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Smart insights: Technology

If you want to attract today's connected consumers, it's essential to embrace technology and to understand consumers' use of technology.

It is impossible to identify opportunities or design superior consumer experiences that secure loyal, returning customers unless you have accurate understanding of your customers' current experiences, unmet needs, evolving choices and future expectations.

Our technology market research experts give you this information.

We deliver market and consumer insights that help you create engaging and relevant concept designs, product positioning, advertising and customer experiences. And our key performance indicators for brand, proposition development and user experience keep you focused on the actions that will deliver the strongest business results.

Whatever specialist technology sector you operate in, we provide insights on market performance, consumer research and trends at both global and local level: IT and IT B2B, consumer electronics (CE), photo, office equipment, home appliances (MDA), telecommunications hardware and telecoms service providers.

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    • 02/28/18
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Consumer Goods
    • Global
    • English

    UK Consumer Confidence drops one point in February to -10

    Overall Index Score has bounced between zero and -13 since February 2016
    • 02/23/18
    • Health
    • Technology
    • Global
    • English

    Exploring new opportunities from emerging trends in the healthcare market and beyond

    In January, GfK Russia organized a foresight session for clients and members of the healthcare research department. Its focus was the exploration of new trends in both the healthcare market in general and in the market research area in particular – and what the implications were for the future.

    Modern life brings new innovations and poses new challenges, requiring new solutions

    Digital technologies are apparent in all spheres of our life and have become a day-to-day reality. In the healthcare industry, we are seeing rapid digitalization and resulting opportunities provided by the development of telemedicine – which makes it possible for every patient from wherever they are to receive medical treatment remotely. We predict that in the future the primary diagnostics for patients will be done remotely with the help of artificial intelligence. Patients may then be referred to well-qualified medical specialists for online consultation. Thus, the primary tier of healthcare will experience significant changes. Considering the eventual increase of automation in primary care, the need for more GPs will be greater, and patients with mild medical conditions will be assisted by artificial intelligence. Most likely, there will be regulatory structures, which will considerably affect doctors’ medical protocol by ensuring they are in compliance with new regulations.

    The development of digital technologies and their integration into the pharmaceutical market will have a significant effect

    First, the market will change – the advent of electronic prescriptions and electronic pharmacies will alter the essence of the existing retail network and the distribution of medical supplies. It may even be that programmable drones will be delivering medicines to patients. We may also see a boost in the sphere of biotechnology and the development of a new generation of evolutionary medicines. There’s no doubt that life expectancy will continue to rise steadily, and the length of an active life will expand as well. This will lead to a larger cluster of people who are active over 50+ years. This group will present big purchasing opportunities and at the same time put pressure on the health industry to meet their demands, thus influencing and adding promise to the future of the healthcare industry.

    Disease prevention and the ability to maintain active longevity in this age category will be at the forefront of innovation

    Changes in the healthcare industry will also require reconfiguration in the work that research agencies do – clients’ requests will be evolving, requiring that agencies be ready to meet those changing demands with relevance and timeliness. Research will need to be more flexible and quick, but at the same time offer more profound and expert insights. The era of hundred-page reports is over; they are being replaced by brief, infographics-rich deliverables that give clear solutions to the business objectives set forth by the client. The next stage of market research development would be the adoption of meta-analysis in order to obtain new knowledge based on the integration of results of various research. At the same time, implementation of chatbots will ensure an efficient usage of the data and knowledge collected during previous studies. Additionally, thanks to chatbots, clients will have easy access to the data gathered during research and in case any questions arise, they will be referred to the bot to get an answer in real time. Using the database will make it possible to generate answers to clients’ questions with minimum delays. Certainly new research methods, including neuroethologies, will be developed. For example, panelists would wear special chips, which would record not only the purchase of a product but also the product’s effectiveness for each individual patient at the physiological and patient compliance level. Such data will be useful for pharmaceutical companies. Thus, the image of the future research agency is an institution that possesses high-tech solutions and expert consultants who are dedicated to addressing business objectives together with the client – a paradigm of equal partnership and interaction. For a more in-depth journey into the future of healthcare market research and to discuss predictive solutions for your business, let’s begin the dialogue. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, '51356a4e-63d7-4f20-921e-0616cc53b14c', {});
    • 02/21/18
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Distribution and Supply Chain Management
    • Global
    • English

    GfK Supply Chain Insights

    Join our free webinar based on point of sales and distribution panel data to optimize your supply chain management and discover more about today’s key tech trends.
    • 02/07/18
    • Technology
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    How will blockchain play a part in the future of media currencies?

    As the old saying goes: making predictions is always difficult, especially about the future. However, here is a given: there will be a lot more discussion about blockchain over the coming year. So many people have different views on how blockchain will affect the marketing and advertising industry that the potential applications of this nascent technology seem almost limitless. So instead of gazing too hard and long into our crystal balls, perhaps now is a good time to take stock and focus on some of the more realistic developments and what they mean for the industry. Following an in-depth review with leading industry stakeholders1, about how media currencies might look in five years, we discussed how blockchain might work and how it would change the way we do business. Previously published in MediaTel, we looked at the case for “The rise of the Super JICs” and a companion piece, “Chaos replaces order” in which tech drives a more anarchic, decentralized future scenario. Here we take a deeper look at how blockchain technology might be applied to the ad industry and how that might affect the future of media currencies.

    Firstly, what is blockchain?

    In essence, blockchain is a new way to store information. It is a digital record of all transactions related to a product or service. These transactions are recorded and shared among a secure, decentralized network of stakeholders. Certain attributes make blockchain technology particularly attractive to the advertising industry. It is immutable – “blocks” of transactions are continuously time-stamped and verified by the network; and once added no single party can alter it. It is shared – every party in the network can see everything, creating a transparent, “single version of the truth”. It is secure – it is encrypted so that only those agreed parties in the network can access it. At this early stage of adoption, many have been quick to jump on the blockchain bandwagon, resulting in some quite far-fetched applications which the industry may never embrace. However, some interesting opportunities were discussed at our roundtable, which could be exploited sooner rather than later. Two broad applications immediately spring to mind:
    • The regulating of agreements for buying and selling ad inventory
    • Increased consumer control over the content they are exposed to. Could blockchain replace ad blocking?
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    Regulating the transaction of ad inventory

    Given the current issues around the “murky” supply chain in digital, it would seem that blockchain protocols are ideally placed to help provide greater transparency and accountability.
    • They could be used to regulate the agreements made between advertisers and publishers and the myriad of third parties that make up the supply chain
    • They would record all the transactions at every stage of the process
    • Only agreed parties would have access to the blockchain and be able to execute what is in the blockchain
    • All transactions would be transparent to the network
    The clearer governance that blockchain provides would no doubt go a long way to stamp out fraudulent activity such as kick-backs and arbitrage, since any re-selling of inventory would need to be agreed by the whole network. So the increased transparency would help negotiation of deals, and also help to regulate agreed contracts. Everyone in the chain would know what they have agreed to and what is delivered. One question, however, is how disputes might be settled if there are disagreements. Digital ads are executed in fractions of a second, but blockchain is much slower – so it is difficult to see real-time verification any time soon. However, it could still be a very useful post-campaign validation tool, but timestamping needs to be accurate to the millisecond, in order to marry financial transaction with ad delivery. This area also presents many additional interesting applications, if blockchain is opened up further to include consumers.

    Could blockchain replace ad blocking?

    In the future, consumers could be given more control over the type of campaigns and content they want to be exposed to. Consumers could choose which blockchain networks they want to be a part of and hence what content and ads they receive. This would place more power in the hands of the advertisers who can create deeper relationships with their customers. An added benefit to this could be a significant reduction of ad blocking because instead of blocking ads from certain platforms, the consumer can choose which advertising they want to receive. Ultimately, brands could only interact with consumers as part of agreed networks in the blockchain. Other areas of development in this area could be to verify activity and blacklist against fraudulent sites and non-human traffic. Blockchain would guarantee the validity of clicks between consumers and advertisers on verified sites. However, there are two key issues here. Firstly, one of trust: will consumers believe their data is secure and that brands will only execute on what has been agreed? Secondly, for everything to join up, there needs to be widespread adoption — multiple suppliers along the chain need to sign on the blockchain to make this work.

    Our conclusion

    We clearly have a long way to go before we get to this point – probably at least five years – but the incentives are there. If we can create a transparent supply chain, reduce ad fraud, reduce ad blocking and provide the protocols for greater accountability, then blockchain becomes a very attractive proposition. However, it’s worth bearing in mind that blockchain is unlikely to replace the media measurement systems we currently have in place. Blockchain won’t create ratings, segments, impressions and reach. Rather, it will verify whether targets have been met and confirm payment. So while blockchain promises much change, the building blocks of media measurement will remain subject to their own evolution, as outlined in our previous two opinion pieces. hbspt.cta.load(2405078, 'a152c586-99ec-484f-b429-dd8155224115', {}); Footnotes: 1How it all started: voices from across the industry. GfK and IAB Europe invited industry representatives to a round table discussion on how media measurement might look in five years’ time. Participants included: digital platforms Google, Facebook and Oath; global ad agencies Publicis and Dentsu; media owners from broadcast TV and digital; a programmatic audience platform; a national advertising association and the German JIC (Joint Industry Committee) for TV audience research, AGF.  It is the first time we have been able to discuss these issues with such a broad group and, from the ensuing debate, three possible scenarios for the future became apparent:
    • The rise of the “Super JIC” as reinvigorated, neutral data arbiters
    • Chaos replaces order, with data being controlled by different competing entities large and small
    • Technological self-regulation of data, likely in the form of an adaptation of Blockchain technology
  • 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.