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  • Global smart MDA market almost triples in size in 12 months
    • 09/14/17
    • Home Appliances
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    Global smart MDA market almost triples in size in 12 months

    Chinese consumers are driving global adoption of smart major domestic appliances. Discover more in our interactive infographic.

    • 09/13/17
    • Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Game of consumers: Why brands should tap into our childhood passions

    One of my strongest childhood memories is the thrill of collecting World Cup soccer stickers. I loved to feel the full pages in my sticker albums, to see the faces of all the players and pretend that I knew them.

    This collecting also became a social activity; it would go down something like this – we would sit in a circle, and one person would start to swipe through his or her deck of stickers very quickly. Suddenly, another friend would shout, “Nola!” – Peruvian ’90s card-collector slang for “I don’t have it!” That person would have the first chance to trade for the sticker; then he (or she) would start the same fast swiping.

    These were simple, fun times – my excitement and sense of belonging have probably never been greater.

    The appeal of gaming dynamics

    Why did I love my stickers so much? Science shows that gaming dynamics shoot dopamine into our brains; the neurotransmitters in charge of our body’s reward system also play an essential role in attention and learning. Considering the neurological cocktail that we are enjoying whenever we play, it is not surprising that more and more companies are starting to use gamification as a very efficient loyalty tool.

    Recently, I worked on a research project about a retail promotion – one that evoked my childhood collector memories. Customers would get a sticker for buying specific products and save them on a card; when you completed the card, you could exchange it for a prize: dishes, pots, a set of knives, or some other fancy kitchen tools.

    It was the second year of the campaign, and the retailer was worried that people might become bored with the game, making it meaningless to the buyers. So we sat down with the client’s customers, and what they told us was a big surprise – the complete opposite of what the retailer was thinking. People participating in the promo (mainly women with families) said it reminded them of the ineffable collections of childhood. The promotion card was their sticker album.

    Interacting with consumers through games

    Think about the Samsung Look-a-Galaxy-for-an-Hour challenge, or the “Chock-Chock” Coca Cola campaign in Hong Kong – smart brands make us interact with them through games. They invite us to play to alleviate a little of our everyday stress, and to build stronger relationships with consumers. I still vividly remember Panini, the sponsor of my World Cup stickers from then to nowadays, and the constant excitement of fulfilling my album… I still belong to a group of friends who exchange stickers every 4 years, for every World Cup.

    Playing is better done in groups, and even better when we can do it anywhere, anytime. Nowadays consumers expect their brands to give a satisfactory and involving experience on whichever channel they choose to use. We have to take into account that the consumer does not stop being a consumer when leaving the retail environment – just as a gamer does not stop being a gamer when the console is turned off. The consumer takes the retail brand along – in a pocket, on a screen – and it is in these experiences (both physical and digital) that the opportunity rests. Retailers can play and truly engage with consumers’ decision making and take advantage of omnichannel consumers to connect with them in both the present and future.

    Maybe it is time to start questioning our own loyalty strategies, and ask if we can play a little more. How can we make our brands fun (and memorable) for consumers? Along the way, we may bring up some powerful childhood memories, happy times etched in people’s minds. After all, doesn’t everybody want to be a kid again?

    Carlos Galvez is a Senior Analyst at GfK. To share your thoughts, leave a comment below or email carlos.galvez@gfk.com.

    • 09/12/17
    • Brand and Customer Experience
    • Global
    • English

    3 basic mistakes that can ruin your customer experience survey

    The make-or-break for a customer experience survey is that it delivers a great experience in itself.  The customer has to be left feeling that their time spent in completing the survey is ultimately of direct benefit to themselves, not a wearisome sacrifice of time to benefit the company.

    I was recently sent a survey invitation asking me to give my feedback on a flight.  I decided to give it a go, but it turned out that the survey was longer than the flight (or at least that is how it felt).

    I do think it’s laudable that businesses ask for my feedback, but, while most surveys claim that the feedback will be ‘valued’, many survey experiences don’t make me feel valued. They fall into the three basic mistakes:

    • They are often far too long – compared to many people, I have a lot of motivation to complete surveys, but I sometimes give up due to the sheer length and, if I do make it to the end, I know that my last few answers to the endless grid style questions are pretty random.
    • Hygiene factors versus value-adds. I find the premise of some questions a bit odd – I understand that recommendation is a good thing for businesses, but I’m really not going to recommend my bank on the basis that I was able to withdraw my money easily, or it wasn’t a big effort to change a direct debit – some levels of service should be acknowledged as basic essentials, not value-adds.
    • Company-centric, not customer-centric. When I’m asked to give my comments, it’s often worded as wanting to find out why I gave a certain score (again mainly for recommendation). I might by cynical, but this makes me think that increasing the score is what matters to the company, rather than truly improving my experience. The survey questions must be worded from the customers’ viewpoint, encouraging them to give the information that matters to them, not just what matters to the company.

    It seems to me that for many businesses the customer survey has become just another management tool – to measure every single part of the customer journey with a ‘customer score’ – rather than a way to listen to the actual voice of the customer.  And it can’t be customer centric to get customers only to answer questions that the company wants to ask and, at the same time, dictate how they can answer (“please tick one box only”).

    What businesses need to capture are the experiences that are relevant and memorable to the customer, at the most appropriate point in time.  In order for feedback surveys to be both better experiences for the customer and ultimately more useful to the company, businesses need to be much smarter about what they ask, how they get more from less and how they connect the customer feedback to the other data they have in their business and across teams.

    4 tips for better customer experience surveys

    • If you need a score, then make the question relevant to the experience. Don’t use recommendation everywhere just because it makes your life easier to have consistency. Perhaps the customer just wants to feel happy?
    • Ask customers to describe their experience in their words – what a customer chooses to tell you is what is you need to know, because what is memorable will drive their future behaviour.
    • Let technology take the strain. Use text and voice analytics to understand not just what customers say, but also how they say it. This uncovers the root cause of their problems and the actions you need take.
    • Get everyone involved in understanding the results. Finding solutions to customer pain points shouldn’t be the sole responsibility of customer services.

    Summary

    Customer feedback needs to be treated as an energy source: it will be renewable and powerful, so long as you respect customers’ time and intelligence, design your questionnaire to be honestly customer-centric and use the results to build better experiences.

    For more information, please contact John Banerji at john.banerji@gfk.com.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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    • 09/11/17
    • Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Ecommerce: What’s the secret to attracting consumers to online retail sites?

    With an overwhelming amount of content, intense competition and multiple channels, we all know today’s online retail environment is a particularly challenging one for companies looking to maximize sales. Ecommerce players are under no illusion that they face a tough battle to attract consumers to their online stores but many are struggling to identify exactly what it is they must do to succeed.

    The explosion of mobile has already impacted ecommerce as many players have heavily invested in optimizing their interfaces for mobile usage. It definitely seems like this is the smart thing to do – in Indonesia for example, the time consumers spend on ecommerce apps has grown by a remarkable 188% over the last 12 months. And in Germany, Millennials visit ecommerce sites and apps 53 times per month [GfK Crossmedia Visualizer, July 2017].

    However, mobile is only the first step towards developing the right business strategies. There are many more opportunities out there – so let’s take a look at what they are.

    Understand consumers in order to target the right audiences

    It’s a no-brainer, but to land more business, it’s essential that companies connect the right e-shoppers with the offers that match what they are interested in. Retailers often deploy segmentations and consumer portfolios to improve their ability to target consumers. However, bringing segmentations into play for marketing purposes is all but easy given a simple fact: segmentations are often siloed from media behavior.

    To target the right consumers, companies need to better understand their media usage and cross-device behavior. Businesses can do this by enriching their current segmentations and in-house databases with key behavioral data based on variables such as media consumption habits, cross-device usage and visit frequency and duration. Secondly, they can build new online and mobile segments based on measured behavior to get a 360° view of consumers – from their gender, income and travel activities, to device usage, search habits and what markets they are interested in.

    Influence the consumer journey with a smart touchpoint strategy

    If there’s just one thing we know for certain about the connected consumer’s shopping journey, it’s that it is non-linear and easy to disrupt.

    It is therefore crucial for online retailers to know which touchpoints they need to activate in order to maximize their sales.

    Just as an example, when compared to offline shoppers, fashion e-shoppers in the Netherlands are 88% more likely to look for inspiration on Facebook and Instagram.

    Obtaining insights based on single source behavioral data that links purchase acts with media consumption and cross-device behavior is a key enabler for e-retail businesses. Not only does it help to identify the touchpoints and content that are most important for converting browsers to buyers, but it also helps companies gain a competitive advantage by activating the major disruption points on the purchase journey.

    Optimize your media mix to drive more traffic towards your ecommerce offering

    Relying solely on online targeting and digital channels alone will not do the job of increasing revenues to the maximum level. Advertising via offline channels and TV in particular, will still be an important contributor to the flow of shoppers visiting e-retail sites or apps. While this certainly isn’t the big news, answering the crucial question of how to successfully measure the ROI of crossmedia campaigns for ecommerce businesses remains a challenge.

    Properly tracking performance via agency provided KPIs and web analytics tools is a given, but it will likely lead to the trap of an isolated view on digital, TV and other offline media. To overcome this, campaign measurement needs to be based on single source data streams and businesses must use KPI assessments (e.g. net reach, incremental reach and target group attainment) wisely. This will allow them to plan successful future campaigns, know where to focus based on ROI and identify the optimal channels to drive traffic towards an online inventory.

    Time to think globally but respect local diversities

    Accurate behavioral and crossmedia data partnered with asking all the right questions is what’s behind developing the right ecommerce strategy. But on top of that, it’s essential to be aware of consumer preferences across different countries.

    Comparing multi-country ecommerce leaders across a range of markets, it’s becoming clear that retail is a predominately local business, with consumers mainly purchasing from big local names. For example, in Poland we see that Allegro is the major player while in Indonesia, Lazda is on top. But, this may not always be the case. In the last 6 months, Amazon has registered 6.8 million more unique users in Mexico, which signals a potential challenge for the popular local retailer Mercado Libre [GfK Crossmedia Visualizer, July 2017].

    Therefore, it’s also becoming clear that to compete and succeed in this ecommerce world, companies need a constant 360° view of what their consumers are doing online – and where.

    Learn about GfK’s Crossmedia Visualizer and sign up for a test of our innovative dashboard. This provides an in depth look at the ecommerce landscape in Indonesia – which, with a population of 260 million and a rapidly growing buying power, is certainly a key market for any ecommerce business.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Map of the month: Purchasing power for home improvement products, Germany 2017
    • 09/11/17
    • Retail
    • Consumer Goods
    • Geomarketing
    • RegioGraph
    • Geodata
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the month: Purchasing power for home improvement products, Germany 2017

    Retailers and manufacturers face the continual challenge of positioning their products in the market regions where they are most wanted. Our 2017 data on retail purchasing power illuminates the areas of Germany with the highest spending potential for various product lines. As an example, our map of the month shows the hotspots for home improvement products in Germany, including Hamburg, Frankfurt, and areas in the federal states of Bavaria, Saarland, and Rhineland-Palatinate. Retailers and manufacturers of home improvement products can use these insights to tap more market potential.

    • 09/06/17
    • Technology
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    #Decade: What ten years of hashtags tells us about consumers today

    On August 23, the hashtag turned 10 years old.  Before achieving internet fame, it was previously known by most as the pound sign, a symbol used primarily to complete requests on customer service phone calls.  But a decade ago, everything changed thanks to an entrepreneur named Chris Messina who was looking for a way to organize conversations among different groups on Twitter.

    Even if you’re not that active on social media, it’s likely that hashtags are a part of your life – they’ve worked their way into everything from news articles to our daily slang to, as of 2014, our dictionary.  It’s estimated that around 125 million hashtags are shared each day on Twitter alone, with other social networks like Instagram and Facebook adopting them en masse as well.

    Hashtags clearly aren’t going anywhere.  What can the rise, and continued cultural dominance, of this symbol tell us about where consumers, and brands, are headed?

    • Simplify the experience. At its core, the hashtag is a method of organization – an easy way to filter through endless social media posts to find the content most relevant to you.  Our GfK Consumer Life findings consistently show that consumers want more streamlined experiences in every aspect of their lives.  The personal value of simplicity (keeping your life and mind as uncluttered as possible) has risen four ranks in importance since 2011, and nearly one in three (32%) Americans today are willing to pay more for products that make their lives easier.  As this trend continues to dominate, brands that offer more efficient solutions will thrive.
    • Support the search for like-minded peers. The advent of social media has made it easier than ever to find a group, or multiple groups, where we can feel that we belong.  According to recent research from GfK Consumer Life, nearly three in ten (27%) Americans go so far to say that belonging to groups that share their interests or beliefs is essential to their well-being – almost as many (25%) feel that the groups they belong to say a lot about them.  Hashtags have made it easier than ever to “find your tribe” and communicate with them easily – no simple feat given the pace at which our social media feeds are multiplying.  Whether you’re catching up on “Game of Thrones” reactions or mobilizing for social change, hashtags connect you to the right people.
    • Let consumer input drive the future of your brand. Perhaps one of the most interesting details about the hashtag’s origin story is that the idea came from a user of Twitter, not from its executives or developers.  In fact, many other features that are now core Twitter elements originated outside of the company’s four walls, including the word “tweet” and the brand’s signature bird icon.  Enabled by social media and other innovations, the past ten years have seen consumers get far more involved in shaping a brand’s offerings, communications, and so much more.  As GfK Consumer Life data demonstrates, most (82%) Americans tend to trust one brand over another when the company listens and responds to customer needs, complaints, and feedback; another 68 percent say that brands who prioritize customer needs over profits are more likely to earn their trust.  It’s reasonable to anticipate that these brand expectations will continue to dominate consumer mindsets as time goes on.
    • Carefully develop your brand’s voice. Having a social media presence allows brands to communicate directly with consumers and many other audiences.  It also gives them a real-time channel for timely announcements, responses to current events, and updates associated with ongoing campaigns.  But as they join the online conversation with hashtags and the like, brands must be cautious – or they’ll immediately face social media backlash.  Whether they find themselves unintentionally soliciting negative feedback, or appearing unconcerned with larger social issues, the damage can be instant – and dramatic.

    Not only do hashtags tell us a lot about the brands, news, trends, and pop culture that people care about, the mere usage of this symbol online gives us a deeper picture of evolving consumer priorities and behaviors.  As social media continues to grow and play an even larger role in our lives, it’s likely that the next ten years of the hashtag will be as important as the first ten.

    Rachel Bonsignore is a Senior Consultant on the Consumer Life team at GfK. She can be reached at rachel.bonsignore@gfk.com.

     

     

  • The mood of the world today – what are people thinking?
    • 09/06/17
    • Fashion and Lifestyle
    • Home Appliances
    • Financial Services
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Home and Living
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Consumer Life
    • Global
    • English

    The mood of the world today – what are people thinking?

    In this free on-demand webinar, our experts dive into current consumer confidence and other key indicators of the consumer mindset and what it means for individual markets and brands.

  • Assessing fresh pasta concepts for the US market
    • 09/05/17
    • Consumer Goods
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global
    • English

    Assessing fresh pasta concepts for the US market

    We helped a multinational FMCG company optimize two new product ideas for an existing pasta brand.

  • Engage financial services consumers with instant access to GfK's FRS consumer segments
    • 09/05/17
    • Financial Services
    • Global
    • English

    Engage financial services consumers with instant access to GfK's FRS consumer segments

    GfK has released a portfolio of financial segments from its industry-leading Financial Research Survey (FRS).

    • 09/05/17
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Smarter living with 5G, but what about the data?

    For years, we’ve been hearing about the Internet of Things (IoT). Up till now, it has always been some distant reality featuring self-driving cars, drone-delivery, Smart TVs, AI-powered personal assistants and a fridge that stocks itself when the milk runs out.

    Not anymore. With 5G networks on the horizon, it’s only a matter of time before the IoT becomes a part of our everyday lives. Why is that so? Unlike today’s 4G networks, the next-generation 5G mobile networks are expected to be up and running by 2020, will have high bandwidth, low latency, and are virtually lag-free. This means that the networks will be able to seamlessly support the flood of affordable, simple devices that will be brought online.

    5G in Asia

    Asia might have adopted both 3G and 4G far later than the West, but with 5G, the third time just might be the charm. According to an Ericsson Mobility Report, Asia Pacific (along with North America) is poised to lead 5G adoption, making smart homes an imminent reality. In fact, The Visionaire, a 632-unit executive condominium in Singapore was marketed earlier this year as one of the first smart homes in the city-state.

    Global management consulting firm A.T. Kearney reports that Asia’s smart home market is expected to reach US$115 million in 2030, with growth driven by China and Japan and with highly-connected economies such as Singapore, South Korea and Taiwan also playing a key role.

    New growth opportunities with 5G

    3G gave us video streaming, while 4G perfected the sharing economy. As with every generation of network upgrades, new growth opportunities will present themselves. IoT devices will generate huge amounts of data, driving tremendous opportunities for data analytics across industries.

    From a commercial standpoint, with access to IoT data, brands can enjoy greater understanding of how consumers leverage technology, enabling them to provide consumers with exactly what they want, thus maximising profits and heightening brand loyalty. Brands are also equipped to make business decisions to narrow gaps in the market and improve customer experiences.

    We believe that data mining will be the new gold in the era of IoT – and telcos stand to benefit the most. By tapping into vast swathes of data generated by IoT, telcos will gain access to invaluable customer insights, which often make up the basis of lucrative partnerships with other businesses. Constant connectivity offers the chance for telcos to boost their revenue streams through machine-to-machine communications, easy payment systems and networking for the IoT. As such, it will enable them to extend their customer base to include utilities, industrial supply chains, smart homes and smart cities, among many others.

    Benefits for Retail

    Retailers also stand to benefit as they can use the information to develop new service-oriented business models that will better serve both consumers and businesses alike. Currently, customers are already able to receive highly specific mobile offers based on both their location and consumption habits. With the IoT transforming even more objects into customer touch points, the possibilities are endless – such as by solving supply chain constraints and improving inventory management.

    In a landscape saturated with information, brands require data analytics to make sense of customer data and answer questions like – how and why do customers consume apps, how is the total data market growing, and what are the opportunities for innovation with 5G.

    Understanding each consumer

    Today, some brands are already working in tandem with market research agencies to evaluate consumer data accurately in order to identify and build a roadmap of innovative possibilities to deliver value to consumers.

    As we step into the world of 5G and IoT, we are bound to be exposed to data overload, which makes data analysis a more critical aspect for brands now than before. From usage patterns, behaviours, preferences to experience, through advanced matching and modelling techniques, every data point can be thoroughly analysed, enabling brands to understand each consumer completely. By leveraging these extensive data insights based on research intelligence, brands can make informed business decisions, benefiting their core audiences.

    Undeniably, the IoT can revolutionize the way we live, work and play while making businesses more efficient and convenient. It’s high time now for businesses to embrace the potential of IoT or risk being left behind.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • GfK strengthens its Asia-Pacific and Southern European regions by appointing new General Managers
    • 09/01/17
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    GfK strengthens its Asia-Pacific and Southern European regions by appointing new General Managers

    Cheong Tai will lead GfK’s Asia-Pacific business, Margret Schuit will be responsible for GfK’s activities in Southern Europe.

    • 09/01/17
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Technology
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    Researching the mind of a ‘distracted viewer’: The greater than ever role of engagement and the gains of AI

    The rules of engagement have modernized. There is no question that – for a while now- we’ve been living in the era of the ‘distracted viewer’. If anything, the re-invention of TV over the last decade should have spawned a more appreciative and engaged consumer. Firstly, content on the small screen has re-emerged as innovative, surprising, ‘wonder what comes next’ claiming, it feels, some of the old cinema aura. Secondly, more money than ever before is now spent on commissioning and acquiring content for the general TV; Netflix, Amazon and HBO announced they are spending, as a total, more than $12 billion dollars on content this year

    Instead, the abundance of shows to choose from combined with the plethora of devices demanding our attention have turned us consumers into the toughest of judges on a talent show at any given time. And I will explain why; whether we are streaming or still enjoying the traditional TV, viewing is rarely a single action. Online browsing, social networking, instant messaging or just good old phone ringing come in the way of a viewing experience. Unless we make a conscious decision to remain uncontactable during a viewing session, pop up alerts will be fighting for our attention throughout repeatedly asking us to make a choice as to whether the content we watch is worth interrupting; our engagement will be undoubtedly tested.

    Engagement through emotion

    So, what is it in a programme that keeps us engaged? For many decades, creatives globally (with the help of their insight teams) have been attempting to solve the engagement question, which more often than not is synonymous with international appeal and longevity of a show in the viewers’ hearts. Figuring out that emotions are some of the main drivers of engagement is almost straightforward. Deciding which are the lead emotions and how to track them is trickier.

    In market research, emotions are captured in numerous and cross methodology ways: from using words/emojis/open questions in quantitative surveys to having ‘emotional’ qualitative group discussions and in depth one-to-one interviews to using dial testing, heart rate tracking and machine learning algorithms like facial expression capturing and voice recognition, all used to define the emotional connection between the viewers and a new programme. But, in all honestly, creatives have been taking the lead on this one, not necessarily with the fine-tooth comb of emotions, rather with gut feeling and their years of experience taking centre stage in this decision making. Sometimes the audience choices will contradict these decisions. The most striking example of a success that was failed to spot is ‘Mad Men’; it was rejected by both HBO and Showtime before AMC decided to take a punt with it. Same with C.S.I. which was consciously overlooked by ABC, NBC and Fox and it was only the CBS executives who decided to take a chance with it. 17 years after it first launched, it continues to be the bread and butter of many schedules around the world.

    Measuring audience emotions

    So, what’s so important about emotions that can predict a show’s appeal? The answer sits somewhere between neuroscience and psychology. Think about a movie scene that increased your heart beat, made you start biting your nails again, stand up or even scream. At that particular moment, you were biometrically experiencing what was happening in the movie world, fully empathising with the feelings of the character. If then or immediately after you were asked a pure and undiluted research question like: ‘what did you think?’, any emotions would be decoded in your answer. GfK Voice allows us to do exactly that, ie. capture audiences’ emotions and their sense of engagement by translating people’s voice response to quantifiable data.

    Analyzing the ‘distracted viewer’

    Once emotions subside, people start rationalizing what they’ve experienced. Referring to that movie scene again here, if it’s memorable and worth pondering, thoughts will start coming in. Emotions will give place to reasoning and our ‘distracted viewer’ will engage in chats, tweets, will write reviews, share comments on social media and even reply to surveys offering well-thought, moulded answers. The key to unlocking the essence from all this unstructured text is artificial intelligence (A.I.). The text mining process that analyses transcripts, unlocks themes, detects how formal, informal or emotive writing is, is what we call Advanced Text Analytics. This automated process of examining text delves deep into the context behind engagement recreating the consumer’s mind.

    The combination of emotional decoding and artificial intelligence can shine the brightest light on the consumer’s mind and produce powerful diagnostic as well as predictive results. Engagement might be constantly tested with distractions all around us and machine learning technologies define exactly how much that is. However, in this world of distractions, the abundance of platforms consumers use to express themselves unveils the deepest insights that are often the hardest to get. And this is where A.I. benefits the most.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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