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    • 08/16/17
    • Health
    • Consumer Panels
    • Global
    • English

    Curating an answer to deeper consumer understanding through data

    This post was co-authored by Natasha Stevens and Michelle Morgan

    At a time when surveys seem to be under a kind of siege – viewed by some as backward and outdated – let me go out on a limb: Surveys have never been more important or relevant.

    Yes, behavioral data can tell us exactly what people do – no guessing or memory jogging required. But there are also restrictions; we may only know, for example, what people are doing within a single environment – online or in store. And while behavioral information can provide extremely rich consumer insight, it often cannot tell us why people do things: what they were hoping for, whether they were disappointed, and their feelings about the brands in their lives.

    The challenge for researchers

    Surveys can help us fill in all of these gaps; and yet we also know that consumers’ patience with long questionnaires – especially on smartphones – is shrinking. The challenge for smart researchers, then, is: How can we use surveys only when they will provide unique and indispensable information, but quit before our returns start to diminish?

    The answer is doubling down on a skill unfamiliar (and perhaps unsettling) to many researchers — data curation. Here we use different data sets, often from very diverse sources, to create the complete picture we need of consumers’ preferences and behavior. By linking two or more data sets through carefully developed criteria, we can focus our survey takers on giving us only the information we can obtain nowhere else.

    Data curation in action

    One recent example of data curation in action was inspired by the looming changes in US healthcare and insurance. Survey data capturing public opinion on US healthcare reform is abundant – much of it focused on the specifics of the policy itself, with respondents generally profiled according to their political affiliation. We wanted to develop a profile of survey respondents that went beyond party politics and looked more deeply at motivations and personal characteristics around health.

    Using KnowledgePanel®, the largest probability-based online panel in the US, supplemented with key health psychographic variables from MRI’s gold-standard Survey of the American Consumer®, we were able to develop a more nuanced picture of our survey takers. The MRI-KnowledgePanel® fusion allowed us to integrate health-related profile data for KnowledgePanel® members – such as body mass index (BMI), information about chronic physical and mental health conditions, and health insurance status – with 25 health psychographic variables from MRI.

    We found that those who disapprove of the Affordable Care Act are less likely to believe that generic drugs are as good as brand-name drugs.

    In addition, they are more likely to be the first to try advanced medication and more likely to agree that medication has improved their quality of life.

    Using the integrated databases, we were able to add a number of high-value characteristics to the mix without additional questions or fees; these included presence of chronic health conditions, medication compliance, body-mass index, and body image.

    Deeper insights from fused data

    By mastering data integration and curation, we can deepen our insights from any one source. In our healthcare example, the fused data allowed us to develop a richer and more robust profile of survey respondents than we could achieve with KnowledgePanel® data alone. With the right data resources and expertise, this new approach creates almost infinite possibilities for expanded insights.

    Natasha Stevens is Executive Vice President of Digital Experiences at GfK. Michelle Morgan is the Research Director of Data and Insights Integration. To share your thoughts please email natasha.stevens@gfk.com or michelle.morgan@gfk.com. 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Unlocking the keys to innovation: Keys to the future
    • 08/01/17
    • Financial Services
    • Health
    • Consumer Health
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Market Opportunities and Innovation
    • United States
    • English

    Unlocking the keys to innovation: Keys to the future

    To create truly robust brands, you need to build them for tomorrow’s market challenges as well as today’s. Imagine surfing the next wave in the ocean – smoothly riding the tide of the moment while already adjusting for the currents and winds about to hit you. With the right methods, it can be done – and “future-proofing” your brands will be essential to their survival.

    • 07/25/17
    • Health
    • Travel and Hospitality
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    How brands can appeal to pet parents

    With several family members on the move this spring, my husband and I found ourselves temporary caretakers for a series of pets including our niece’s cat. She was a sweet houseguest, although our own two cats didn’t think so. Fortunately, we are empty nesters with enough space that our feline lodger had her own two-room suite. Talk about being pampered!

    We are long-time devoted pet owners ourselves, so I wasn’t surprised at the amount of equipment, toys and other accoutrements that my niece dropped off with her “only child.” I was, however, slightly bemused by the tube of Freshpet refrigerated food she brought in a cooler. As a health-focused Millennial, she is a prime target for these products. I dutifully purchased refills during our guest’s stay, but didn’t become a convert. On the other hand, I was inspired to purchase a vertical scratching post for our cats.

    Our experience is a microcosm of several trends we’ve seen emerging in the pet market as a whole as GfK’s Point-of-Sale (POS) data reports show. Pet owners are focused on dietary health and trying new things. They don’t sit around the house all the time, either.

    Dogs versus cats

    Just over half of global consumers, 54 percent, are pet owners, according to the recently released GfK Consumer Life global study. One in three has dogs and about one in four has cats, while nearly 20 percent have fish, birds or other animals. There is overlap, of course. Almost half of cat owners also have dogs, and about one in three dog owners also have cats.

    Of the 21 countries covered in the study, pets are most popular in Latin America: Argentina, Mexico and Brazil, and dogs are by far the pet of choice. The only places where more people have cats than dogs are France, Germany, Indonesia, Russia and Sweden, although Russia is the only country where cat owners attain majority status, at 58 percent.

    Pets at home, on the road, and on the town

    Pet owners of the world are a mix of home-based and outgoing, finds the GfK global study. They are more likely than average to do yard work and home improvements on a regular basis, but are also more likely to go out for entertainment and to travel.

    This means that pet owners’ homes and yards need to be pet-friendly, whether they are home owners or renters. Growing numbers of apartment complexes are offering dog parks and dog-washing stations, for example.

    People don’t always want to leave their pet companions at home, though. The lodging industry is becoming more receptive to travelers with pets; resources like petwelcome.com can help locate them. But there are opportunities for all kinds of businesses to get involved, such as excursions and car rental agencies.

    Everyday destinations should think about accommodating pets, too. Stores with sidewalk access sometimes put out the welcome mat by offering water bowls and treats for dogs who are out and about with their human family members. Pet stores routinely allow pets, of course, and most places allow service dogs. But given the reports of heat-related deaths of pets left in cars every year, maybe more retailers should be pet-friendly. This doesn’t have to mean letting animals roam free; there are such things as pet strollers and places to safely park pets outside stores. Some large stores offer child-care services – why not a pet-sitting service?

    Healthy families include pets

    Global pet owners are more inclined than their peers to follow a specific diet for their health and to say that “local” is an important factor in their food and beverage choices. Furthermore, GfK Consumer Life research reveals that American pet owners are more likely than average to have used a meal-kit delivery service such as Blue Apron in the past month.

    Pets are often considered family members, so it follows that their owners will extend the attitudes they hold about their own health and food habits to their animal companions. This has certainly been evident in the rising sales of pet foods that are free of certain ingredients and have few ingredients, according to the ongoing GfK pet-food POS study. Maybe locally produced pet products and meal-kit services will appeal, too.

    Innovations welcome

    Pet owners are more likely than average to agree that they are always “on the lookout for new products and services” and “looking for novelty and fun, even in everyday products.” They are also more interested in other people’s opinions about what to buy and tend to discuss products and brands on social media more often.

    This means that the pet market is one that is open to innovation and sharing information. Even if you’re not in the pet industry per se, there is almost certainly a way for you to be involved with these important members of the family.

    Diane Crispell is a Senior Consultant on the Consumer Life team at GfK. She can be reached at diane.crispell@gfk.com.

  • Achieving Dx Success
    • 06/13/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Achieving Dx Success

    Our white paper, “Achieving Dx Success: Diligence from concept to commercialization,” presents six recommendations for establishing your pathway to market successfully in the diagnostics industry. Download to find out more.

    • 06/08/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    The rise of patient-centricity, clinicians seeking knowledge – the role of the internet

    Disintermediating has greater repercussions in healthcare, more so than in any other industry: Centricity, engagement and empowerment of individuals are growing.

    According to the most recent GfK data, approx. 15 million Italians (45% of web users) have used their desktop or mobile devices to seek health information online.

    Discussing results with experts is nevertheless key. After searching online, two Italians out of three see their HCPs to further evaluate the findings, one out of three requests a second opinion and one out of three consults their pharmacists.

    Physicians and patients staying connected with digital tools

    Digital tools help physicians and patients stay connected, promote the engagement of patients in the entire health journey, at the same time increasing awareness, ability to manage their condition and adherence to treatment. Phone calls are, once again, the easiest way for patients to contact their physicians and stay in touch with them, while emails, texting and WhatsApp messages are now go-to communication tools: Almost 50% of GPs regularly interact with their patients via email (46%) or via WhatsApp (44%) and texts (40%).

    There is also evidence of growing interest among physicians (approx. 30-40% according to their specialty) in video consultations to help remote monitoring of medical parameters and adherence to treatment.

    It is therefore of the utmost importance that new communication tools be clearly patient-centric and consider patients’ resources and their everyday use of technology.

    Digital touchpoints for physicians

    On the other hand, HCPs are quite conversant with the digital tools they use for continuous professional development: 93% of physicians use the web for professional purposes every day, for a total of eight hours a week of browsing.

    What do physicians seek online? Mostly product information and clinical trials, insights into diseases, guidelines for diagnosis and treatments. General practitioners are interested in Centers of Excellence they can refer their patients to for a consultation, specialists browse through ongoing clinical trials of the most innovative products.

    Pharma companies, on their part, are now implementing new, multilayered strategies to disseminate information through digital and remote channels: 52% of GPs and 61% of specialists have experienced digital or remote detailing.

    It is also worth pointing out how communication from pharma companies through digital channels is impacting the traditional scientific information-seeking process, triggering a more proactive, in-depth approach among physicians.

    Social networks and peer-to-peer consultations are also digital touchpoints. More than 50% of GPs and 61% of specialists use at least one social network for professional purposes. Apps are steadily on the rise and are now used by 73% of GPs and 81% of specialists to support their clinical practice and CPD.

    Conclusions

    In this day and age, digital pervades healthcare as a source of information and communication for both physicians and patients.

    Pharma companies are well aware of this. They play a key role in scientific dissemination and are developing multichannel strategies that add innovative tools to the traditional sales reps visits; namely, information portals, newsletters, tele- and web detailing and social media communications.

    In this respect, communication channels may be real game changers in physicians’ approach to knowledge-seeking. No more are they passive recipients but active participants seeking information. The same is true of patients, who have become more aware, informed and engaged in their health journey. Patients and HCPs are evolving with the digital age. So the industry must embrace advanced strategies that respond to this new healthcare landscape.

    Isabella Cecchini is the Head of Healthcare at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email isabella.cecchini@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

    • 06/05/17
    • Health
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    How consumer research innovations can help boost health intelligence

    There is nothing wrong with proven market research methodologies. For many years crucial business decisions in healthcare have been made based on input gathered from seemingly straightforward ATUs and brand tracking, online surveys and face-to-face interactions. And we do not envisage this will change. Going “all digital” and applying the latest tools will not automatically guarantee sound market research. Nevertheless, we have great examples of how innovative approaches used in consumer research can make a difference in both the outcome and impact of market research in health when used exclusively or added to existing proven techniques. Let’s inspire you by highlighting some examples.

       

    1. Bottom-up free communication that connects insights and creates innovations

    2.  

    While digital qualitative research platforms in consumer research are here to stay, their application in health projects (especially B2B) is still not always top of mind. However, these digital sessions, in all of their forms, actually do have a proven track record in health research. Using platforms such as online communities or chat sessions to gain qualitative insights could add value to traditional research methods in multiple ways. It’s not only about enabling you to engage more easily with those targets that are difficult to bring into a central location – be that key opinion leaders, geographically dispersed targets or patients. But the bottom-up free communication and the participants’ anonymous status help them communicate more freely about detailed and often personal medical issues. They’re inclined to provide insights into “a day in the life” by sharing multimedia that shows them administering a drug, their interactions with their caregivers and more.

       

    1. Passive measurement, from online behavior to emotions

    2.  

    When optimizing patient support programs and information about diseases and treatments, you need to understand how patients orient themselves on the internet. Traditional research techniques, like online surveys, are based on recall alone, not actual behavior. Using a passive measurement tool, as used in consumer research, can fill the digital blind spot many brands have regarding their customers’ online behavior throughout the disease journey. By assessing the impact these tools had on how patients made their medical decisions, one could optimize the digital approach and assets to meet patients’ specific needs by patient type and disease state.

    Other ways of passive measurement using new technologies could help you get better emotional insights into key stakeholders. Think of concept testing when asking participants about their opinion and thoughts. New validated techniques that digitally analyze the voice of respondents on their emotional state or facial expression help you better analyze and understand respondents’ feelings and emotions over just a simple Q&A interview approach.

       

    1. In the moment, on the spot!

    2.  

    The simple use of mobile-based research, like in the consumer space, with in-the-moment, real-time feedback from both HCPs and patients, is becoming increasingly valuable. It provides rich voice recordings, as well as a multimedia perspective and allows us to understand our customers in more detail. It creates depth and context to real-world situations and challenges that key stakeholders find themselves dealing with each day.

       

    1. Virtual reality techniques to simulate the pharmacy or the GP office

    2.  

    And what about the growing opportunities of virtual reality research, which is being applied in consumer research more frequently nowadays?  We have explored several ways to also apply these techniques in health research. Think of a simulated pharmacy setting where you can test in-store behavior digitally among large groups of potential healthcare consumers. Not only does this virtual store shelf simulation help you to optimize packaging and design, but even simulated recommendations and dialogue with the healthcare professional (HCP) can help measure the impact of recommendations that might be successfully used for forecast exercises. These techniques, which are engaging for respondents as well as being cost- and time-efficient, help you adapt to scenarios by changing environmental cues or dialogue. In this way you can refine messages and materials, and even do forecasting by using the simulated prescribing environment, instead of the artificiality of a choice task allocation.

    Conclusion

    It’s a brave new evolving world with key healthcare stakeholders embracing innovative tools that examine not just their feedback, but their behavior, not just their words but their more revealing voices or facial expressions. With the rise of chat rooms and communities, patients have a comfort zone for more in-depth exploration of their concerns in an anonymous environment. These and other innovations by themselves, or in tandem with existing health research, like brand trackers or ATUs, provide an opportunity for a more in-depth look into your targeted healthcare stakeholders. Let these new avenues for engagement be an invitation to healthcare pioneers like yourself to shape more informed strategies that look to the future and boost health intelligence like never before.

    This article was co-authored by Chantal Bayard-Savelkouls and Steve O’Hara. To share your thoughts, email jan.guse@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • At UXPA event, GfK will share new  methods for making UX research agile
    • 05/16/17
    • Health
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Market Access
    • United States
    • English

    At UXPA event, GfK will share new methods for making UX research agile

    At The Boston User Experience Conference this week, GfK User Experience (UX) experts will explore new approaches to quick, effective UX research, addressing the challenges UX designers face in working with agile teams. Other GfK sessions will focus on managing ethnographic data and leveraging new research techniques.

  • GfK appoints new regional leaders in Health
    • 04/25/17
    • Health
    • Health Technology
    • United States
    • English

    GfK appoints new regional leaders in Health

    GfK’s global Health practice, with over 500 experts worldwide, has named new leaders for teams in North America and Germany/Switzerland.

  • Measuring multichannel marketing: Pharma plays catch-up
    • 04/18/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Measuring multichannel marketing: Pharma plays catch-up

    Is your organization ahead of or behind the multichannel marketing curve? Now is an ideal time to play catch-up.

    • 03/31/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Dispatches from eyeforpharma: Digitizing patient and professional engagement

    One week prior to eyeforpharma, the city saw one of the most stunning modern football* feats when Barcelona defeated Paris St.-Germain 6-1. eyeforpharma was a sideshow in Barcelona, but the center stage for an industry reinventing its sales and marketing model.

    I had the pleasure of chairing two tracks: Digital Transformation and Customer Engagement. Speakers shared “how-to” guides for effecting change with an emphasis on practical advice with case studies.

    Where is pharma when you need them?

    Google’s director of healthcare, Ryan Olahan, challenged the industry to move faster, think bigger, win the micro moments, help first (sell drugs later) and embrace an openness to rapid testing/learning. He emphasized that pharma companies are not necessarily present where and when consumers need support. Mobile searches for health information spike after doctor’s visits, and YouTube hosts volumes of user-generated video content that meets patients’ needs. Yet pharma is often invisible at these micro moments.

    High-level learnings from top pharma thought leaders

    Speakers from UCB, S3 ConnectedHealth, Janssen, Novartis and QuintilesIMS addressed digital transformation in pharma, with some high-level learnings:

       

    • Digital strategies need to be optimized for a mobile environment. The industry can’t (and perhaps doesn’t) understand customers and patients enough. Customer journeys are cornerstones, but beware of treating customers or patients as an average. Respect individual and sub-segment differences.
    • How are the industry’s digital efforts directly impacting patients? There should be a pay-off for patients if digital transformation is to be deemed successful.
    • Manage micro and macro patient experiences so that the industry’s touchpoints with external stakeholders are connected.
    • Barriers to digital transformation are organizational and human, rarely technical.
    •  

    The speakers presented case studies showcasing specifics for implementing digital customer engagement strategies. But fresh frameworks for measuring these new customer engagement paradigms were not in evidence. For example, behavior is the best indicator of healthcare professionals (HCP) channel preference, yet we are still relying on outmoded satisfaction metrics to measure channel impact. Speakers referenced customer journeys but there was little mention of digital monitoring that can decode the digital blind spot in so many journeys.

    Lessons in boosting customer engagement

    Yet, the customer engagement track with Teva, Amgen, Ashfield, Ipsos and GSK set out some strong examples of powering up customer engagement with digital and non-digital components:

       

    • Apps are not an excuse for a digital strategy – they are tools, not an end in and of themselves. And they will not magically address issues of non-adherence.
    • Patient support programs offer a golden opportunity to enrich the patient experience. Co-creation with patients works well in the development of PSPs, but only if it starts early in the formative process.
    • Design with patients in mind – think user experience, not just company goals.
    • Arm HCPs with the right techniques/tools to effect behavioral change in patients, such as motivational interviewing by nurses.
    • Consider systems 1 versus 2 thinking when designing programs that aim to shift behaviors.
    • People and partners will either hinder or help your customer engagement strategies. The wrong choices can cost an organization significant delays in implementing new digital and customer engagement systems.
    • Content has to be relevant and informed by context and channel; pharma companies can no longer push content irrespective of these considerations.
    •  

    Speakers cited inspiration from outside the Rx industry, such as Lego (for co-creation), and P&G’s Dover campaign.

    Overall, eyeforpharma was a balance of inspiration and how-to examples for getting it done. We witnessed so many organizations moving beyond the drawing board to tangible actions.

    Justin Edge is GfK’s Global Head of Health. You can connect with Justin on LinkedIn or send him a note at justin.edge@gfk.com.

    • 03/29/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Health technology pricing: Reaching a delicate balance

    There is a Russian proverb that tells of two fools in every market, one whose price is too low and one whose price is too high. Regrettably, there is no mention of a third player whose price is just right, perhaps for good reason. But if we think about the challenges of establishing an optimal pricing strategy for an innovative medicine or health technology, it is hard to see how we could get to the “right price”.

    To do so, we need to aim for one price that meets the expectations of all relevant stakeholders – national governments, insurance companies, providers, physicians, patients, industry, investors et al.

    Pricing that’s all things to all people – is it attainable?

    In many markets, national, regional and/or local payer organizations dominate the market access process, while the influence of prescribers on both access and uptake has been significantly eroded. Industry has learned to engage with payers to understand not simply what they are willing to pay for a new technology but how they will come to that decision – against what comparator, and in which patient population, as well as how any incremental benefits are likely to be valued.

    A pricing and market access strategy based solely on the prescriber and payer perspectives risks significantly undervaluing the pharmaceutical or health technologies in question. We believe that an optimal pricing and market access strategy has to build on a solid understanding of all relevant stakeholder groups.

    Clearly, the starting point with any pricing research is to gain an understanding of the views of these stakeholders on:

    • current standard of care and level of unmet need
    • likely clinical, HTA and pricing comparators
    • potential or actual incremental clinical (and non-clinical) value that the new medicine or technology can deliver
    • patient and funding flow
    • key budget holders and decision makers
    • willingness to pay and/or co-pay

    Never have so many strategies been used to explore so many drivers for just one definitive pricing solution

    As we progress to more formal pricing research, especially with third–party payers, it is important to use a range of strategies to explore value drivers, price and potential patient access scenarios.

    We favor a multilayered approach to qualitative payer research that explores:

    Having established a number of likely patient access scenarios, we then need to model the potential impact of access management strategies, patient willingness to pay/co-pay and the impact of physician behavior and, where relevant, potential pharmacist input, including substitution.

    Although physicians’ ability to directly influence initial pricing or access decisions may be limited, their role in determining uptake of “listed” products remains and is a key factor in demand assessment and forecasting.

    With experience gained in both the prescription and consumer health markets to develop evidence-based pricing, demand assessment and forecasting tools, we have been able to guide our clients to make informed decisions on pricing and market access strategies against so many odds.

    Tim Fitzgerald is the Managing Director of Market Access at GfK. Please email tim.fitzgerald@gfk.com or leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

    • 03/24/17
    • Health
    • Global
    • English

    Understanding pricing of health technologies in out-of-pocket markets

    In many emerging markets, healthcare funding remains very much an out-of-pocket expense. For some, it is the second most important household expenditure after food.

    It is critical, therefore, when establishing pricing strategies in such markets that we consider both willingness and ability to pay. We also must consider how these factors may be shaped by a range of external influences, including:

       

    • patient-relevant product attributes/outcomes
    • patient-access pathway
    • physician endorsement
    • pharmacist recommendation/substitution
    • multichannel information sources
    • friends, family or caregiver attitudes
    • financial support and drug donation programs
    • brand awareness/loyalty
    •  

    Patients’ priorities vs. physicians’ views

    Patient-relevant product attributes and outcomes that would not normally be seen as valuable to government or insurance-based payers or indeed the treating physician may resonate far more with the patient who is also the “payer”. For example, they may be far more willing to pay for convenience. Outcomes demonstrating earlier return to school or work may carry far greater value than would normally be the case in formal health technology assessment, which is too often limited to a view which takes only direct health system costs into account.

    Where the physician continues to act as a key gatekeeper, it is critical to understand that their views of what is important to the patient may not be aligned with the patients themselves. Take, for example, breast cancer. While over 70% of physicians believe that patients with breast cancer consider keeping their breast as a top priority, the figure from direct patient research is less than 10%.

    Comparison of patient and physician drivers in asthma (GfK Asthma Research, China)

    Consequently, physicians may also make treatment decisions/recommendations based on false assumptions regarding the patient’s willingness to pay.

    Physicians: Are they reliable surrogates of patients’ willingness to pay (WTP) or not?

    Our research across a range of markets and therapy areas has highlighted how physicians often provide a very unreliable surrogate of patient WTP. It has also revealed significant variation between the impact of different WTP drivers on patients in different markets, socioeconomic groups and disease areas.

    Examining evidence-based pricing

    We apply our best-in-class approaches to support evidence-based pricing in these self-pay markets, building on many decades of experience in both the prescription and consumer medicines space. By combining our global expertise and local market knowledge, we are able to help clients optimize patient access and uptake in a way which is aligned to our client’s global and regional commercial strategy.

    These same approaches are equally valuable in more traditional markets where there has been a shift in financial burden towards the patients through co-payment mechanisms. The US is an obvious example of where co-payments are the norm, and understanding the trade-offs between pricing, tier placement and co-payment are crucial elements of pricing and contracting strategy development.

    Tim Fitzgerald is the Managing Director at GfK Market Access. Please email tim.fitzgerald@gfk.com or leave a comment below to share your thoughts.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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General