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  • Map of the month: GfK Purchasing Power for photo and optics Germany 2016
    • 09/22/16
    • Optics and Acoustics
    • Technology
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Picture of the month
    • Global
    • English

    Map of the month: GfK Purchasing Power for photo and optics Germany 2016

    In honor of  this week’s photography trade fair Photokina in Cologne, GfK’s Map of the Month for September shows the 2016 regional purchasing power for photography and optics product lines.

    • 09/21/16
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Are market research and big data the perfect pair?

    Big data is growing more and more valuable as companies that make wise use of it are enhancing the experiences of their customers while simultaneously improving their business processes and optimizing their marketing efforts. However, while big data has the potential to provide big benefits, it does not give a fully comprehensive view of customers with insight on their motivations, future intentions, or competitive perceptions. To make big data truly actionable, companies must fill in these contextual gaps, making traditional market research its perfect complement. As GfK’s David Krajicek wrote in the AMA’s Marketing Insights, “without a window to customer motivation or method, we really cannot turn data into action.”

    Together, the pair of big data and market research can do the following:

       

    • Provide a 360-degree customer view: it is simply not enough to look only at your customers when analyzing interactions. How they interact with competitors can be equally valuable in understanding prospects and identifying the best approach to reach them.
    • Project future actions by understanding context for behavior: when analyzing behavior on a large scale, it is important to provide context as to why that behavior took place, such as the thoughts, perceptions, and motivations behind it. Customers’ purchase intentions cannot be revealed without connecting these dots. Understanding the context behind your data is crucial to projecting future actions.
    • Improve marketing campaigns with a refined targeting strategy: while big data can be used to successfully measure demographics, content preferences, past purchases and other campaign elements, it cannot always identify targeting characteristics directly related to product need or purchase intent. Strategically designed market research can shed light and provide more extensive analytics around customer behavior.
    • Test advertising pre-launch to minimize risk: A/B tests that are conducted live run the risk of exposing the audience to non-optimal messaging that could have a negative impact on your brand. Save time and money by integrating your in-market approach with pre-testing to optimize your communications and ensure a positive experience for your prospects.
    • Understand the purchase journey and your prospect’s experience: data from your website can provide a vast amount of information on visitor behavior, but you still won’t know their motivations for visiting, how their experience has been, or where they are in the purchase journey. Market research, through a variety of surveys, can help obtain this information to tell the entire story.
    • Go from big data to bigger data: though market research data tends to have a smaller sample size, it is full of information on motivations, perceptions, and context for behavior. Integrating it with your larger data sets can make your big data even bigger, and provide understanding of needs, opportunities, how to improve targeting, and where to innovate.
    • Humanize your data and make it actionable: making sense of big data is essential to focus your organization and enable better decisions and action. Market research techniques such as customer quotes, polls, and video can really bring your data to life and make it relevant, interesting, and memorable.
    •  

    Big data and market research offer different pieces of the puzzle. Combining them can give your organization a more comprehensive view of the customer and their behavior, attitude, and motivations. Integrating larger-scale big data with smaller-scale contextual market research data will yield greater insights for your brand and help to drive strategy in the right direction.

    Leeza Slessareva is the Vice President of Consulting at GfK. She can be reached at Leeza.Slessareva@gfk.com.

  • Commercial assessment of a new immunotherapy
    • 09/21/16
    • Health
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global
    • English

    Commercial assessment of a new immunotherapy

    We conducted secondary research to explore the current sepsis market and the current and future competitive landscape.

  • Driving informed investment decisions for a new treatment
    • 09/21/16
    • Health
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global
    • English

    Driving informed investment decisions for a new treatment

    We collected extensive information on disease prevalence, diagnosis and treatment guidelines and the pricing and reimbursement landscape through desk research in the EU5

  • Simulating the future market for inflammatory disease biosimilars
    • 09/21/16
    • Health
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • Global
    • English

    Simulating the future market for inflammatory disease biosimilars

    Our client wanted to help affiliates in eight countries to better understand the threats and opportunities this evolving competitive landscape will bring in the years ahead.

  • Building better wind storm models with geodata
    • 09/20/16
    • Financial Services
    • Geomarketing
    • Geodata
    • Global
    • English

    Building better wind storm models with geodata

    A risk modeling company needed reliable boundary and market data to create and validate its windstorm model for Europe. Constructing geographically precise risk models is essential to predicting financial risk for the insurance and reinsurance companies that use our client’s services.

    • 09/20/16
    • Consumer Goods
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    What you need to know to leverage consumers’ renewed focus on homes

    According to figures released late last month, sales of new single-family homes reached the highest rate since October 2007. 2016 is shaping up to be the best year for housing in a decade. Not only are Americans buying more new homes, they are gearing up their plans for current ones. Home improvement spending is expected to reach $325 billion by early next year. It’s the highest level in a decade.

    As Americans ramp up their investment into the home, opportunities abound for well-prepared marketers that are in tune with Americans’ evolving needs for the home space.

    Millennials drive home plans

    While home ownership saw the sharpest decline among young adults over the past decade, Millennials have started to enter into, and are poised to drive, the housing market. Data from GfK Consumer Life shows that about a quarter of Millennials bought their first homes in the past five years, making up nearly seven in ten first-time home buyers during this period. Nearly two-thirds plan to buy homes in the next 2-3 years, which is almost twice the amount from 2011. Older Millennials, born in the 80s, lead in practically all major home-related goals, from renovation and new purchases to appliances.

    Polarized home sizes = Increasingly varied needs

    Home sizes are growing more polarized. A new wave of tiny apartments below 500 square feet has emerged in large cities across the nation, helping drive down the average size of new apartments to a 10-year low.  At the same time, single-family homes are getting super-sized, with the average square footage breaking new records.

    Aside from financial factors such as economic polarization and soaring home prices in major cities, changing household structures – particularly the dual rise of single-person and multi-generational dwellings – are behind the divergence in home sizes. Widening differences in home and household realities pinpoint the increasingly varied needs and opportunities for home products. Are your product portfolios well aligned?

    Household cleaning represents big opportunities

    ‘A clean house free of dust and clutter’ is considered the most fundamental to quality of life on a list of 16 aspects of home tracked by GfK Consumer Life, ranging from the number of rooms in the house to having the right furniture. It’s also one of the areas that consumers are the least satisfied with when evaluating their current home space.

    With an accelerated pace of life, home cleaning often gets postponed and the ‘usual level of cleanliness’ has emerged as the fastest growing aspect of the home that consumers would like to improve upon. Today, keeping up with housework represents the top area that Americans admit difficulty with and want solutions for, ahead of managing money/investments, meal planning, and more.

    As consumers seek out new ways to maintain a clean house with minimum investments of time and effort, the robotic cleaner category is poised to gain traction. More big names are entering into the field. Dyson, for instance, just launched its first robotic model in the US, combining its iconic powerful suction with the convenience of automation.

    Smart homes: Consumers want tangible benefits, not information overload

    Home safety and resource conservation have been the prime drivers of smart home adoption and may be even more fundamental motivators moving forward. Compared to current users of smart home products, who tend to be early adopters more enticed by novel technologies, those interested in future adoption gravitate even more towards the most relatable functional benefits – safety and resource conservation.

    When it comes to resource conservation, automated optimization (beyond the Nest thermostat, the Rachio smart sprinkler serves as a good example) is much more desired than real-time tracking. Out of the eight smart home features measured by GfK Consumer Life, ‘optimizing energy usage with home products automatically adjusting to the most energy efficient time to perform tasks and/or turning off when not in use’ is by far the most appealing. On the other hand, allowing real-time energy tracking is second to last.

    Be it or smart homes or wearables, our research shows that consumers recognize that data tracking alone does not necessarily benefit them. As the Internet of Things progresses and the pitfalls of aggravating information overload become more evident, expect consumer demand to further move beyond information gathering to tangible, results-oriented solutions.

    Summary

    With the economic recovery and Millennials starting their own households, Americans’ focus and spending on homes are again on the rise. Fully capitalizing on booming opportunities in this space requires marketers to take a fresh look at their product and marketing strategies to ensure alignment with the shifting consumer landscape.

    Veronica Chen is a Vice President at GfK Consumer Life. To share your thoughts, please email veronica.chen@gfk.com.

  • Enhancing in-store experiences across 17 markets for a telecoms company
    • 09/20/16
    • Technology
    • Mystery Shopping
    • Global
    • English

    Enhancing in-store experiences across 17 markets for a telecoms company

    We helped our client assess the global performance of its new retail concept and customer service strategy as well as to create plans to address markets where execution fell short of expectations. 

  • Radio Audience Measurement in the era of the Connected Consumer
    • 09/18/16
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Radio Audience Measurement in the era of the Connected Consumer

    In this paper, we're going to outline some of the different approaches to RAM, the new technologies, and their advantages and disadvantages.

  • Pioneering new methods of audience measurement
    • 09/18/16
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Pioneering new methods of audience measurement

    With the massive proliferation of mobile devices, the demand for online diaries in mobile formats - or m-diaries - is no surprise. But have you determined how m-diaries impact response rates?

  • Turning browsers into buyers
    • 09/16/16
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Turning browsers into buyers

    Our clients tell us that the biggest challenge facing them in fashion and non-food retailing today is conversion. Do you understand your shoppers’ path to purchase?

    • 09/15/16
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    I hope supermarkets are stalking me

    Eighty years ago, Elton Mayo was looking at productivity of factory workers, changing group size and dynamics; everything from rules about talking to the type of lightbulbs in the ceiling. He discovered somewhat remarkably that under every change in condition productivity increased. The underlying insight being that individuals change their behavior when they know they are being observed, more succinctly known as the Hawthorne effect. This has always posed a challenge to market researchers. Consumers’ innate desire to come across as more sensible, rational, better versions of themselves adds a layer of complexity to ethnography and accompanied journeys.

    Technology in recent years has provided some alternative solutions, from Bluetooth beacons to CCTV based systems that can track individuals in stores. But what is missing from these solutions is the personal information angle; you may find out everything about the trip but are still in the dark about the consumer.

    Getting more out of existing technology

    One piece of current technology may hold an important role here, particularly for supermarkets. Increasingly common in large chains are the scan as you shop handheld devices. These allow shoppers to scan the barcodes of their items as they move around the store and pack them into their bags, allowing for a much quicker checkout experience and removing the hassle of packing your grocery cart just to have to unpack it at the register.

     

    But these handheld devices could be doing so much more.

       

    • Journey mapping: Using built in GPS or a Bluetooth based sonar system these barcode scanning devices could reveal the footprint of shopper journeys around the store. Overlaid with purchases, they can show underused/visited areas of the store as well as bottleneck areas.
    • Layout optimization: By looking at the way consumers are moving around the store and in what order they purchase items, you could streamline the experience or encourage them to walk past particular sales areas to trigger a spontaneous purchase. By looking at the gaps between purchase points in aggregate, you could identify products that are difficult to find, i.e. those products that always have a long gap between their purchase and the previous item’s purchase.
    • Strategy: To be operated, most scanners require a loyalty card to be scanned first, so there is a whole host of back data to draw upon. Combining an understanding of consumption adjacencies (milk & cereal), purchase adjacencies (beer & diapers) and then shopper adjacencies (go to cucumbers then crisps) would give a powerful understanding of the what, how and why of consumer behavior and would allow for a hyper-personalized understanding but also an aggregate level of consumer segmentation.
    • Supplier relationship: Imagine the power of being able to demonstrate to suppliers exactly how many individuals walked past individual product displays or promotional touchpoints, enabling them to enrich sales data with a much more accurate picture of conversion rate and a view further up the funnel.
    •  

    Of course this is all passive below-the-radar data collection and activation. In fact some grocery stores may be using the technology in this way already, it would be impossible from a consumer standpoint to tell.

    The next step: Crossing into consumer consciousness

    With these devices there is potential to push things further into the consumer consciousness.  Numerous studies have shown that personalized interactions are welcomed by consumers if they are relevant and timely. Demonstrating the consumer benefit would win over most customers. Consider the Ocado ‘have you forgotten’ function that monitors what the customer buys regularly and flags items that haven’t been bought for awhile. This could be replicated in store particularly with a unique knowledge of an individual’s purchase adjacencies.

    Personalize the shopping experience through relationship building

    Scanning devices allow for a highly personalized shopping experience. Using a combination of location tracking in-store and loyalty back data, highly personalized content could be delivered at the exact moment that it will have most impact. Imagine if you know that I buy one of two brands of coffee and I am in the coffee aisle, you could push me a brand message from Kenco highlighting its ‘Coffee vs. gangs’ program when I am making that exact decision. This is the ultimate in having a conversation with consumers when they want to talk, which instantly raises the relevance and thus stickiness of any message.

    Guiding the shopper through their purchase journey

    You could completely revolutionize the shopper journey too; no more browsing around or trying to find a member of staff, when the device could tell me the aisle and location of an item that I am looking for. Or even if I entered the items I was looking for in advance, it could guide me on the optimum journey around the store to complete my shopping mission. Ikea have started trials in this area years ago with their partnership with Google Maps.

    The Holy Grail: Integrating with smartphones

    By the time you have got to this level of interaction the obvious question becomes, instead of building all this into their handheld devices, why not built a smartphone app for it? With the Smartphone already in the pockets and hands of most shoppers, would this not be the ideal tool to deliver all this content? This may seem like a natural next step technologically speaking, but it requires a leap in terms of the relationship between the store and the shopper. An invitation to cross the threshold into the personal realm of the smartphone is not something most consumers take lightly. But it could be done…

    All of this leads me to the conclusion, which is that I hope supermarkets are stalking me. I hope they are making smart use of consumer data in stores; and through the scanning device and Clubcard that I am willing to use. I hope they are using this data to make decisions about layout and supplier relationships, and most of all I can’t wait for the day they introduce directions into the device so that I can stop spending 20 minutes searching for risotto rice every time I go in.

    Samuel Carter is an Innovation Consultant and can be reached at Samuel.Carter@gfk.com.

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