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  • GfK strengthens its Asia-Pacific and Southern European regions by appointing new General Managers
    • 09/01/17
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    GfK strengthens its Asia-Pacific and Southern European regions by appointing new General Managers

    Cheong Tai will lead GfK’s Asia-Pacific business, Margret Schuit will be responsible for GfK’s activities in Southern Europe.

    • 09/01/17
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Technology
    • Media Measurement
    • Global
    • English

    Researching the mind of a ‘distracted viewer’: The greater than ever role of engagement and the gains of AI

    The rules of engagement have modernized. There is no question that – for a while now- we’ve been living in the era of the ‘distracted viewer’. If anything, the re-invention of TV over the last decade should have spawned a more appreciative and engaged consumer. Firstly, content on the small screen has re-emerged as innovative, surprising, ‘wonder what comes next’ claiming, it feels, some of the old cinema aura. Secondly, more money than ever before is now spent on commissioning and acquiring content for the general TV; Netflix, Amazon and HBO announced they are spending, as a total, more than $12 billion dollars on content this year

    Instead, the abundance of shows to choose from combined with the plethora of devices demanding our attention have turned us consumers into the toughest of judges on a talent show at any given time. And I will explain why; whether we are streaming or still enjoying the traditional TV, viewing is rarely a single action. Online browsing, social networking, instant messaging or just good old phone ringing come in the way of a viewing experience. Unless we make a conscious decision to remain uncontactable during a viewing session, pop up alerts will be fighting for our attention throughout repeatedly asking us to make a choice as to whether the content we watch is worth interrupting; our engagement will be undoubtedly tested.

    Engagement through emotion

    So, what is it in a programme that keeps us engaged? For many decades, creatives globally (with the help of their insight teams) have been attempting to solve the engagement question, which more often than not is synonymous with international appeal and longevity of a show in the viewers’ hearts. Figuring out that emotions are some of the main drivers of engagement is almost straightforward. Deciding which are the lead emotions and how to track them is trickier.

    In market research, emotions are captured in numerous and cross methodology ways: from using words/emojis/open questions in quantitative surveys to having ‘emotional’ qualitative group discussions and in depth one-to-one interviews to using dial testing, heart rate tracking and machine learning algorithms like facial expression capturing and voice recognition, all used to define the emotional connection between the viewers and a new programme. But, in all honestly, creatives have been taking the lead on this one, not necessarily with the fine-tooth comb of emotions, rather with gut feeling and their years of experience taking centre stage in this decision making. Sometimes the audience choices will contradict these decisions. The most striking example of a success that was failed to spot is ‘Mad Men’; it was rejected by both HBO and Showtime before AMC decided to take a punt with it. Same with C.S.I. which was consciously overlooked by ABC, NBC and Fox and it was only the CBS executives who decided to take a chance with it. 17 years after it first launched, it continues to be the bread and butter of many schedules around the world.

    Measuring audience emotions

    So, what’s so important about emotions that can predict a show’s appeal? The answer sits somewhere between neuroscience and psychology. Think about a movie scene that increased your heart beat, made you start biting your nails again, stand up or even scream. At that particular moment, you were biometrically experiencing what was happening in the movie world, fully empathising with the feelings of the character. If then or immediately after you were asked a pure and undiluted research question like: ‘what did you think?’, any emotions would be decoded in your answer. GfK Voice allows us to do exactly that, ie. capture audiences’ emotions and their sense of engagement by translating people’s voice response to quantifiable data.

    Analyzing the ‘distracted viewer’

    Once emotions subside, people start rationalizing what they’ve experienced. Referring to that movie scene again here, if it’s memorable and worth pondering, thoughts will start coming in. Emotions will give place to reasoning and our ‘distracted viewer’ will engage in chats, tweets, will write reviews, share comments on social media and even reply to surveys offering well-thought, moulded answers. The key to unlocking the essence from all this unstructured text is artificial intelligence (A.I.). The text mining process that analyses transcripts, unlocks themes, detects how formal, informal or emotive writing is, is what we call Advanced Text Analytics. This automated process of examining text delves deep into the context behind engagement recreating the consumer’s mind.

    The combination of emotional decoding and artificial intelligence can shine the brightest light on the consumer’s mind and produce powerful diagnostic as well as predictive results. Engagement might be constantly tested with distractions all around us and machine learning technologies define exactly how much that is. However, in this world of distractions, the abundance of platforms consumers use to express themselves unveils the deepest insights that are often the hardest to get. And this is where A.I. benefits the most.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • GfK to sharpen customer focus and accelerate digitization with a comprehensive transformation and investment program
    • 08/31/17
    • Press
    • Global
    • English

    GfK to sharpen customer focus and accelerate digitization with a comprehensive transformation and investment program

    The Management Board and Supervisory Board of GfK SE have approved a comprehensive transformation and investment program that will enable GfK to get back on a sustainable growth path.

  • Smart TVs gaining ground
    • 08/30/17
    • Press
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Smart TVs gaining ground

    GfK findings for the global TV market on the occasion of IFA 2017 in Berlin.

    • 08/30/17
    • Global
    • English

    How market research is staying relevant in the digital ecosystem

    Leading our Customer and Audience Activation unit, Niko Waesche sat down with Eyeota in Cannes to discuss the market research industry and the role it plays in the digital ecosystem. The original interview is published here.

    Q: What are the biggest challenges you are seeing in the market research industry today?

    Niko: Market research needs to adapt to a world in which more and more data is available via digital sources. What seems a threat is also a huge opportunity. While at first glance there seems to be an overflow of data available about consumers, on closer inspection there are gaps and challenges. For one, the world is not a rich data lake, it is more like a giant Swiss cheese with lots of gaping data holes. It is important to note that data must be obtained legitimately and comply with privacy standards – as some of the data that is readily available is actually toxic.

    And how do you make use of all this data? How do you accurately combine data from a number of separate sources and how can valuable insights be generated from this abundance of information?

    Finally, market research has a huge role to play in linking the “what” of digitally sourced data to the “why” of consumer behavior. We use a portfolio of tools to more fully understand brand experience across all user touchpoints in order to gain a full 360 degree view of the consumer.  Ultimately consumers are human, not a series of data points.

    Q: How can market research companies stay relevant?

    Niko: We will not stay relevant by continuing to do only what we have been doing for the past 20 years.

    The opportunity for the market research industry is to use our position as a trusted ecosystem partner to support our clients in evaluating, combining and synthesizing data sets and transforming these into valuable and actionable insights. And we need our services to be scalable, integrated and fast. This is a journey; nobody in the industry is there yet. Working closely with a global activation platform like Eyeota is one of the ways we are accelerating this process.

    Our message to our clients is that we recommend that they look at the business model of their data partners. You’re going to get insights from us that some of your other partners won’t be able give you because they’re in a different type of business. We’re focused purely on the business of helping our clients make better decisions and get better insights and better data.

    Q: How would you describe the role of market research data in the digital ecosystem?

    Niko: A couple of years ago, most of what we did was offline, like booking travel in an agency on the high street. Does anybody remember that? Today, we are living in a hybrid world; there still is a significant offline component in many things we do as consumers.

    Think of market research companies as your partners for bringing both these worlds together to provide a holistic, comprehensive view of the consumer. Using GfK as an example, we have point of sale data for durable and electronics purchases in 80 countries, sourced from more than 400,000 retailers. In some of the world’s largest consumer markets, we can link media behavior, including TV viewing and Facebook in-app ad exposures, to store purchases. FMCG companies love this data because it helps them understand the full customer journey, not only the last click.

    Q: Where do you see the role of digital data heading?

    Niko: Eventually, through the Internet of Things and other developments, there will probably be a near 100% overlap between the online and offline worlds. For instance, a car we sit in will automatically be online, feeding driving data to enable mobility services. In addition, take the recent news of Amazon’s purchase of Whole Foods – anything you buy in Whole Foods will be part of the Amazon universe.

    Even where there’s a near 100% overlap, the market research industry will still have a role because we to put the data together in a smart way that delivers understanding. We’re trying to build this fabric of smartness right now—calibration, data science, filling the gaps—that’s what we’re about.

    Q: One of the most urgent topics today is the use of bad, inaccurate data. What can agencies do to ensure they’re always using the best quality data?

    Niko: There is data that is just simply bad and there is good data that is used wrongly. Finally, there is good data used in the right way.

    There has been a lot of attention around bot data. Using data that is generated by bots is going to lead you astray, obviously, because it’s wrong data, it’s not human data.

    Sometimes businesses are trying to make the data do things that it simply cannot do. What we do to address this is to check which data sets correlate and which don’t. For example, regarding certain financial characteristics, purchase power or likelihood to use certain financial products, is often more closely correlated with aggregated postal codes than with digital media behavior. For this reason, we are activating our GfK FRS financial segments in the UK on the Eyeota audience platform, which specializes in linking special data sets like aggregated postal codes.

    The fact that Eyeota has the ability to link to postal code data—and because it’s aggregated data, we’re not dealing with personally identifiable information—makes it a robust platform on which to map to our financial segments.

    Niko Waesche will be joined by Kristina Prokop (EVP, Global Platforms, Eyeota) at dmexco, Sep 14, to answer your questions regarding online data activation.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Record global demand for smartphones and wearables in first half 2017
    • 08/30/17
    • Press
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    Record global demand for smartphones and wearables in first half 2017

    GfK findings for the global telecom market on the occasion of IFA 2017 in Berlin.

  • PC Gaming still on the rise
    • 08/30/17
    • Press
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    PC Gaming still on the rise

    GfK findings for the global PC gaming hardware market on the occasion of IFA 2017 in Berlin.

  • Bluetooth and multiroom are still trending
    • 08/30/17
    • Press
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Bluetooth and multiroom are still trending

    GfK findings for the global audio market on the occasion of IFA 2017 in Berlin.

  • Small domestic appliances: Trending to convenience, health and connectivity
    • 08/30/17
    • Press
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Small domestic appliances: Trending to convenience, health and connectivity

    GfK findings for the global small domestic appliances market on the occasion of IFA 2017 in Berlin.

  • New record sales expected in the market for major domestic appliances
    • 08/30/17
    • Press
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    New record sales expected in the market for major domestic appliances

    GfK findings for the global MDA market on the occasion of IFA 2017 in Berlin.

    • 08/29/17
    • Technology
    • User Experience (UX)
    • Global
    • English

    Taking an insights-driven approach to marketing smartphones

    It has been a full decade since the launch of the first iPhone, and it’s easy to forget that life used to be simple for smartphone manufacturers.

    Around the same time each year, consumers would wait fervently for the launch of the latest new gizmo. There was plenty of time to create hype, whether it was a large screen, water resistance, or a game-changing camera.

    But plenty has changed in the past decade. These days, marketers of smartphones have an increasingly tougher job.

    Here’s why.

    Not exactly “me too”. After years of playing catch-up in the technology department, smaller and newer brands have arrived while local brands are also expanding globally. Features on smartphones are becoming almost identical, therefore making it virtually impossible to stand out for having a “great product”. For example, although smartphones are priced according to categories such as mid and high range, most smartphone brands today offer a minimum full HD screen resolution of 1920 x 1080. In our POS tracking, we noticed that a majority of the smartphones purchased in ASEAN last year were phones with this screen resolution, although prices varied according to the brands.

    Longer is not always better. Consumers are keeping their smartphones for longer as telcos have halted short-term mobile phone contracts. This could mean that consumers are less likely to purchase new phones on a whim.

    Too fast too furious. With consumers keeping their phones for longer and new models being introduced to the marketplace at a faster rate, brands now have a shorter time window to effectively market their smartphones.

    And whilst you might think expensive smartphones might be slightly more protected against obsolescence, the reverse is true: our data in Asia shows that higher-priced smartphones have an average lifespan of just 14 months. Their cheaper counterparts? 16 months.

    What does this mean?

    A combination of all the above factors means one thing for marketers: reduced sales opportunities. This explains the trend towards short-lived advertising campaigns, focused specifically on new product launches. This also means there is less time for brands to deliver a margin.

    With the rapidly decreasing timelines and the stakes higher than ever, the success of your next campaign will depend on the effective use of market intelligence to communicate and market your products.

    To stay relevant, marketers will need to leverage all the tools at their disposal. For example, marketing mix modeling evaluates the marketing campaigns’ performance across different media channels – both online and offline. These crucial insights enable marketers to strategize and allocate the appropriate budgets to generate maximum return on investment (ROI). Research intelligence will also help to support a brand’s marketing goals in the short and long term.

    As the tech market is relatively mature, it makes it increasingly difficult for you to differentiate your products from those of the competition. Today, although it is still possible to promote just the features of a product, it is more effective for advertising campaigns to focus on product benefits and compelling brand experiences, to cater to “connected consumers”.

    As marketers, it is essential to determine what to advertise, but it is more crucial to understand how your target customers react to communications. Our research tells us that the contribution made by different media varies by industry and brands. For example, innovative tech products benefit more from digital media advertising instead of traditional media advertising. Apart from media channels, it is also vital to ensure that the format and timing of your campaign is aligned to your objectives – whether this is to boost sales in the short term or build brand equity for the longer term.

    In addition, through our POS Analytics, the sales impact and ROI of marketing activities can be evaluated using tracking data assets and advanced econometric modeling techniques, enabling brands to simulate the outcome of sales and marketing plans.

    Insights for marketing and sales success

    In today’s landscape, “connected consumers” are constantly seeking compelling experiences. To be successful, a product or service needs to be intuitive, usable and engaging while creating memorable experiences. With user experience research intelligence, brands can leverage user insights to improve their product design, concept and prototype, to build and sustain positive customer experiences.

    Additionally “connected consumers” are exposed to more advertising messages than before and have shorter attention spans. This makes it more important for brands to know exactly where, when and how to reach this group of audience. Here’s where marketing mix modeling, through a correlational analysis of sales and marketing campaign performance, can give accurate insights on synergies and ROI measurement across channels and media. By understanding exactly which of your promotions work, you have the full power to optimize your activity for each channel.

    Bjoern Kroog is Global Director of GfK POS Analytics. To share your thoughts, please email bjoern.kroog@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Income Expectation again hits a record high
    • 08/29/17
    • Press
    • Financial Services
    • Public Services
    • Trends and Forecasting
    • Global
    • English

    Income Expectation again hits a record high

    GfK forecasts an increase in consumer climate for September of 0.1 points in comparison to the previous month to 10.9 points.

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