There’s no limit these days to the volume and type of data that companies use to improve their competitiveness. Much of this data is unique to the industry in question, but some market indicators such as purchasing power have nearly universal application. A measure of the population’s disposable income, purchasing power data is the primary benchmark for determining consumer potential. So why is this market indicator so valuable and versatile? Simply put, purchasing power shows companies and manufacturers where the population has sufficient disposable income to spend on retail purchases. And even more importantly, good purchasing power data shows how this disposable income varies throughout the entire market and at different regional levels such as municipalities and postcodes.
Let’s now look at how purchasing power data can help a consumer electronics retailer who sells products via chain stores throughout Europe. Optimally placing and managing these stores requires precise, up-to-date knowledge on how the product potential tracks across regional markets. The retailer happens to know that Europeans have roughly €9 trillion to spend in 2015, but this information alone is useless. This is where our purchasing power data comes into play. Our data offers a highly textured breakdown of the geographic distribution of this wealth. It’s not enough for our retailer to work with composite figures and rough averages, because actual purchasing power amounts fluctuate dramatically from country to country, municipality to municipality, and even postcode to postcode.
So where does the retailer start? A good first step is to assess the relative wealth in the areas around the chain stores. This has a direct effect on how the retailer should optimize the product mix for each location. A quick look at the data reveals that Liechtenstein is a veritable purchasing power dynamo, with 4.5 times the average disposable income. Our retailer has two stores in this area, so a good move would be to offer a larger selection of high-end products at these locations. If the two stores are not fully tapping the available potential, the retailer can consider opening up some additional stores in this country, strategically positioning them in municipalities and postcodes with especially high purchasing power.
The retailer also has stores in Central European markets, such as Poland, which has shown signs of rapid retail growth. But unfortunately the retailer’s stores in that country have not be able to capitalize on this trend. Another look at the data shows why: All of the retailer’s stores are in districts with below average purchasing power by Poland’s standards. The retailer now has several options. It can open stores in some of the districts with higher purchasing power, such as Sopot, Piaseczynski or Warsaw, the latter of which has almost 83 percent more purchasing power than the rest of the country. Alternatively, the retailer can adjust its product mix at the existing locations to better appeal to the surrounding demographic. Up until now, the retailer has been using the same or similar marketing campaigns for all of its stores. Using the purchasing power data, marketing campaigns and POS promotions can now be tailored on a store-by-store basis to the income level and purchase affinity of the nearby population.
The retailer can also use the purchasing power data to more objectively measure the performance of its stores in each of its active countries and regions. Previously, the retailer had no way of gauging what a good result was for the markets where its stores are located. For example, the retailer knew its best-performing store in France was in Paris and its worst performing in Pas-de-Calais. But this knowledge was meaningless without insight into how these performances relate to the market potential in those areas. Using the purchasing power data, the retailer discovered that Paris has an average per-capita purchasing power of €29,433 (more than twice the European average), while Pas-de-Calais has just €15,688. Thanks to these precise, regionally sensitive numbers, the retailer can more accurately gauge both individual store performance and how those performances compare as a percentage of the total local market.
Purchasing power data is the ideal foundational market indicator for users across all industries, from retail and real estate to automotive and tourism. Users can easily supplement purchasing power with additional market indicators, such as retail turnover potential and purchasing power for specific product lines. GfK Purchasing Power Europe is calculated annually for 42 European countries and provides comprehensive coverage down to the level of municipalities and postcodes, as well as data on inhabitants and households. GfK’s Geomarketing solutions also include digital maps and other market data that fit seamlessly with the purchasing power data.
For more information on GfK’s Geomarketing offering, visit www.gfk.com/solutions/geomarketing.
Some people have argued that the BBC’s role in the British Media has considerably diminished over the past few years, but as the organization still reaches 97% of the population every week, I believe it still has an important role to play. Furthermore, with competition from OTT services continually rising, old Auntie can’t afford to stand still and must ensure she retains her share of the market, especially among younger audiences.
Some key changes in the market. As well as an erosion of the amount of time generations are spending with TV and Radio, audiences now also want to be ‘in control’ of their content. Thinking about TV viewing specifically, viewers want to decide when they watch something, how they watch it (all episodes of a series in one sitting) and how they are going to share it with friends and family.
If we look at how Radio 1 was consumed 10 years ago, for example, the changes compared to today are remarkable. Where once shows were only listened to at specific times of the day, users can now choose to rewind bits of the show they missed, or just listen to it all again later; they can tune in to their favorite shows on the car radio, but they can also listen online through the app or the website (on a range of devices); podcasts are created on a daily basis and thousands of views are registered every day on the station’s YouTube channel.
Moving away from radio, the BBC has been also experimenting (successfully) with Netflix-style TV launches, making a whole series of TV shows available to its users in one go. For example, the launch of Car Share was met with millions of iPlayer requests to stream/download each episode of the series, a much higher audience volume than would have been expected had the show been released offline.
Many of the changes I’ve mentioned were incorporated by the BBC long before the majority of their competitors, so they have had time to refine their strategies, as well as providing the organization valuable learnings to take forward. But in my opinion, the most interesting move is how the BBC are using audience data to improve their services.
Chart Beat is a tool the BBC currently employs to analyze traffic data across all of the BBC’s websites in real time. The News and Current Affairs team monitor which stories are performing well (or not so well) on BBC News website, and how they can instantly re-arrange the webpages to increase audience engagement. The second tool that was talked about was MyBBC. This new service, using data made available by users being signed in across the BBCs platforms, will eventually provide audiences with tailored content that helps them unlock even more value from the BBC which, in the long run, will increase overall satisfaction and loyalty to the organization.
The BBC has previously anticipated industry changes and reacted by developing the necessary infrastructure to fully serve its audience. From what we have heard they are developing, and from seeing how they have adapted their delivery and content strategies in the past, I think we can be confident that the BBC will continue to evolve and find new ways to serve its existing audience, as well as finding new, innovative ways to serve the next generations of viewers, listeners, readers and browsers.
Niko Waesche (Global Industry Lead of Media and Entertainment @ GfK) and Nick North (Director of Audiences @ BBC) shared the presenting duties in the penultimate keynote speech of the GfK Future Consumer Summit 2015, speaking about the changes happening to the media landscape and the challenges this presents media companies of today. In the first part of the presentation, Niko focused in on the issues surrounding the industry as a whole (see part 1), while in the second half, Nick North explained the steps the BBC has taken to keep up with the ever-evolving consumer trends, and what plans the organization has to cope with changes in the future.