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    • 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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  • dmexco 2017: Register for GfK Expert Talks
    • 08/24/17
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    09/13/17 - 09/14/17
    dmexco 2017: Register for GfK Expert Talks

    Join us at this year's dmexco in Cologne on September 13 & 14 in Hall 8.1/A-011.

  • Topics & Guidelines for 2017-18 NextGen Competition
    • 08/24/17
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • United States
    • English

    08/24/17 - 03/30/18
    Topics & Guidelines for 2017-18 NextGen Competition

    After reading the below, you can access the NextGen entry form at this link. Initial submissions are due December 1, 2017. Write to nextgencompetition@gfk.com if you have any questions.

  • Virtual reality meets traditional research: GfK @ ESOMAR 2017 congress
    • 08/24/17
    • Technology
    • Automotive
    • Global
    • English

    09/11/17
    Virtual reality meets traditional research: GfK @ ESOMAR 2017 congress

    How big a role can VR play for the market research world and what are the potential benefits?

  • Supporting a smartphone manufacturer’s new sales channel strategy
    • 08/23/17
    • Technology
    • Point of Sales Tracking
    • Global
    • English

    Supporting a smartphone manufacturer’s new sales channel strategy

    Our insights helped our client define the right strategic mix of products, pricing and distribution strategy for its launch into a competitive market.

    • 08/23/17
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    Digital disruption: Will Hyper-Connected Consumers revolutionize the rural market trends in India?

    Today we are living in a digitally connected world ruled by the millennials, Hyper-Connected Consumers who are creative, realistic, ambitious and eagerly looking for innovation. These consumers look for ease, comfort and something extra-ordinary in every product and service they buy. And to help brands communicate well with the Hyper-Connected Consumer, the government of India has seriously taken a path towards achieving the dream of making the country digitally connected.

    With a plethora of opportunities that Digital India brings to the table, it has become imperative for companies to have an in-depth understanding of how to make the best use of it and deal with today’s Hyper-Connected Consumer.

    The rural consumer

    Further, as the digital divide is being minimized at a rapid pace to bring rural areas into the mainstream, the rural consumer has also become smarter and so have the channel partners/brands. Hyper-Connected Consumers in rural markets are ready to experience innovative retail concepts like mobile payment. Brands are therefore looking to create an end-to-end, relevant marketing strategy to effectively tap into rural and semi-urban geographies.

    Amazingly, early in the game, HUL gave a technology boost to rural marketing. Its Project Shakti enhanced its direct rural reach and created livelihood opportunities for underprivileged women by making them hyper localized distributors of its products, selling directly to villagers and retailers. If you look at the Indian telecom sector; free voice calls, drop in data tariffs, sharp competition among Indian telecom companies and finally the dramatic entry of Reliance Jio has caused massive disruptions in the recent past. And now Jio is all set to launch a discount handset in a bid to further expand its customer-base.

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    Interestingly, Facebook sponsors free Wi-Fi hot spots across India. It has “2G Tuesdays” in its Menlo Park headquarters, where developers can experience a slow connection and how Facebook works on it. This clearly demonstrates how consumer experience in the world of hyper-connectivity affects the business model.

    A few years ago, Idea Cellular launched an initiative called ‘Har Mobile Par Internet’ (Internet on every mobile) which was an extension to its popular ‘No ullu banaoing’ (Do Not Fool) campaign. This service provided step-by-step digital literacy lessons via IVR (Interactive Voice Response); a tutorial designed to teach consumers how to access and use the net on feature phones. Such various contemporary technologies have found their way into the arsenal of rural marketers across the country. In brief, a disruptive business model is a prized corporate asset.

    A society in transition

    As India transitions from a ‘cash based’ society to a ‘cash less’ society, digital applications such as mobile wallets and UPI have become indispensable. The government’s initiatives around Jan Dhan accounts and cash transfer of benefits allowed the un-banked to be banked. Further initiatives around ‘Bharatnet’, smart cities and WiFi’ing villages will be the catalyst in empowering Indian citizens to transact digitally, henceforth, pushing semi-urban and rural communities to become digital savvy.

    All these developments mark the start of a new era of disruption as businesses in India seek to serve the growing segment of Hyper-Connected consumers who have a disproportionate impact on both influencers and value creation. We are excited to share insights on this unique consumer segment based on a custom featured study and exchanging perspectives with a panel of industry leaders. Join us and be part of the conversation to Discover, Disrupt and Delight in the era of the Hyper-Connected Consumers in India on September 7, 2017 in Mumbai at Hotel Sofitel.

    Nikhil Mathur is the Managing Director of GfK, South Asia. To share your thoughts, please email Nikhil.mathur@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

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  • Whitepaper: Six steps to getting your online pricing right
    • 08/22/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Global
    • English

    Whitepaper: Six steps to getting your online pricing right

    Download our white paper in which we’ve identified six core activities that you need to master in order to make the right pricing decisions.

  • Whitepaper: Six steps to getting your online pricing right
    • 08/22/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • Greece
    • English

    Whitepaper: Six steps to getting your online pricing right

    Download our white paper in which we’ve identified six core activities that you need to master in order to make the right pricing decisions.

  • Whitepaper: Six steps to getting your online pricing right
    • 08/22/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • South Africa
    • English

    Whitepaper: Six steps to getting your online pricing right

    Download our white paper in which we’ve identified six core activities that you need to master in order to make the right pricing decisions.

  • Whitepaper: Six steps to getting your online pricing right
    • 08/22/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Promotion and Causal Retail
    • United Kingdom
    • English

    Whitepaper: Six steps to getting your online pricing right

    Download our white paper in which we’ve identified six core activities that you need to master in order to make the right pricing decisions.

    • 08/11/17
    • Retail
    • Technology
    • Connected Consumer
    • Global
    • English

    How is the smartphone transforming brick and mortar retail?

    When we think about how smartphones have changed the retail landscape, it often revolves around how e-commerce is banishing traditional brick-and-mortar establishments to obsolescence. At least, that’s what you would gather from sensational news reports about the current mall crisis in the US and the shutdown of several local stores in Singapore such as furniture store, iwannagohome and fashion brand, Raoul.

    Here’s a story that’s less newsworthy, but equally true.

    Rather than being the harbinger of doom and gloom of physical retailers, the smartphone also has enormous potential to transform physical retail for the better. The smartphone has made shopping a breeze with apps for fashion, groceries, electronics and food, with the likes of Zalora, Lazada, Redmart and Honestbee.

    If implemented effectively as part of an omnichannel marketing strategy, smartphones could somewhat ironically be the key to survival for physical retail outlets.

    For the uninitiated, the idea of omnichannel marketing is simple. Brands need to provide customers with a seamless experience, regardless of channel or device. Whether it’s in-store, online, via social media or through a smartphone app, the consumer’s experience should be consistent and complementary.

    A one-size fits all approach does not work though, as shoppers behave differently by country. That’s why it’s essential for retailers to have market research intelligence on shopper needs and behavior, to tailor retail strategies for the local market.

    Smartphones have enhanced our lives

    In our 2016 Connected Consumers Report, we referred to the smartphone as the ‘hub of the consumer’s life’ – a nexus where their offline lives meet their digital ones.

    Smartphones are the top choice for online shopping (it used to be the desktop) as they give shoppers numerous benefits and convenience. Our research shows that 45% of all shopping is influenced by mobile, and without having to enter the physical stores, shoppers can avoid queues, order ahead and enjoy customized offers.

    Smartphones are also beneficial for e-commerce sites that want to move offline, for example Amazon – which has recently been making headlines for opening bookstores and grocery stores. Amazon has been using mobile technology to track customer preferences and sales, and enabling shoppers to grab groceries and walk out of the store as the order gets posted to the shopper’s Amazon account later. Closer to Singapore, we’ve seen homegrown brands like Naiise, HipVan and Love Bonito extend their online presence offline in shopping malls. Naiise for example, offers self-collection services at its physical stores for online orders.

    The role of smartphones in consumer retail

    In our global survey on consumers’ activities with mobile phones in stores, we found that globally, 40 percent of shoppers use their smartphones while in a physical store to compare prices and contact a friend for advice, while 23 percent and 22 percent buy products through an app or through a website respectively, proving that once customers step through the door, even more can be done to seal the deal.

    Beauty retailer Sephora for example, has successfully used augmented reality and lip-mapping technology in it’s app – Sephora Virtual Artist, to instantly and effortlessly help users figure out which of 3,000 lipsticks shades suits them most – a typically time consuming task.

    Singapore shopping malls such as 313@Somerset and Parkway Parade have been experimenting with proximity marketing and mobile location analytics to reach out to shoppers who are surfing nearby, in a more targeted manner while showcasing offerings effectively. Through proximity alerts, patrons are able to enjoy exclusive deals, purchase and redeem their items immediately.

    Winning consumers with customized mobile services

    One of the most valuable resources of a smartphone is that it can provide retailers with information, which is key to capturing brand loyalty – a trait that today’s spoiled-for-choice Connected Consumers are lacking.

    Brands can leverage customer data and point-of-sales (POS) analytics to offer more personalized services such as customized offers. In turn, this presents an opportunity to generate long-term relationships.

    AsiaMalls for example, which owns six heartland malls, has seen success with AMperkz, its card-less loyalty program that enables personalized and location-based rewards and exclusive member offers.

    Starbucks too, has seen massive success in the past six years by taking its popular loyalty program to the mobile platform, resulting in higher sales, customer loyalty and foot traffic. Last year, 25 percent of the chain’s transactions in the United States were from a smartphone.

    Mobile Order & Pay, the company’s mobile order-ahead service has been lauded for providing convenience, but the code behind it – the data-driven algorithm to predict, personalize and recommend individual offerings at checkout shouldn’t be understated either as it’s a data-driven Artificial Intelligence (AI) algorithm based on consumers’ preferences and behavior; and behaviors that Starbucks is trying to drive.

    In the age of the Connected Consumer, omnichannel shopping is becoming the new normal. Therefore, understanding the shopper’s purchase journey is crucial – and this is one of the toughest challenges faced by retailers today. However, armed with research insights on the route shoppers take when making a purchase, ways in which different online and offline touchpoints influence their purchase decision, and the type of media they are exposed to; retailers can optimize their omnichannel strategy.

    Karthik Venkatakrishnan is Regional Director at GfK. To share your thoughts, please email karthik.venkatakrishnan@gfk.com or leave a comment below.

  • Cross-platform specialist joins GfK to  lead Media & Entertainment in North America
    • 08/08/17
    • Press
    • Media and Entertainment
    • Technology
    • United States
    • English

    Cross-platform specialist joins GfK to lead Media & Entertainment in North America

    John Sollecito, who has held management positions in research at major media organizations, has become Executive Vice President and team leader of Media & Entertainment for GfK in North America.

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