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Smart insights: Technology

In today’s connected society, technology impacts all industries - driving opportunities and accelerating the speed of innovation.

To stay competitive, technology companies need to understand consumers’ evolving experiences and choices.

Our technology market research experts deliver smart insights to create engaging and relevant concept designs, product positioning, advertising and customer experiences. Our technology industry expertise spans IT and IT B2B, consumer electronics (CE), photo, office equipment and telecommunications market performance, consumer research and trends.

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    • 02/16/17
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Mobile technology and the balancing act of global and local marketing

    The expansion of the digital world through mobile technology has leveled today’s marketing and advertising playing field, providing tools and techniques to reach a worldwide audience. But is going global the best way to make the most of your multi-channel marketing, or do you run the risk of your products and campaigns getting lost in translation across cultures? To truly maximize your effectiveness, you must find an appropriate balance between global scale and local differentiation.

    Marketing in a digital, mobile world

    In what was once a highly segmented, geographically limited market, advances in technology and the lower cost of mobile devices have introduced a new set of rules for marketers and advertisers alike. Developing and emerging markets are leaping headlong into the digital world, which now embraces millions of consumers who were left behind in a desktop-centric environment.  But while global consumers share many powerful commonalities, marketers who want to leverage the worldwide scale of a global audience run the risk of missing the boat by not integrating local differences and nuances into their campaigns. Mass media channels like Facebook and Google, for example, can be used to target or research consumers on a global scale, but there are many other popular platforms and apps whose appeal is profoundly local.  One of the 10 most popular apps in Indonesia, for example, is Gojek, which allows users to book a ride on the back of someone else’s motorcycle.  Completely indigenous to that country, this ride-sharing app was recently valued at $1.3 billion. Local opportunities such as this must be considered when experimenting with advertising effectiveness.

    Getting the global-local balance right

    Another key to finding this macro/micro balance is being mindful of global market segments that may have distinctly local flavors. In one region, members of a certain segment may have a preference for particular types of mobile apps or ways of communicating, while in another area they use their mobile phones or smartphones very differently. It’s important for global marketers and advertisers to affirm the best that each approach has to offer – to be wise about the time spent tailoring to local markets, while also not leaning too heavily on global sameness. Experimentation may take time, but regularly fine tuning your approach between global scale and local customization will lead to effectiveness improvements that can pay huge dividends. This blog post has been adapted from an article in AMA Marketing News.
    • 02/08/17
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Are consumers willing to exchange personal data for rewards?

    Over a quarter of internet users (27 percent) across 17 countries strongly agree* that they are willing to share their personal data in exchange for benefits or rewards like lower costs or personalized service. In contrast, 19 percent are firmly unwilling* to share their data. Asked whether they agree or disagree with the statement “I am willing to share my personal data (health, financial, driving records, energy use, etc.) in exchange for benefits or rewards like lower costs or personalized service”, more people firmly agree with sharing personal data, in return for rewards, than firmly disagree. Those in China, Mexico and Russia were the most likely to agree firmly with the statement about sharing personal data, while Germany, France and Brazil on the other hand, had the highest amounts of people that were heavily unwilling to share their data.   Globally, people aged 30-40 were the most likely to be highly willing to share personal data (34%), followed by those in their twenties (33%) and those aged 15-19 years old (28%). Equal percentages of both men and women are firmly willing to share their data in return for benefits – both standing at 27 percent. However, more women than men class themselves as firmly unwilling, standing at 21 percent of women versus 18 percent of men. For consumers around the world who are willing to share their personal data, programmatic advertising allows brands to put them at the center of their marketing and deliver more meaningful messages that ultimately resonate deeper with them. Footnote: * GfK asked people to indicate how strongly they agree or disagree with the statement, “I am willing to share my personal data (health, financial, driving records, energy use, etc.) in exchange for benefits or rewards like lower costs or personalized service”, using a 7-point scale where “1” means “don’t agree at all” and “7” means “agree completely. The data given in this article shows the percentage of respondents selecting top two boxes (indicating strongly or completely agree) or bottom two boxes (indicating strongly or completely disagree) About the study GfK conducted an online survey with over 27,000 consumers aged 15 or older in 22 countries. As part of the survey, Fieldwork was completed in June 2015 and data are weighted to reflect the demographic composition of the online population age 15+ in each market. The countries included are Argentina, Australia, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, China, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Netherlands, Poland, Russia, South Korea, Spain, Sweden, Turkey, U.K and U.S.

    Interested in learning more?

    Download the full results from our global study
    • 02/08/17
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Tech Trends
    • Global
    • English

    Smartphone market up 6.6 percent year-on-year in 2016

    Continued 4G expansion in China, plus accelerating growth in Russia, drove global demand over the year. Smartphone sales in 4Q16 totaled 391 million units globally, up six percent year-on-year. All regions except Western Europe saw year-on-year growth in 4Q16.
    • 01/19/17
    • Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Four reasons I won’t be going to CES next year (and four reasons I probably will!)

    I have been to CES on and off since the mid 2000’s.  My friends and colleagues typically ask me ‘how was CES?,’ expecting some techno-prophesy. There are no pithy, tweet-worthy phrases to sum up ‘how it was’.  CES is a techno-orgy; it’s like no place else.  It both attracts and repels you simultaneously. In reflecting on what I saw, there are a number of disappointments that make me say I really don’t need to go back.  Let me enumerate:
    1. Let me say it again, redundancy.  After the first 20 ‘smart light bulbs’ or ‘drones’ or ‘fitness trackers’, the brain goes numb.  Much of CES is evolution than revolution and thus finding the signal in the noise of the total product array can prove challenging.
    2. Not to be too obvious, but it bears mentioning, the focus is, in my view, entirely too much on Electronics and not enough on the Consumer. As someone more interested in the consumer experience than the electronics, I think the technology can serve itself and not the user. There are so many items displayed that I believe are solutions in need of a problem. Just because we can, does not mean we should.
    3. Similar to the previous point, technology need not solve every problem. I virtually had a panic attack when I saw a ‘dental floss’ device that I feared was Bluetooth enabled.  Thankfully, it was ‘just’ digital (dispensing and reminding), and not connected.  Even then, I’m not sure I need a digital dental floss dispenser.  Perhaps on a more culturally disturbing level, I saw several manifestations of robots for children – to be their friend, to be their helper, to rock them to sleep, etc.  The need that drives this kind of technology is indicative of perhaps larger issues.  My colleague Meredith Paige coined the term ‘Impersonal Care’ to describe this.  Much of the technological solutions displayed are of marginal value – ‘is the juice worth the squeeze?’
    4. On an entirely practical level, with all the media coverage, do I really need to be there in person? In using my Fitbit, I walked (wandered, actually) about six miles each day and felt like I had only seen the bare minimum of the show.  There’s always more to see.  There is no bottom.  So I’m thinking that since most of the media curates the important stuff, what if I just sat back and dialed in to CES Live, Engadget, CNET, press outlets, bloggers, etc?  I’d capture the most far-out and breathtaking developments from the comfort of my own home.
    While I continue to be concerned about what technology is doing to us intellectually, socially, and culturally, there are several reasons I will most likely return year on year:
    1. There are real human problems being solved in new and interesting ways. Technology is being used to make us safer (e.g., in automobiles), augment our senses (smart hearing aids), reduce waste (energy usage), etc.  Unfortunately, you’ve got to go through layers and layers to get to the important/interesting stuff.
    2. Concentration of so much technology in one small space – you can explore drones, cars, robots, appliances, etc. in a small space. If one is looking for category trends or cross-category trends they can be found in ways just not possible through the media, online or in a store.
    3. It’s a great way to stimulate the brain coming off the holidays. The whole environment is invigorating (or, for some, chaotic!).  New ideas are everywhere.  There are amazing people to meet, and some great ideas to build around.
    4. And lastly, it’s just a lot of fun. You get to see, do and try things that you might not get a chance to do anywhere else.  (When else am I going to meet and talk to Nick Offerman?)
    Next time I’m going with a plan.  I find the really interesting things are from smaller vendors, especially those in the Eureka! Hall and those startups funded by large companies (Sony had some really interesting startups present). Second, if you’re there and you want to know what’s hot, look at the crowds.  For really cool stuff, it may look as if the piranhas are feeding on the carcass of some poor erstwhile beast.  There’s usually something there. Next year, let’s hope for more revolution, more relevance, and more fun! Robert Schumacher is an Executive Vice President of User Experience at GfK. Please email robert.schumacher@gfk.com with your comments.
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  • Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brands are under pressure to develop emotional connections and relationships with consumers and business decision makers.  Brands need to respond in-the-moment, to enrich the customer experience – and develop strategies that influence ”moments of truth” throughout individual brand journeys.  

  • Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    When consumers shop, search, communicate, gather information and engage with companies or brands online, they behave differently depending on which device or screen they are using. They expect a consistent experience regardless of the channel or device they are using.

  • Point of Sales Tracking

    Point of Sales Tracking

    Retailers and manufacturers are under pressure to develop products and services that maximize sales and profit and to keep customers coming back.

    Success relies on having the most up-to-date sales data, combined with robust analysis to understand which products and services are performing well in the market – and which are not. With this information, clients can set clear strategies for commercial growth and increase return on investment.

  • User Experience (UX)

    User Experience (UX)

    Our user experience (UX) research and design experts help our clients create and improve customer experiences for existing or new products and services

    Today’s consumer is bombarded with promises for compelling experiences. They are sophisticated and demanding.  To be successful, a new product or service needs to be intuitive, usable, engaging and desirable. The user experience needs to be emotional in order to be memorable.

  • Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Brands are under constant pressure to maintain relevance in an increasingly crowded market. Identifying when, where and how to deliver compelling experiences that deliver new value for both consumers and brands is critical.

  • Trends & Forecasting

    Trends & Forecasting

    ​Today’s steady stream of new offerings and shortening product lifecycles place a unique pressure on businesses to stay ahead. Consumer purchasing behavior shifts more rapidly than ever.

  • Geomarketing

    Geomarketing

    Our geomarketing solutions and consultancy provide our clients with smart insights into location-specific factors that impact the success of business sites, shops, sales territories, target groups, as well as chain store and distribution networks.

  • Mystery Shopping

    Mystery Shopping

    Consumers face a complex array of brand touch points every day of their lives. To deliver a consistent brand experience, marketers need to know how consumers are actually experiencing their brand. Our mystery shoppers give you all the help you need to understand these experiences, and respond to them to maximize the return for your business.

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