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Smart insights: Technology

In today’s connected society, technology impacts all industries - driving opportunities and accelerating the speed of innovation.

To stay competitive, technology companies need to understand consumers’ evolving experiences and choices.

Our technology market research experts deliver smart insights to create engaging and relevant concept designs, product positioning, advertising and customer experiences. Our technology industry expertise spans IT and IT B2B, consumer electronics (CE), photo, office equipment and telecommunications market performance, consumer research and trends.

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    • 04/28/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    The game is on: the opportunities offered by the gaming market

    Gaming creates considerable revenue worldwide, but especially in Western Europe. Discover what opportunities are offered by the gaming market with our infographic.
    • 04/27/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Advertising still holds sway over consumers

    We asked 20,000 consumers globally which factors influence most their shopping decisions. Take a look at our infographic and get the answer.
    • 04/25/17
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Digital Home Assistants: Are marketers listening closely?

    Digital home assistants (DHAs) – such as Amazon Echo, Echo Dot, and Google Home – have made great strides in a short amount of time.  Just two years after the Amazon Echo launch, slightly more than one in ten (11%) US households own a DHA, according to the latest findings from GfK’s The Home Technology Monitor.

    The right product at the right time

    This seems to be a case of the right product at the right time.  With the advent of Siri and Cortana, consumers are becoming increasingly comfortable with using their voices to control devices.  Our research shows that three-quarters of all US consumers have used speech to operate some sort of digital device – be it a smartphone or a smart TV. Despite the progress DHAs have made, though, their adoption level is still lower than tablets and DVD players at the same point in the same time “in market”. To tap DHAs’ full potential for market growth, marketers need to address two key issues:
    • Compatibility and seamlessness of working with other devices
    • Privacy and security
    The rebound in the housing market also has the potential to fuel DHA adoption.  GfK’s Consumer Life research, as reported in Tech Trends 2017, shows that Millennials represent just over one-half (53%) of those who plan to buy a home in the next two to three years – and they are also key to smart home adoption.  DHAs show potential as a controller device to save energy, keep their home safe and secure, and maintain a healthy living environment.

    How consumers are using DHA’s now

    We can gain great insights on how to unlock DHAs’ potential by looking at the ways consumers are using them now.  For example, nearly two thirds of DHA owners (63%) use them to play music.  By contrast, only 15% turn to them to play videos, watch TV, or movies – even though nearly one-half (43%) of US homes have an Internet-connected TV that they use to watch TV and movies.  This disconnect begs the question: What is holding consumers back from riding the video wave with their DHAs? The answer is clear: A lack of seamlessness! Currently, Google Home has built-in compatibility with Google’s Chromecast; however, Amazon Echo (which accounts for 10 out of every 11 DHAs owned) and Dot are not easily connected with smart TVs.  To make these devices talk to each other, users need to connect through a hub such as Samsung’s Smartthings or Logitech’s Harmony hub.  These are extra steps that the mass market may not take kindly to. At the 2017 CES, some TV manufacturers announced FireTV with Alexa built into their next generation TVs.  This development promises little to no set-up and a more seamless experience. DHAs show promise with other smart home use cases, with nearly one-fourth (23%) of DHA owners indicating that they use the devices to control their home lighting, thermostats, fans or security systems.  Manufacturers’ great progress in making their home products IoT-ready is starting to pay off!  The 2017 CES was rife with products featuring Alexa built-in, ranging from refrigerators to lighting to robots.

    Choosing the right standard for DHA’s

    A related compatibility question consumers are asking themselves is, “Which DHA should I hitch my wagon to?”  If I’m an Apple or Samsung lover, should I hold out for Siri or Bixby – or do I go with the first thing that works?  When a new technology comes out, choosing the right standard is really critical; no one wants to buy the next Betamax. You want to own the device that will speak to the largest number of other devices. Marketers also need to address some important privacy and security challenges. For example:
    • How long does a DHA keep voice recordings?
    • How does it protect the confidentiality of the owner and separate personally identifiable information (PII) from behaviors?
    • How can owners prevent the sharing of data to 3rd parties despite the potential commercial reward?
    • How do we protect the security of customers’ financial data?
    When exploring pain points, consumers in the GfK study expressed concerns about the possibility of hacks on their personal data.  It will only take one or two more DHA privacy stories in the news to turn this into a real impediment to uptake. As we run headlong into this Brave New World controlled by DHAs powered by artificial intelligence, marketers have great responsibility to help guide standards that will make for a seamless, life-improving and safe experience. Rob Barrish is a Global Account Director at GfK.  To share your thoughts, please email
    • 04/19/17
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • FMCG
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    From “mission impossible” to “mission accomplished”: How tech manufacturers can maximize the media mix

    As a marketer of durable goods, your likely mission is to build brand image, optimize your media budget and ultimately to generate profit. While that might sound like “mission impossible”, the good news is that there is a tested research technique that can help. Marketing mix modeling offers a way for marketers to successfully overcome the mounting challenges they face. In this blog, we explore four reasons why marketing mix modeling is as relevant to manufacturers of durable goods as it is to the consumer goods industry. In doing so, we will help you navigate from “mission impossible” to “mission accomplished”.

    Mission one: Harness the digitization of media

    Put simply, in the digital age, there are more media channels and more connected devices. Consequently, Connected Consumers are exposed to more advertising messages than ever before. This media fragmentation makes it difficult for manufacturers to know where, when and how to reach consumers. In addition, the immediacy of the digital channel has placed more pressure on marketing campaigns to deliver short-term sales. Add to this the proven decline in consumers’ average attention span, and you have a challenge that even the Impossible Missions Force’s Ethan Hunt might be happy to see self-destruct in five seconds. The success of any campaign depends on getting your media mix right. In order to maximize your budget, it is essential to have accurate insights on how your ads are performing at any given moment. What you need to understand is which campaigns on which media platforms positively impact sales of your product. Marketing mix modeling evaluates the contribution of the different media channels – both online and offline – enabling you to allocate your budget so that it delivers maximum ROI.

    Mission two: Think omnichannel

    In the technical consumer goods (TCG) sector, e-commerce is an extremely important channel, and its share of sales is growing annually. According to our Point of Sales (POS) Tracking data, online accounted for 23.1% of overall sales in 2016 (see infographic). Shoppers have adopted an omnichannel approach to shopping in the TCG sector. The message couldn’t be clearer: if your products aren’t available across all channels, you are losing sales. Omnichannel shopping is becoming the norm across many categories % of shoppers reporting having shopped online and in store for a product, GfK FutureBuy, 2016 Online has also given consumers the power to check prices and compare products. This, in turn, has amplified the importance of both the manufacturer’s and retailer’s promotional activities. Marketing mix modeling enables you to understand exactly which of your promotions work, providing you with the intelligence you need to support your marketing decisions. Measuring the effectiveness of your executions gives you the power to fully optimize your activity for each channel.

    Mission three: Dealing with product feature commoditization

    When technology is new, success can be built on product features. However, as tech markets mature, all brands and models become very similar. In this type of market, it becomes virtually impossible to stand out for having a “great product”. Commoditization is rife, and manufacturers and retailers must find new ways to differentiate themselves from their competitors. Today’s Connected Consumers will only engage with, relate to and buy your product when they’ve had a brand experience. And they’ll only return to your brand if their experience of it was memorable. Consequently, we’re seeing the trend for marketing campaigns that focus more on product benefits and less on features spread across the globe. It is becoming more common for technology manufacturers to focus on a compelling brand experience in their advertising. Source: GfK Consumer Life A clear communications campaign is required if you are to succeed in conveying your product and brand values, and provide a memorable experience as well. Marketing mix modeling measures the sales impact of these campaigns and the media used to distribute them. It identifies the ROI for each channel and evaluates cross-media and cross-channel synergies.

    Mission four: Tackling the shorter product life cycle

    In consumer tech, the product life cycle is getting faster while the re-purchase ability slows down. At the same time, for almost all brands, advertising campaigns tend to be short-lived and focused specifically on new product launches. Ultimately, this means there is less time to deliver a margin. When planning your next advertising campaign, you may need to choose between investing in an intensive short-term but high-impact, high-cost TV spot versus a longer-term digital execution delivered via social networks. The commercial success or failure of your campaign may rest on this decision. This is where marketing mix modeling can provide directional insight. By providing weekly sales contributions for the different elements of your campaign, it can help you identify the most appropriate media plan to drive sales at the crucial moment. At the same time, it can also support your brand’s growth in the longer term.

    Summary: Mission accomplished

    We’ve addressed four of the key challenges faced by TCG marketers and manufacturers. Marketing mix modeling can help you understand how your above- and below-the-line marketing activities are driving your sales. We believe it is the way to accomplish your mission in today’s highly competitive global marketplace. Bjoern Kroog is Global Director of GfK POS Analytics. To share your thoughts, please email or leave a comment below. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '0e591424-2780-48f3-9850-174d860e088d', {});
  • Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brand and Customer Experience (BaCE)

    Brands are under pressure to develop emotional connections and relationships with consumers and business decision makers.  Brands need to respond in-the-moment, to enrich the customer experience – and develop strategies that influence ”moments of truth” throughout individual brand journeys.  

  • Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    Digital Market Intelligence (DMI)

    When consumers shop, search, communicate, gather information and engage with companies or brands online, they behave differently depending on which device or screen they are using. They expect a consistent experience regardless of the channel or device they are using.

  • Point of Sales Tracking

    Point of Sales Tracking

    Retailers and manufacturers are under pressure to develop products and services that maximize sales and profit and to keep customers coming back.

    Success relies on having the most up-to-date sales data, combined with robust analysis to understand which products and services are performing well in the market – and which are not. With this information, clients can set clear strategies for commercial growth and increase return on investment.

  • User Experience (UX)

    User Experience (UX)

    Our user experience (UX) research and design experts help our clients create and improve customer experiences for existing or new products and services

    Today’s consumer is bombarded with promises for compelling experiences. They are sophisticated and demanding.  To be successful, a new product or service needs to be intuitive, usable, engaging and desirable. The user experience needs to be emotional in order to be memorable.

  • Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Market Opportunities and Innovation (MOI)

    Brands are under constant pressure to maintain relevance in an increasingly crowded market. Identifying when, where and how to deliver compelling experiences that deliver new value for both consumers and brands is critical.

  • Trends & Forecasting

    Trends & Forecasting

    ​Today’s steady stream of new offerings and shortening product lifecycles place a unique pressure on businesses to stay ahead. Consumer purchasing behavior shifts more rapidly than ever.

  • Geomarketing


    Our geomarketing solutions and consultancy provide our clients with smart insights into location-specific factors that impact the success of business sites, shops, sales territories, target groups, as well as chain store and distribution networks.

  • Mystery Shopping

    Mystery Shopping

    Consumers face a complex array of brand touch points every day of their lives. To deliver a consistent brand experience, marketers need to know how consumers are actually experiencing their brand. Our mystery shoppers give you all the help you need to understand these experiences, and respond to them to maximize the return for your business.

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