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  • White paper: The key drivers of retail change – now and next
    • 08/07/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    White paper: The key drivers of retail change – now and next

    Read our latest whitepaper to learn how to succeed in this space. Inside you’ll find analysis from our experts and insights from our 51-country online survey of 346 retails and industry players.

  • Retail Trend Monitor 2017: Technology will make the difference in retail
    • 08/07/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    Retail Trend Monitor 2017: Technology will make the difference in retail

    Our Retail Trend Monitor 2017, a 51-country online survey of 346 retailers and industry experts, examines the key drivers of retail change. The study explores the retail trends and technologies that are having the most impact now and those that will have the greatest influence in the future.

    • 08/04/17
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • Global
    • English

    3 things to stop doing if you want to grow your brand

    Brands are wild and unpredictable, like animals.  If you want to study them, you need to let the zoo gates open, leave them to run free and let the spy cams do the rest.

    This may sound like an unnerving statement for an analytics industry dominated by control and quantification of brand KPIs.  However, if you really love something, you need to set it free – and this couldn’t be more true for brands.

    The way we study brands today is sometimes akin to determining the hunting pattern of Killer Whales by watching them catch fish out of a bucket.  It is set up all wrong from the start.

    Our understanding of brands has come a long way, as have the tools we use.  My three pieces of advice on what to do differently to grow your brand are these:

    1. Stop simply measuring your brand, start understanding it.

    Brands are almost as complex as people, which is why we relate to them like we do with our social circle: we need to get to know our friends before we trust them with our money.  We need to have common interests.  We need them to make us feel special.  However, rating all our friends using the same measuring stick is impossible, right, because each different type of friend needs to be measured against different criteria.

    For brands, customer funnels and sales figures can give a good measure of the financial “fundamentals” of the brand – but they do not tell us what has worked well to get to that point and, therefore, what to do more of.  Research programs focused on brand identity, used in parallel with trackers, are an investment into the future of your brand, not just for the next 6 months, but the next few decades.

    2. Stop comparing your brand to others. Embrace it for what it is.

    We send our kids to school hoping they will all excel in math equally, but we soon find out that each child is so unique that they have to be judged on their own merits.  Although the child’s standard performance report card is indicative, it by no means reflects the full potential and true talents of a pupil.

    For brands, developing this potential requires really understanding the product, the target customer, and the vision of the brand: “what it wants to be when it grows up” – in other words, its “soul”.  Brands, like pupils, tend to thrive when asked to perform in the subjects where they excel and differentiate.  Finding these strengths enables a company to focus its energy on those aspects of its brand that are more profitable in the long run, rather than right here, right now.

    3. Stop controlling everything. Let your customers shape your brand.

    It sounds counter-intuitive, but it is really about grassroots.  Whether you have worked on it consciously or not, you already have a brand out there.  The first step to improving that brand is understanding the two or three things consumers remember about your brand.

    Whether you like these perceptions or not, they are already out there and you need to work with that reality, rather than try to become someone else.  Build on the best parts of your image and minimize the negatives.  This sounds obvious, but most brands today still lack a program that lets them truly listen to their customers.

    For a brand manager trying to sort through a clutter of often conflicting data, what this means is taking a simple, yet bold approach to brand: focusing on the stripped-down, core premise of what the brand was founded upon and re-evaluating whether it still delivers, while being open to facing some harsh truths about whether the proposition really resonates with the current market/customer.

    Conclusion

    There is plenty of scope for brands nowadays to benefit from tools that are breaking down the customer/brand barrier. These monitor customer behavior unobtrusively through implicit methods such as passive measurement, and enable the collection of large sets full of customer insight that can be analyzed via advanced Artificial Intelligence and text analytics.  This can provide a moving picture of brand identity, which can guide decisions at both tactical and strategic levels.

    George Tsakraklides is a Research Director at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email george.tsakraklides@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 08/03/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Advertising budget: How should you invest yours?

    With many ways to get your brand’s message to consumers, a common question for businesses these days is how to invest your advertising budget. Of course, you aren’t alone in facing this challenge. Every marketer wants to know which media channels – digital and/or non-digital – they should invest in. One way in which many determine this is by looking at the overall return on investment (ROI) of their media activities. This might tell you, for example, that a digital campaign carries sales. But does this then mean that you should shift more of your budget to digital?

    Looking at overall ROI, which is calculated by dividing total revenue by your total media spend, provides insight into the success of combined activities or entire campaigns. What it doesn’t tell you is which media channels you should spend more on to generate incremental sales. This makes optimizing your media spend based on this intelligence alone tricky at best.

    There is an answer, though. Using point of sales data and marketing mix modeling (MMM), the marginal ROI of individual components of your campaign can be calculated. Marginal ROI only considers the growth in sales that are predicted to result from any increase in your spend. Consequently, it enables you to see which media channels will deliver more of a return the more you invest in them.

    To invest, or not to invest, more in the media you know to deliver great ROI?

    Perhaps counter-intuitively, just because a particular media channel delivers a great overall ROI doesn’t mean you should allocate more of your budget to it. There is a point, namely the saturation point, at which investing more money in a channel won’t help to deliver more sales.

    The MMM studies we are carrying out across various countries and categories show that the majority of campaigns using traditional media display signs of saturation, as do those that use video and social. On the other hand, both display and search campaigns offer room for further investment.

    For 70% of traditional campaigns, saturation point has been overtaken vs. 39% of digital campaigns

     

    Our case studies also highlight that traditional media such as radio are at times overlooked as ROI drivers. In contrast, while digital media channels drive sales, they can quickly reach saturation point, resulting in lower marginal ROI.

    In order to determine which media channel will deliver an increased ROI and incremental sales, what you need to know is where each of those you are investing in is positioned on the saturation curve.

    Response curves help explain how much more can be invested by media

    Example

    In this example, our client devised an ad specifically for an e-commerce platform to appeal to influential consumers. However, the ROI of using this platform wasn’t as high as that achieved by using either online video or print channels. By identifying where these media channels sat on the saturation curve, we found that the e-commerce platform was the only one which had not yet reached saturation point. With its marginal ROI being higher than its average ROI, it would deliver better for each dollar of investment than any of the other channels (online video, print or TV). Consequently, our client could continue to invest in this channel, safe in the knowledge that their money was being wisely spent.

    ROI of different media channels

     

    Simulating your media budget allocation to optimize your investment

    Using MMM and sales data, we can also simulate the outcomes of a redistribution of media spend. In this way, you can see how to optimize your media campaigns and planning. You can determine where to invest more of your media budget to achieve a higher positive return. However, perhaps even more critically, you can establish whether it’s possible to achieve the same increment in sales for less investment, or more, with the same budget.

    Conclusion

    Knowing where to spend your media or ad budget isn’t straightforward. In fact, it’s one of the biggest challenges for all our clients. What you need to know is where non-digital and digital media ad value, and how they work together. You also need to know which media channels deliver the greatest return and whether they’ll deliver more sales in line with any investment increase. The good news is that looking at both your overall ROI and using the more advanced metric of marginal ROI, you can discover the optimum way to spend your advertising budget.

    Are you interested in more information?

    Take your media planning to a whole new level. Download your copy of our white paper: Maximize your media effectiveness and drive sales with our five-step program.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 08/02/17
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Discovering the era of Hyper-Connected Consumers in India

    The lifestyles of people are changing enormously due to digitalization, and businesses are communicating with customers in a special and unique manner. They are dealing with a new-age world of hyper-connected consumers who are digitally connected to almost everything in their daily chores. A few years back no business would have ever imagined the fast-changing  expectations and choices that consumers have. But, technology has changed the world, and this is now the reality.

    Embracing a digitally enhanced future with Digital India

    Digital India, a brilliant project, is a testimony to the fact that India is embracing this massive technological paradigm shift, going full throttle towards a digitally enhanced future. Be it retail, banking, education, food, travel or manufacturing, the Digital India initiative proves that we are moving in the right direction! The Indian consumer, who previously was simply connected (a mobile device meant a mechanism to call others and search the internet) has become hyper-connected and this remarkable initiative by the government is catering tremendously to the growth levels of hyper-consumerism.

    The outburst of smartphones, social media platforms and high speed internet is the major driver behind the dramatic change caused by consumers’ expectations when it comes to brand engagement. The average consumer in India spends most of their time on smart phones; nearly 150 billion hours were invested between 2014 and 2016, according to new research. This year was predicted to see more than 350 million mobile internet users – a clear example of Digital India galvanizing a movement in the nation. Now imagine the growth spurt in the coming years!

    Smartphones driving innovation

    Another aspect to this massive surge in the digital world is the social messaging behavior of the hyper-connected consumer which is creating great stories on social platforms like Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter. The “desktop-first” era is a bygone era; all we can see now is the smartphone, which has become a key platform and is driving the latest trends in innovation. Thus, it clearly reflects that smartphones are going to be greatest driver of the Digital India initiative, whose escalating penetration will only grow in the future, hence transforming India into one of the largest smartphone economies in the world.

    Apart from the effect that technology has had on our lives and daily chores, it has created a number of terrific opportunities for businesses to grow and become stalwarts in their respective realms. However, it also entails a lot of challenges, and the businesses that can come out with new and better ways to engage with the emerging segments of hyper-connected consumers are the ones that will thrive. In this era of ‘discovery’:

    • Companies are realizing the increasing importance of engaging consumers through the various channels available. Sometimes companies need to meet consumers personally and get to know their demands and personal choices. With consumers displaying love towards visual content, it is significant to offer them something extraordinary which they can share on digital platforms.
    • There is a dire need to fuel platforms with video content. Digital technologies provide consumers a new lens on brands and new ways to engage every day. There’s the opportunity for brand relationships with customers to evolve because of technology.
    • With everything turning digital, companies need to personalize the customer’s experience with a personal touch, yet, their privacy should not be in jeopardy at all.
    • Transparency is another major aspect companies must consider; by making everything visible to their customers, the company can escalate their level of reliability and create a trusted brand.

    The key takeaway here is that people will pay where they see value and that value is no longer simply wrapped up in the product. Brands need to continually strive to understand their customer engagement and relationships, and how it will evolve with digital technologies so they can innovate and provide better value for their customers and more margin growth for themselves.

    With the nation’s thrust behind Digital India, we believe that a new era of “Hyper-Connected” consumers have emerged. We will be sharing insights on this unique consumer segment based on a custom featured study and exchanging perspectives with a panel of industry leaders. Join us and be part of the conversation to Discover, Disrupt and Delight in the era of the Hyper-Connected Consumers in India on September 7, 2017 in Mumbai at Hotel Sofitel.

    Nikhil Mathur is the Managing Director of GfK, South Asia. To share your thoughts, please email Nikhil.mathur@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 08/01/17
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global
    • English

    Trade iteration for innovation and break the mold of your brand

    There must be a reason why the same Broadway shows get revived, again and again. Why is it that every other movie that comes out is a sequel? Why do the same songs keep getting covered down through the generations, from “My Way” to “Stand by Me”?

    The principle is simple: People like what they know. And when we go to spend money on pretty much anything – from $200 play tickets to a $1.29 digital audio file – we want to maximize our probability of satisfaction and comfort.

    The essence of branding

    This is, after all, the essence of branding; when a company or product or entertainer does something consistently well, we come to trust that brand – and we give it our business.

    But, as we saw in the examples above, familiarity can become a crutch – even an impediment. As you are listening to your favorite band play your favorite album live for the umpteenth time, you may notice that the thrill is not quite the same. Sure, you knew what you were going to get, and you do like it. But where is the excitement of risk and discovery, the adventure of busting out and maybe waking up a few new brain cells?

    The hazard of brand inertia

    Brand and product managers can suffer from the same laziness or inertia; and for them, it can truly become a hazard. You think you are resting happily in your sweet spot – and then you notice your competitors a half mile down the road in front of you. By the time you get used to standing up and walking again, they’ll be way past the horizon.

    In the world of product development, the word innovation gets plenty of use, but if we look at what we are doing with a critical eye – from the perspective of a new customer or hungry competitor – we may discover that we are actually iterating, and not truly innovating.

    What is the difference? Iteration is advancement through noticeable but modest improvements. In short, incrementalism. Your new car gets slightly better mileage than the last one. Your new TV set is a few inches bigger and has better resolution than the one you just put on the curb. Your new credit card gives you 1% cash back…but how long will it take to get rich on those rewards?

    Unlocking true breakthrough innovation

    Too often, brand managers refer to this kind of iterating as innovating. Rather than taking a bold, risky leap, they stay mostly with what they know – only tweaking on the fringes. And the scary part is that your loyal customers may seem to embrace this, rewarding your “small” thinking because they loved you before and don’t want to see you change too much. That is, until one of your competitors comes out with a breakthrough innovation – something that truly changes their lives in meaningful ways – and then you are toast.

    So, what can you do to get out of your groove and unlock true innovation – the kind that makes you feel a little nervous and giddy at the same time? Our Market Opportunities and Innovation team can help with some key steps:

       

    • Find inspiration – whether through breakthrough products of the past or unfamiliar stimuli of all kinds, it is essential to go beyond drudgery and really feel enlivened and emboldened by your innovation.
    • Leverage a framework – it is hard to get to any destination without a map or a few guideposts; even the best guitar solos are following some sort of a key or time signature. A proven context and approach for helping innovation take shape is key.
    • Future-proof your brand – think not about the market you have today, but the one you are likely to be facing five or ten years from now. What will still be impressive to consumers, even then?
    •  

    The takeaway is clear: To make the most out of your brand, and even your own career, do not become an oldies act. The key is learning to feel comfortable breaking the rules that you yourself probably wrote; and once you’ve tasted that feeling, you will probably find it delicious.

    Rob Hernandez is the Executive Vice President of Market Opportunities and Innovation at GfK. To share your thoughts, email rob.hernandez@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 07/31/17
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    How Cord Nevers and Cord Cutters compare in their TV viewing preferences

    The rise in streaming television viewing in the US continues apace with the frequent arrival of new “skinny bundles” of programming. But if you think there’s no difference between TV Cord Cutters—defined as viewers who eliminated their standard TV subscription—and Cord Nevers (people who have never paid for a traditional TV connection) think again. While Cord Cutters have some things in common with Cord Nevers, they differ in many ways.

    Additionally, neither group has ruled out opting for a traditional pay TV service in the future, as their satisfaction with their current TV access situation leaves much room for improvement.

    Netflix is front and center

    First the similarities, as highlighted by the latest GfK MRI Cord Evolution study, which tracks the attitudes and behaviors of 10,000 respondents nationwide. Both Cord Cutters and Cord Nevers are big fans of shows on Netflix. All 10 of the favorite streaming-only shows of Cutters are on Netflix compared to seven shows preferred by Cord Nevers, whose other three shows are on Amazon or Hulu. The Netflix original “Orange Is The New Black” is #1 for both groups.

    When it comes to platform choices, differences emerge. Netflix is the top streaming service among Cord Cutters, with 57% of respondents saying they have used the service in the past year. 50% said they had used YouTube and 37% Amazon. But Cord Nevers prefer YouTube (46%), followed by Netflix (39%) and Amazon (25%).

    Video habits

    Cord Nevers are heavy short-video viewers and they over index for over-the-top services like BBC News, Showtime and Vevo. Conversely, Cord Cutters are heavy Internet users and are more likely to be parents (35%, index of 112). They also over-index for OTT services like PBS Video, Disney Movies, Sling TV and A&E.

    Semantical differences emerge when respondents are asked to define “TV” and old habits have a way of enduring. Large percentages of Cord Nevers (43%) and Cord Cutters (50%) define TV as anything they can watch specifically on a TV set. Some of this can perhaps be attributed to the rise in connected-TV devices and a migration from mobile video viewing back to a big screen, particularly at night, in the living room. Both groups are equal (29%) in saying that TV is “anything they can view on any device” (including a smartphone or tablet).

    Leaving their options open

    With so many streaming choices available, one could assume that Cord Nevers and Cord Cutters would be pretty satisfied. But that’s not the case. The data show that 60% of Cord Nevers are “very satisfied” with their current TV access, compared to 50% of Cord Cutters. Meanwhile, almost one-quarter (22%) of Cord Nevers say they intend to subscribe to a traditional TV service in the next six months, a figure that is slightly higher (27%) among Millennial Cord Nevers.

    Conclusion

    Cord Nevers and Cord Cutters bring very different histories and expectations to viewing. Both groups still have strong allegiance to TV sets and traditional programming models, but they clearly have different viewing tastes, and even diverge on their perceptions of what TV actually is. As Millennials get older, we can look for these populations to transform and perhaps grow more similar while Gen Z will begin to shape the Cord Never group more and more.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • GfK Technology Report - Create powerful media strategies with a 360° view of the Connected Consumer
    • 07/31/17
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    GfK Technology Report - Create powerful media strategies with a 360° view of the Connected Consumer

    Our GfK Technology Report looks at the key elements needed to implement the best approach for targeting the Connected Consumer.

    • 07/28/17
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    Why a 360° crossmedia view is vital to bridging the gap between content and consumers

    Connected Consumers face an avalanche of communications on a daily basis. Advances in connectivity, coupled with societal shifts, mean that we live in an age where media is “always on” – for both advertisers and consumers. This culture of relentless connectivity is one that causes friction between audiences and content. Although consumers understand that advertising is required to pay for content, they do not want to be bombarded indiscriminately with sales messages. The challenge is to bridge the gap between consumers and content. To achieve this, marketers and advertisers need to create powerful media strategies with a 360° view of their digital audience.

    Activate your segmentation for marketing purposes

    Your objective should be to understand the importance of each online channel in the overall media context, and how this varies by device. By monitoring the online behavior of specific consumer groups, based on your existing segmentation, you can optimize your media planning. For instance, you can track activity by media and device, and isolate that by individual target groups based on demographics and psychographics. You can also trace online and offline purchase behavior and media usage. These sophisticated profiles will enable you to identify the most impactful ad spaces to optimize targeting, enabling you to reach and influence your target group’s decision-making, whether in the offline world or in a programmatic environment.

    Assess and improve the performance of your multi-channel campaigns

    From TV spot, paid social, online placement to print and out-of-home, you need to understand how your campaign performs across channels and devices. When planning a new campaign, it is vital to assess net and incremental reach and target attainment so that you know that your next campaign has the elements it needs to succeed.

    Once you have a reliable crossmedia perspective on all your touchpoints, you can ensure that future campaigns have the right ingredients. For example, a thorough crossmedia assessment will enable you to identify the optimal media mix to maximize your sales opportunities. If you are the owner of digital inventory you need to understand which campaign channels have driven incremental traffic to your website or app. To do so, you need to input the variable of page impressions by users exposed to your campaign in your marketing mix modeling.

    Bridging the gap

    Bridging the gap between Connected Consumers and content is a key priority for advertisers today. Solutions based on single source measurement, combining passive behavioral and attitudinal data with socio-demographics, will provide you with the much needed 360° view on your target groups.

    To share your thoughts, please email ondrej.szabo@gfk.com. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • UK Consumer Confidence decreases a further two points in July – back to post Brexit low of July 2016
    • 07/28/17
    • Financial Services
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Consumer Life
    • Global
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence decreases a further two points in July – back to post Brexit low of July 2016

    Expectations for the UK’s general economy over next 12 months drop five points

    • 07/27/17
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    Does mobile engagement ring true? The need for a total media perspective

    I always like people-watching on my morning commute on the train. Not in a weird way you understand. There are people sleeping, reading, watching and listening. But nobody talks.

    There are several people staring vacantly into their mobile phones, scrolling and clicking. The man opposite me reads his free morning newspaper. Another is working and listening to music on his earphones. A woman watches a TV programme on her tablet. While Zenith predicts there will be a 35% increase in viewing on mobile devices (smartphones and tablets) to 28.8 minutes a day, I wonder how engaged these people really are in what they are doing. Furthermore, I wonder how one can compare those differing levels of engagement, however great or small, across the various media being consumed on the 55 minute train ride.

    How to compare mobile engagement

    It is the mobile engagement that intrigues me. I have seen it defined as the level of interaction between a brand and consumer via a mobile device. The more frequent the interactions, the higher the engagement. Apparently, people check their mobile phones 150 times a day. How should we compare multiple, short duration activities on a mobile with single, long duration activities, such as watching TV or listening to the radio?

    Advertising spend for mobile is forecast to have a 37% share of all media ad spend by 2021 (eMarketer). Yet there exists no uniform measure of digital ad effectiveness. Some work has been done a while ago that claims a link exists between exposure time and CTR/CPA performance. But cases have also been reported of networks buying traffic to sites and having between 75% and 95% of hits coming from bots, or non-human traffic, which opens up the thorny issue of click fraud and unverified data; or as I call it, the Internet of Sins.

    Is duration a valid online metric?

    I question the value of using duration in online metrics. Even a cursory observation of the smartphone users on my commute and one can argue that is the perfect definition of non-human traffic! Ironically, these are the same people who are so engaged when reading their smartphone screens walking through the city streets that they bump into several people coming the other way. I swear I saw one walk right into a digital outdoor advertising screen. They literally could not see an advert if it hit them in the face!

    Providing a ‘total media’ perspective

    Measuring the impact of mobile cannot be done in isolation. More advanced media measurement techniques are required to support a deeper understanding of the continually evolving media landscape. Our measurement philosophy is to provide a ‘total media’ perspective through smartly integrating media and consumer data on our Media Measurement platform. In this way, we can really see how mobile is performing alongside other media.

    Mobile engagement rings true in combination with other media

    For example, where measuring mobile engagement can work is for radio. For me, it is a chance to continue listening from the breakfast table through to the office desk, varying 3G/4G quality and tube travel notwithstanding. RAJAR reports that 25% of UK adults listen to the radio via mobile phone or tablet at least once a month (RAJAR Q1 2017), and 9 million listen through their earphones. It is a personal device made for a personal medium for a personal relationship. As the late BBC radio breakfast broadcaster, Terry Wogan, replied when asked how many listeners he had: “Only one.”

    John Carroll is Global Director, Business Development, Media Measurement at GfK. He can be reached at john.carroll@gfk.com or followed on Twitter @MediaCarroll.

  • IFA 2017 - Digital transformation
    • 07/27/17
    • Home Appliances
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    09/01/17 - 09/06/17
    IFA 2017 - Digital transformation

    Join us at IFA 2017, as we share exclusive insights from our research, which includes interviews with technology experts from 10 countries.

General