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  • Global quarterly smartphone demand down year-on-year though revenue growth remained strong
    • 04/25/18
    • Press
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Global quarterly smartphone demand down year-on-year though revenue growth remained strong

    Global smartphone demand fell two percent to 347 million units in the first quarter of 2018 (1Q18). 

  • The value of choosing the right approach to pharmaceutical launch pricing
    • 04/23/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    The value of choosing the right approach to pharmaceutical launch pricing

    Join us on May 16 as our pricing and market access experts host a 45-minute webinar, “The value of choosing the right approach to pharmaceutical launch pricing.” 

  • Connect with our team at EphMRA
    • 04/23/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    06/26/18 - 06/28/18
    Connect with our team at EphMRA

    June 26-28, Basel Congress Center in Basel, Switzerland
    Meet our top health experts during this healthcare business intelligence/analysis conference. Learn more about how we’re addressing our clients’ commercial priorities in a changing marketplace. 

  • Connect with the GfK Health team at the BHBIA Annual Conference
    • 04/23/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    05/14/18 - 05/15/18
    Connect with the GfK Health team at the BHBIA Annual Conference

    May 14-15 in Kensington, London, UK
    Hear our top industry expert speak on” How consumer research innovations can help boost health intelligence.” Learn how we address our clients’ commercial priorities in a changing marketplace. 

  • Join GfK Health at Intellus!
    • 04/20/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    05/06/18 - 05/08/18
    Join GfK Health at Intellus!

    May 6-8 (Booth #204) at the Philadelphia Marriott, Philadelphia, PA, USA

    Our top industry experts are ready to address our clients’ commercial priorities in a changing marketplace. 

  • Consumer sentiment in Europe remained cautiously optimistic
    • 04/19/18
    • Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Consumer sentiment in Europe remained cautiously optimistic

    Findings of the GfK Consumer Climate Europe Study for the first quarter of 2018

  • Meet with us at ISPOR 2018
    • 04/18/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    05/19/18 - 05/23/18
    Meet with us at ISPOR 2018

    May 19-23 (Booth #436) at Baltimore Convention Center, in Baltimore, Maryland, US 
    Explore our many posters. And meet with our Market Access and Patient Centricity experts who are ready to help strengthen your strategy at every step of the value chain. 

  • Tapping into people’s need to take a break
    • 04/16/18
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Tapping into people’s need to take a break

    I had two friends who posted on Facebook recently within hours of each other. One had spent the day at a theme park with her family, all of whom left their phones “in the car ON purpose. Best way to enjoy the day together!” The other had been sharing many stunning photos of a vacation in Egypt; yet on the last day, she decided not to take photos but “just to see with my own eyes.”

    This is hardly surprising. “Experiences are more important than possessions” perpetually ranks among the highest-rated attitudinal statements in the annual GfK Consumer Life global study. It ranks seventh out of 42 statements listed. It also ranks third for teenagers 15-19 and in Canada.

    Taking a tech break

    It is certainly ironic that my friends talked about their tech breaks on social media, yet this reflects the mixed feelings many people have toward technology. Yes, it helps us do many things we could never do before, but people are increasingly recognizing its addictive nature as a real problem. This is something that we warned about two years ago when we found that Technology Leading Edge Consumers were in the forefront of being concerned about this drawback to technology. Fully 45% of global consumers belonging to this early adopter group agreed “I find it difficult to take a break from technology, even when I know I should,” 13 points higher than average.

    Taking a tech break can be easier said than done, of course, and going cold turkey isn’t necessarily the answer. Some brands take a hybrid approach by promoting tech use specifically to make time for real life. For example, Citi is promoting its mobile app with a cute dad-and-kids ad and the slogan “spend the moments in the moment.” The Pocket Points app motivates students to focus on classes; when they lock their phones while on campus, they earn rewards points for local and online merchants.

    Another approach is to take a complete if temporary break from tech. Musician Jack White has banned phones from his upcoming concert tour because he “wants people to live in the moment.” Organizations such as the YMCA and Boy Scouts encourage families to help children take a tech break.

    The Story Inn goes a step further with its slogan “One Inconvenient Location Since 1851.” The Inn is actually a cluster of buildings in a virtual ghost town in Indiana that offers lodgings, dining, and a venue for special events. Rooms are billed as “One Distraction-Free, Tranquil Escape” and have been converted from the likes of a one-room schoolhouse, carriage house, and grain mill. They don’t have TVs, phones or internet service.

    Taking a real-life break

    Vacations represent a different kind of break, a pause from the real life that so many people find stressful. Destinations like Walt Disney World epitomize this type of experience on a grand scale, but an infinite number of products and services can offer mini-breaks at any time and anywhere.

    The Rituals home- and body-care brand emphasizes the benefits of incorporating soothing experiences into everyday life. “They are the seemingly meaningless moments we all tend to overlook. Rituals unveils these moments and reminds you to experience them with joy.” L.L. Bean encourages people to “live every day like it’s the weekend.”

    Then there is literal escapism – the phenomenon of escape rooms, a hybrid of team role-playing and the classic locked-room mystery. Although not for everyone (such as those with claustrophobia), they can provide respite for problem-solving thrill seekers.

    Most people prefer more serene escapes, however. The share of respondents to a GfK Consumer Life global survey who prefer a relaxing vacation over an active one is 62%, up 7 points from 2012. Photos submitted by respondents indicate that sandy beaches top the list of places where people like to relax, followed by other outdoor venues such as forests, lakes, gardens and parks. We don’t need research to tell us that nature makes us feel good, but in fact, research does bear this out.

    And yes, video games provide escapism, too, but it’s important to keep in mind that most people still don’t view virtual experiences on par with the real thing. Just 30% of global consumers agree that “virtual interactions with people and places can be as good as being there in person,” ranking it #40 among 42 attitudinal statements.


    Virtually every product and service can tap into people’s desire for experiences, whether they be social or solitary, physical or intellectual, tech or non-tech. The key is to understand precisely what kind of experience your customers crave.

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  • Connecting consumers to your products in pharmacies
    • 04/16/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Connecting consumers to your products in pharmacies

    Join us on May 9 as our team hosts a 45-minute webinar, “Partnering virtual pharmacies and expert recommendations to drive powerful consumer health marketing.” 

  • Examining the complexities of pharmaceutical launch pricing: Three easy steps to get it right
    • 04/16/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Examining the complexities of pharmaceutical launch pricing: Three easy steps to get it right

    Pricing for pharmaceuticals has never been more complex, and establishing optimal pricing across key strategic markets, with different evidentiary requirements, standards of care, comparator prices and assessment processes, poses enormous challenges for the industry. In this article, we examine the major factors influencing pricing, and chart a course for success by highlighting three key components for pricing strategy development.

    Weighing multiple factors to determine optimal launch pricing without tipping the scales

    The pricing of innovative pharmaceuticals and medical technologies is coming under increasing scrutiny, with payers, prescribers and the public challenging the relationship between incremental clinical benefit and increasing cost.

    Even when high-cost therapies deliver significant improvements in health outcomes and may be considered to be cost-effective, payers’ focus will tend to shift to budget impact and financial sustainability.

    Ultimately, a complex mix of interrelated factors, including level of unmet need, societal and clinical demand, unit price, the level of clinical benefit, budget impact, the price points of relevant comparators and the potential value of cost-offsets are driving access and uptake.

    So determining optimal launch pricing has to take account of these drivers, together with the views and behaviors of payers, physicians and patients.

    Never before has there been more pressure on pricing for pharmaceuticals:

    • Just one chance to get it right. Once a pricing strategy is in place, course corrections are difficult and sometimes impossible; for example, price increases in ex-US markets. Clearly, leaving money on the table is a major concern, but exceeding what may be considered to be an acceptable price threshold could be as bad, if not worse. A subsequent change in pricing strategy may fail to repair payer and prescriber perceptions and remove access and utilization hurdles.
    • More competitive markets. Many indications, even in oncology and specialty care, have become commoditized at one end, and highly competitive at the other – with brands, generics and biosimilars all playing a role. Standing out from the crowd from a value perspective can be challenging. Thus pricing in line with value perception becomes even more important.
    • Continuously growing price pressure. As healthcare budgets continue to rise, payers have become increasingly focused on value for money, acquisition costs, budget impact and financial sustainability. One response to such challenges has been to shift the budgetary risk to manufacturers, either through contracting and price-volume and other financial agreements, or linked to outcomes, using a variety of pay-for-performance models. In some markets, such as the US, cost-shifting to patients has created additional access hurdles.
    • Prescriber price sensitivity. Beyond payer influences on utilization, prescribers are more aware than ever of drug prices and more likely to chime in on discussions in social media. In the US, value frameworks have become an instrument to convey different perspectives of measuring value, which payers consider when making drug coverage decisions.

     With these challenges in mind, we offer three components to consider for ensuring the most robust pricing strategy input:

    1. The overall pricing research approach must be tailored to the strategic objectives for your product

    Earlier-stage and a less complex marketplace suggest a streamlined, quick turnaround approach with an essential sample of payers and a concise N sample with physicians, for example 30 by market, with a focus on direct pricing methods.

    Launch strategy and/or highly complex/competitive markets require not just larger samples for payers and physicians (ideally 100/market), but also more sophisticated indirect methods; e.g., DCM and complex market models.

    1. Pricing methods adequate for the research objectives

    Direct methods, such as Van Westendorp and Gabor Granger, address fundamental price reaction, while indirect methods provide higher precision.  For very early development assessments, pure price/value perception can be sufficient, while a more intricate profile requires a multi-method approach. Indirect methods, such as adaptive conjoint, are also the method of choice for a larger number of product concepts to test.


    1. Integrated findings representing all P&R stakeholders

    It is critical to have an adequate approach that combines price sensitivity of payer restrictions, physicians’ reacting to restrictions and patient response to out-of-pocket costs to derive a resulting price/volume relationship and identify optimal pricing.

    A unique profile to support quantitative pricing research

    Through our research, we have developed a tried-and-tested pricing approach addressing objectives customized for a customer’s specific product.  Our approach leverages country-level price and market access expertise in all key strategic and emerging markets with an integrated team of experts in healthcare, quantitative methods and primary research.  Moreover, our method is direct and efficient in league with the project team. We’ve learned that through our quantitative pricing approach, we can provide the most in-depth understanding of the pricing and reimbursement opportunity of your product.

    How can you unravel the complexities of pharmaceutical launch pricing?

    Attend our May 16 webinar, “The value of choosing the right approach to pharmaceutical launch pricing,” hosted by market access and pricing experts, Tim Fitzgerald and Michael Kuehn, to join a discussion that includes a fresh perspective on pharmaceutical pricing, supplemented with examples/case studies and an interactive Q&A.

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  • How understanding a consumer’s mindset helps OTC companies defend their place in the market
    • 04/13/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    How understanding a consumer’s mindset helps OTC companies defend their place in the market

    Until now, understanding the mindset of the Over-the-counter (OTC) consumer, given the wealth of information and multiple touchpoints they encounter in every digital environment, was complex and hard to unravel. But it’s the essence of determining what impacts a consumer’s purchasing behavior, an issue so vital to OTC companies who are fighting an increasingly challenging battle against competitors’. We know that consumers are willing to pay more for OTC brands recommended by healthcare professionals (HCP). In fact, consumers paid up to 54% more on average when buying a specific recommended product, according to a study by GfK on recommendation behavior. Expert recommendations are clearly a defining way to influence consumer purchase behavior. So how do you get to the heart of their thinking and deliver much-needed insights?

    The emerging digital technologies open up an endless scope of opportunities for new digitized market research tools. For many years, market research tools were contrived, expensive or simply incapable of providing the relevant insights into consumer behavior at the point of purchase.

    Now, with the rise of innovations like virtual reality, Health marketers have real opportunities to observe consumers in a controlled, true-to-life test environment mimicking the physical reality of a pharmacy. Such a setting offers a much more realistic and credible manner to obtain evidence of how health brand consumers shop at the shelf and in the category.

    So what are the advantages for the consumer health market?

    Connecting the dots, driving conversion through conversation

    OTC health brand consumers still finalize the vast majority of their decisions in-store. Despite an overload of available information and an exploding number of touchpoints, the benefit of getting expert recommendations can make a significant impact on purchase decisions, especially when there are so many choices in many markets.

    In particular, expert recommendations made by healthcare professionals (HCPs) are highly valued and can influence purchase decisions. In fact, GfK’s study uncovered that 30% of health purchases are driven by HCP-based recommendations*.

    Empowering marketers through insights from our proprietary virtual platform

    Existing evaluation protocols can be challenging when it’s necessary for the marketer to have a full understanding of the sales process involving a consumer sales dialogue. That’s why we have now merged our shopper research solutions with a leading-edge virtual store approach where we can mimic selling through expert recommendations.

    With the use of scripted conversations, leveraged in a virtual pharmacy environment, our Simstore Dialogue platform empowers marketers to address business questions like:

    • How can expert recommendations impact purchasing behavior?
    • How appealing and impactful is our messaging?
    • What is the market potential of our new product?
    • What is the effect of expert recommendations, when combined with marketing ideas such as POS material or design changes?

    Adding predictive power to the consumer health marketer’s toolbox

    Simstore Dialogue is designed to enable marketers to understand and optimize the consumer/HCP consultation dialogue and optimize consumer interactions in a simulated pharmacy to reveal whether a proposed scenario will have a significant impact on sales.

    At our May 9 webinar, “Partnering virtual pharmacies and expert recommendations to drive powerful consumer health marketing,” our experts will discuss the benefits of Simstore Dialogue for optimizing pharmacy selling strategies.

    By joining our webinar, you will get a full introduction to this next-generation platform, and learn how Merck has already successfully piloted it. You will also learn the power of pairing virtual pharmacies, together with expert recommendation research to inform your most impactful consumer health marketing yet.

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  • Navigating pricing and access in self-pay markets
    • 04/12/18
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Navigating pricing and access in self-pay markets

    10 tips for mapping the ideal route from patient willingness to pay to optimal pricing