advertised, the terms and conditions utilised by traders) limit consumer freedom? How prevalent are they and how can these risks be mitigated?
Strategic Research – Key Strategic Questions

SSR is known for their thought leadership leading the industry in terms of methodological expertise and widely disseminated results. This is evidenced by our skill in conducting and analysing qualitative and quantitative data and the high calibre of the resulting research outputs including publication in peer-reviewed journals, news media, white papers, think pieces, etc. We focus on Key Strategic questions to guide decision making in reputation, corporate communications and corporate governance. Our Strategic research helps clients achieve business objectives through public recognition as thought leaders and smart communications with stakeholders. 

Our Key Strategic Questions relate to:

Thought Leadership

  • How successful is an organization in displaying credibility and leading the dialogue in their field or industry?

Strategic communications/Message development and testing

  • Is our communication going to be understood, attractive and persuasive amongst our target audience? 
  • What is the target audience’s perception of our agency, brand, product, message, etc.?
  • What impact are our communication activities having on the attitudes, behaviours, perceptions, consumption amongst our target audience?
  • How can we improve our communication – what strategy should be put in place?

Programme evaluation

  • What are the needs of the target population of interest? What are the sources of problems the program is aiming to address?
  • How effective is our programme in impacting our target demographic (stakeholders, businesses, citizens, specific demographics, etc.) and what improvements can be made? 
  • How satisfied is the target group with the implementation of our programme?
  • Is our programme meeting its objectives?

Corporate reputation

  • How do the key stakeholders feel about the company? Does the company elicit good feelings, trust, admiration and respect?
  • What is the value that stakeholders perceive they get from the products and/or services of the company?
  • How do stakeholders feel regarding the organizations behaviour in the market?
  • Policy, regulation and enforcement
  • How adequate are policy/regulatory frameworks and enforcement in protecting consumers with respect to current market evolutions and evolving technologies? 
  • What improvements to the policy/regulatory framework need to be made and how?

Policy, regulation and enforcement

  • How adequate are policy/regulatory frameworks and enforcement in protecting consumers with respect to current market evolutions and evolving technologies? 
  • What improvements to the policy/regulatory framework need to be made and how?

How we do it

Citizen/consumer/stakeholder attitudes and behaviours

We gauge citizen and consumer attitudes from a variety of perspectives to understand the full spectrum of society’s attitudes and behaviours towards a variety of social phenomena. We might be known for our rigorous quantitative methods, but we have a wealth of expertise in engaging qualitative methods and digital tools to create a strong evidence-base of the current landscape and to predict the future. 

Market/Economic performance

We apply a varied range of robust, scalable methodologies (e.g. CATI, CAWI, Mystery shopping) to measure economic performance across different sectors and countries. Using traditional, digital or custom methods allows us to look from the perspective of both consumers and market players, investigating not only performance but also barriers, drivers and market opportunities. Our key objectives are to ensure the representativeness, continuity and comparability of the data and insights we deliver. Furthermore, we can use the obtained data to accurately model and predict future market performance and behaviour. 

Policy, Regulation, Enforcement

We team up with the best minds in the field, from legal expertise, subject matter experts and policy specialists on every topic. This expertise, combined with our original data collection (quantitative and qualitative, including stakeholder opinion) and secondary analysis identifies policy and regulatory deficiencies as well as judgements about enforcement. Bringing behavioural experiments into play enables us provide concrete insights about how to strengthen policy and regulatory frameworks whilst our market knowledge identifies key areas for enforcement.

Consumer awareness and protection

GfK SSR understands the unique role and function independent research plays in identifying current levels of consumer awareness, understanding and detriment that can arise from consumer products, the way they are marketed or the way the market operates. Our research serves the purpose of improving outcomes for people in society, market freedom, the ability to utilise their rights, etc. GfK can help commercial firms, government regulators and policy makers inform new policy development by measuring real and potential impact on our society.

Public communication evaluation

Research is critical to the development, implementation and evaluation of a communication strategy and campaign. It is essential for learning about the intended users and for guiding the design of communications that are easy to understand and use. The GfK SSR team utilises research to understand consumers’ information interests and needs, their desired information sources and channels, their preferred messages, and their attitudes, beliefs, and behaviours around specific topic of interest. Furthermore, we provide the necessary tools and strategic consultancy to measure the impact of a communication campaign on the perception, attitudes and behaviour of the target group. 

Programme evaluation

Measurement and evaluation of the activities aimed towards  stakeholders, key target audiences and users is essential when assessing the effectiveness of a work programme. We provide strategic consultancy, as well as technical and methodological support in order to collect, analyse and report feedback that feeds into the decision making process. By providing actionable insights and recommendations we help our clients to better understand and adapt to users’ changing needs in a timely, relevant and useful way.  

Place branding

A wide variety of clients globally, turns to GfK’s SSR team for the most comprehensive quantitative assessment of the image of nations and cities around the world.

GfK’s syndicated Anholt-GfK Nation Brands IndexSM (NBI) and Anholt-GfK City Brands IndexSM (CBI) are recognized leaders in the field of place branding, providing up to 10 years of trend data for analysis. These syndicated products often serve as a springboard for customized place-branding engagements that provide clients with a detailed understanding of a place’s image among key stakeholders at home and abroad.

Reputation measurement

SSR’s team of highly-consultative experts work with clients across all sectors to on high-profile and high-stakes research projects that are critical to their organization’s missions.  This includes research focused on reputation measurement, issues management, thought leadership, and strategic communications. Whether a client needs proprietary research to guide its internal decision-making or seeks to gain headlines with public-facing research insights, SSR can help clients meet their objectives.

KnowledgePanel®

Accuracy, Science and Rigor are at the core of KnowledgePanel® and its value to high quality research. KnowledgePanel is the largest probability-based online panel that is representative of the adult US population; 55,000 active members strong. Our recruitment process employs an addressed-based sampling methodology from the Delivery Sequence File of the USPS - a database with coverage of  delivery points in the US. As such, samples from KnowledgePanel cover households regardless of their phone status making it a premier choice for a broad range of commercial, government and academic research. 

KnowledgePanel United States

Custom online probability panel building

GfK builds Custom Probability Panels for clients with specific, longer-term needs to build, own and manage a rigorously recruited, scientifically valid longitudinal respondent panel dedicated to their studies. Built upon the same foundation of Address Based Sampling (ABS) recruitment that we use for KnowledgePanel®, a Custom Probability Panel can be constructed to virtually any size and can be tailored to focus directly upon the needs of each specific client. Respondent characteristics can be custom matched to client needs (smokers, youths and young adults and voters are just some of the defining characteristics of GfK Custom Probability Panels). GfK has built panels for Government agencies, non-profit organizations, Universities and technology firms as well as having taken over the maintenance of panels built by their sponsors. Finally, Custom Probability Panels can be advantageous from a cost standpoint depending upon the specific characteristics of the panel, frequency of use and intended term of the panel. GfK Custom Probability Panels meet the exacting requirements for a sustainable, statistically recruited longitudinal panel matched to each client’s ongoing needs.

Advocacy

We conduct public opinion research designed to inform advocacy groups about the obstacles and opportunities available given current levels of public knowledge and opinions.  We help clients identify which groups to target and which messages resonate most effectively.

Regulatory Research

We have extensive experience conducting high-stakes research designed to assist companies meet regulatory reporting obligations.  This includes population surveillance studies, pre- and post-product launch studies, and longitudinal tracking studies related to regulated industries.

Our People – Smart, Trusted, Passionate and Relevant

As strategic consultants we work closely with our clients to create tailored research solutions. Our global team brings together a team of academically-trained researchers, public affairs and communications specialists, subject matter experts, business developers, legal specialists, economists, data scientists, methodological experts, dedicated operations specialists and digital researchers.

Global

United States

International

Christine TresignieAnnie WeberSara Gysen
christine.tresignie@gfk.comannie.weber@gfk.comsara.gysen@gfk.com
T +32 1674 2918T +1 212 240 5326T +32 1674 2931
Latest insights

Here you can find the latest insights for Social and Strategic Research. View all insights.

    • 16/11/17
    • Social and Strategic Research
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • Public Communications and Social Science
    • Global
    • English

    Germany reclaims top “nation brand” ranking, with USA dropping to sixth place

    France leaps to second place for first time, since 2009, while UK regains ground to remain third and Japan enters top five for first time since 2011. USA is only country showing overall decline in 2017. Germany shows major gains in Governance, People, and Culture.
    • 18/10/17
    • Financial Services
    • Social and Strategic Research
    • Global
    • English

    EU consumer confidence at highest level in over nine years

    Consumer sentiment within the EU 28 has continued its upward trend in the third quarter of this year, finishing on 20.9 points. 
    • 28/09/17
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Social and Strategic Research
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    German consumer climate declines slightly

    GfK forecasts a decrease in consumer climate for October of 0.1 points in comparison to the previous month to 10.8 points.
    • 29/08/17
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Social and Strategic Research
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Income Expectation again hits a record high

    GfK forecasts an increase in consumer climate for September of 0.1 points in comparison to the previous month to 10.9 points.
Your GfK Contact
Christine Tresignie
General