Today’s Connected Consumers are demanding. If they don’t receive the service they expect, they are empowered to move their custom. How can established financial institutions ensure they stay relevant and address the competitive threat posed by fintech players and others?
While digital is a well-defined medium, it is becoming increasingly complex through the take-up of different devices and other forms of media going digital. You need to be able to navigate your way through this complexity in all the markets you are in, because it is clear: Jakarta is not Sao Paulo, Istanbul is not Berlin…
To improve your digital advertising effectiveness today, you need to understand how people consume media and use different channels in different markets. We’ve taken four countries that exhibit key characteristics common to many others as an illustration. These four markets show that you can’t simply create your plans based on maturity levels or the stage of economic and digital development. Findings from our GfK Crossmedia Landscape Report for Germany, Turkey, Brazil and Indonesia show that no two markets are the same.
Consumers in some developing markets have leapfrogged using PCs to get online and have gone straight to smartphones. This is illustrated by our findings for Indonesia, where 95% of time spent online is via a smartphone. Smartphones are also increasingly favored as a means of getting online in developed markets. If you target consumers in Germany with your digital campaigns via their smartphones, for example, you will reach 48% of the online population. But the amount of time people spend online using particular devices is only one part of the picture. It is also important to assess the intensity and kind of usage of different device types during the times they are used.
Although time spent on smartphones is crucial for the analyzed markets, PCs still win in terms of gaining the lion’s share of page impressions. In Brazil and Germany, over 80% of page impressions are attributable to PCs. For advertisers, knowing which devices people in a particular market use for the majority of their web browsing is key to developing creative and planning campaigns that will have the maximum reach and impact with a target audience.
We know that many consumers are accessing the web via their smartphone, but it’s essential to know whether to create advertising for mobile apps, web browsing, or both if you are to reach your audience. In all four markets, apps are the preferred mobile online entry point with Indonesia leading the way.
It’s worth noting that not all mobile use is the same. For instance, the majority of mobile devices in Indonesia are used purely for communication (e.g. chats, messaging, etc.), while mobile devices in Turkey are mainly used for social networking. The leading apps in each country reflect their inhabitants’ main uses for their mobile devices. Facebook or Google applications, however, appear top of the list of apps used in all four analyzed countries.
Understanding cross-device usage is crucial to maximizing the effectiveness of your ad spend. This is particularly true when assessing how different devices such as PC, smartphone and tablet are used to access content in combination with each other and how those combinations differ by market. In each market, the greatest device crossover is with PC and smartphone.
This information can help you maximize reach across different devices and also provide insight into adapting creative treatment. In Turkey for example, 15% of the online population accesses content across all three devices, so storylines and format can be tailored to develop complementary campaigns across all devices to improve overall cut-through.
Successful media planning relies on strategic insights to better understand market differences, ensuring your message gets through using the right channels and devices. In addition to these topline findings, the Crossmedia Landscape Report can provide deeper insights on:
This report will be rolled out to Netherlands, Poland, UK, Russia, Italy, Spain, Argentina and Mexico during 2016.
Stefan Heremans is the Product Head of Crossmedia Link at GfK. Please email me at Stefan.Heremans@gfk.com to share your thoughts.
Travel and video are perfect companions. Two out of three US consumers watch online travel videos for inspiration when they’re thinking about taking a trip according to a 2015 Google study. In fact, video could well be where your customers start the serious business of researching their next trip.
There are two main sources of travel video content, brand-led and consumer generated. Video offers travel brands a huge opportunity to engage consumers because it communicates experiences so effectively. One brand, Jumeirah, has already embraced the medium for this very reason. In 2015, the Jumeirah Group launched Jumeirah™ Inside – a virtual platform comprising 360° video and photography that enables users to make hotel bookings, access never-before-seen footage, discover hidden treasures and share them with the world. In collaboration with Google, the luxury brand brings its hotels to life using images, sound and interaction.
But video isn’t just for high-end travel brands. Mainstream travel players should be considering how to incorporate video into their websites and advertising to help would-be travelers on any budget visualize themselves on holiday. Our research into purchase journeys for flights and holidays suggests that connected consumers start researching their options and comparing prices approximately two months before they travel. At any one time, almost half of the population is researching some form of travel. Video offers one way to reduce the planning time and encourage consumers to make purchase decisions quickly. In a crowded marketplace, it can help one brand to compete effectively and win competitive advantage over another.
Much of this video consumption is done on a smartphone, particularly among Millennials and pre-teens. Our US data suggests that 25% of 13-64 year olds have streamed TV or films on their phones. Increasingly, this audience is engaging with video advertising on their smartphones too, and brands are maximizing the opportunity to use this platform to engage with them in this highly personal and targeted way.
With so much video content being consumed, it is becoming more important to understand audience behavior: what people consume, where, on what device and what would make their experience better.
Brand marketers will need not only to embrace the new opportunities for better optimization of their advertising and marketing, but will also need to use them to offer the consumer relevant information as well. If they do not use video as a fundamental part of their communications, their competitors will. And with so many players involved, from content producers and publishers to brands, there will be a need for partnership and collaboration. This is particularly pertinent at present, as much of the data currently exists in silos – its power can only be unlocked through a mutual exchange of information.
The vast amount of video consumption online has another benefit for brands too: a digital data trail that presents an opportunity to target marketing and advertising messages more effectively. The key is to enhance the experience through that information, rather than becoming “too personal” with your visitors.
 GfK How People Use Media Report, US
Imagine if we could travel with a single wearable device or item of clothing “unlocking” the world for us as we go. With our identification documents, payment methods, guidebook, maps, etc. all in one place, there would be no hassle, no fuss. The benefits for the consumer are obvious, but this also poses great opportunities for travel and leisure brands.
As we explored in our Tech Trends series of articles, the adoption of wearables has been limited to date. This is partly because some of their uses or the benefits of them are not clear, partly because the potential of the technology hasn’t yet been realized and also in part because of their price. However, if the benefits were more obvious, price might not be such an issue for some consumers.
As the technology becomes increasingly sophisticated, however, the opportunities that wearables offer to travel and leisure brands will emerge and take off. In an increasingly technology driven and connected world in which personalized products and services are king, wearables are the potential holy grail for brands. They are a mass market device that is tailored to each unique connected traveler. They are an opportunity to connect with consumers individually, to appeal to their interests and tastes and to build a relationship that encourages their loyalty.
The key to successfully using wearables to provide that individualized and seamless experience that today’s consumers crave will be all about creating smarter ways to interpret the data collected using them. It is the processing, analysis, interpretation and delivery of the personal information that will be critical to success. Connected travelers will expect their wearables to be completely personalized to their needs – be that recommendations on sights to see and where to eat based on their recorded preferences and past behavior, or advice on what factor sun lotion they should use given their skin type, or the adjustment of the thermostat in their hotel room based on their body temperature.
Wearables are the gateway to offering the truly personalized and seamless experience that consumers want. As long as the benefits to them are made clear, including how their personal data will be used and safe-guarded, consumers are more likely to be willing to share details about themselves with a brand.
Good user experience (UX) in online and offline retail shopping matters. A poor experience can poison the well, and people simply will not go back, especially if they have functional, sexier alternatives. Another dimension of this, of course, is that paid and owned media are losing influence. Customers talk to each other a lot, and not about brand attributes that marketers talk about. They talk about their experiences, and these experiences cover all aspects of the journey. To fit seamlessly into consumers’ lives, users’ experiences must be mapped, measured, and elegantly designed.
Unless you’ve been under a rock for the last 20 years, it is no surprise that the shopping experience has morphed in ways that are almost non-recognizable. Today, Connected Consumers can ask Echo (a wireless speaker and voice command device from Amazon) to send them a new bag of kitty litter in three seconds. I can go into a store and pay for a pile of groceries by tapping my card. Using an image recognition app, I can order a bottle of wine online. Suffice to say that it seems that almost any product I can think of, I can acquire using multiple types of technology and media.
The confluence of research and design skills needed to develop a seamless omnichannel shopping experience involves not only the market researcher and shopper insights teams, but the UX team as well. Increasingly, retailers must establish ‘ecosystems’ that support the shopping experience from all angles. These ecosystems involve having customers do multiple things: Download apps, register, buy and install new hardware, learn new gestures, and much more.
What I’m driving at here is that getting the product properly positioned in its respective category and understanding how to reach the market are necessary – but no longer sufficient – for success. We know from our GfK Consumer Life data that customers are no longer just buying a product, they are buying an experience.
I mentioned Echo above. In the past, configuring a device to a home network was tedious at best. Echo is an amazing out of the box experience with a beautiful package, simple instructions, and flawless installation. These experiences do not come easy. They come with a lot of UX research to ensure that the once tedious task is now a pleasant one. I’m guessing Amazon understands that without perfecting this part of the purchase journey, they would have thousands of ‘no trouble found’ Echos sitting in a warehouse ready to be resold at a discount.
Successful retailers understand the new reality of the omnichannel consumer, and know that the ‘whatever, whenever’ culture demands that user experience is seamless across all devices. If retailers don’t understand this, customers will simply delete their app and move on.
Learn more about the Future of Retail and how evolving technology and consumer needs and expectations will impact how you design and deliver product, service, and omnichannel experiences.
Robert Schumacher is an Executive Vice President of User Experience at GfK. Please email email@example.com with your comments.
Facebook asked us to explore how consumers use computing devices and how they switch between them for different tasks during the day.
Is your business ready to maximize the smart home? Start by understanding what consumers say they want and expect from you.
No manufacturer, utility company, global technology provider or retailer wants to miss out on the opportunities offered by the smart home. With no shortage of products and services being brought to market, the future of the smart home is bright – or is it?
In reality, the overwhelming choice of disparate smart home offerings has people confused – as we discovered in our global study of 7,000 consumers in seven markets. So what is it that key players need to know if the smart home opportunity is to realize its full potential?
Familiarity with “smart home” as a term is high, but a deeper understanding of what it is, how it works and how it meets particular needs is generally limited among consumers. The fragmented nature of the market, and the lack of a “hero” product to help drive adoption, does little to aid consumer understanding. There is a real opportunity now for brands that bring order to the market and help people to make sense of what the smart home is by clearly communicating its benefits.
And if brands needed any reassurance that such investment in the smart home is worthwhile, they need look no further than its popularity among Leading Edge Consumers – the early adopters and indicators of future mass market take-up.
With a lack of consumer knowledge currently a key barrier to smart home adoption, it makes sense that the smart home categories that appeal most to consumers globally – i.e. security and control, followed by energy and lighting – are widely understood. People know what they are and are familiar with their uses because there are already a number of products available in these areas. It also follows that all categories appeal least in markets where the smart home is an entirely new concept, and most in those where technology is being adopted at a rapid rate.
While the majority of consumers state they intend to adopt a smart home device in the next two years, our research and analysis indicates that the figure will be much lower in reality. There are a number of barriers to take-up that need to be overcome, but cost is the main one in each category for consumers globally.
In summary, brands can best deliver the smart home by communicating how it will fit into consumers’ lives and benefit them, by providing the type of seamless user experience that today’s Connected Consumers have come to expect, and by understanding specific market needs.
Increase your awareness and understanding of the smart home with insights into consumer attitudes towards the concept. Read our smart home white paper: ‘The truth behind the hype’.
Please email me at Ranjiv.Dale@gfk.com with your comments.
Thanks to advancements in technology, the smart home concept is now a reality. But why has consumer uptake been so slow? We asked 7,000 consumers from 7 markets for their thoughts on the smart home.
Connected Consumers in APAC seek the best of both worlds. Shoppers in China are the most likely to embrace omnichannel shopping – seven in ten (71%) shop both online and in-store. Australian shoppers are the most likely to shun online: almost two thirds (62%) shop exclusively in-store. In contrast, Indian’s lead the way in online shopping with almost one quarter (23%) shopping the category exclusively online. Find out more in our latest infographic.
One of the challenges that organizations face is how to gain a deeper understanding of their customers. As researchers, one way to deliver this understanding is through storytelling. We go to great lengths to convert our insights into digestible snippets. Recent advances in virtual reality (VR) have given us a new set of tools to provide a richer, more immersive story that allows you to visit the environments that your customers experience your products in.
Recently, I was in Mexico City observing a series of ethnography sessions to understand how people interact with products and services. Ethnography is designed to explore people’s needs and experiences in a much richer way than can be achieved through surveys or phone interviews.
[This was taken by me on the street outside one of the ethnography participants’ homes in Mexico City]
As a researcher, I translate these observations into insights so that organizations gain understanding of their customers’ environments – how and where they use the product or service. Of course there are a number of tools that do a good job of this (photos, reports, presentations and video), but we are always looking to incorporate the latest technology if it will deliver better data or a better client experience.
You may or may not have heard of Google’s cardboard headset, a low-cost smartphone-based introduction to the seemingly limitless possibilities of virtual reality.
While we have been playing with this cardboard headset for some time, in December 2015 came a game-changer: the Cardboard Camera app. With this app, you can convert a panoramic video of your environment into a fully immersive 360-degree photo for use in VR. Sound is also included in this experience because it is converted from a video.
[These are the visuals found on the Cardboard Camera app page in the play store]
[A screenshot of how VR looks on the phone’s screen. The image is of a busy street in Mexico City, taken by me]
The process of taking the photo is non-invasive, takes approximately 20 seconds and is fully 3D (unlike a lot of 360-degree photos which, though impressive, are nothing more than a 2D photo overlaid onto a sphere). This app is therefore able to simulate real depth – like you’re actually there.
And that’s the point.
If you had the resources, I’m sure you would love to send your entire product or service teams to meet your customers. This would increase exposure hours and allow a deeper understanding of the challenges they face.
Of course, ignoring skewing effects of finding participants willing to invite an entire team into their homes, budgets would never extend that far. So we must find alternatives, other ways to immerse teams of people in your customer’s world beyond taped footage on a camcorder. The Cardboard Camera app single-handedly opens that door. It is a sign on the front gate saying ‘Welcome to my home, this is who I am’.
[A photo taken by me at an insights exhibition, showing a client ‘visiting’ a participant using one of our Google Cardboard headsets]
The power of a smartphone and a piece of cardboard is inspiring. As the technology advances, we must be able to see its potential. For researchers, we are aware of the usefulness of streaming services in our usability lab sessions; entire teams of designers, developers and business-owners can watch in real time how customers interact with their digital products. With VR, observation can now be extended outside the lab – to ethnography sessions and beyond. New VR cameras, 360-degree streaming services and headsets are cropping up almost weekly, so your teams can now ‘visit’ willing customers and experience their challenges in real time.
[A photo taken by me of a group of people watching VR content together. The technology we have used to date does not facilitate group streaming events, but this is how it might look.]
These technologies can enhance exploratory research in any industry with digital and physical products, services and full customer experience processes. However, VR’s reach can extend even further.
Place yourself in the shoes of those who design retail experiences, buildings, crowd flows, exhibitions or any physical product. Until recently, research and early prototypes have been largely screen-based, or VR tech has been costly and not viable for smaller research budgets. But now, participants can be truly immersed, connected and challenged in this environment and the cost is within reach of most budgets.
[A photo taken by me showing a GfK colleague using hand-control motion to gain more interactivity within VR. It was taken at a demo of the HTC Vive headset, using the ‘Tiltbrush’ software]
For UX researchers, virtual reality is not just a flash in the pan. As the interactive abilities of the technology extend to hand, head, eye and body movements, the potential for building and testing environment prototypes will only increase. VR has some compelling, tangible use cases that will truly enhance the way you experience customer research. My experience in Mexico has opened the door for our clients and we are excited about what’s lurking on the other side.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below or email me at Simon.Jones@gfk.com (Senior Project Designer, User Experience at GfK).
“Build it and they will come” has long been the modus operandi for the retail sector. But two decades of unprecedented change both in terms of technology and the economic environment has shaken the retail sector. This is the age of the Connected Consumer who expects retailers to fulfill their needs before they even ask. Omni-channel is the word that now defines retail as we have moved to a model where retailers need to be constantly present, ready to engage with shoppers in the moment and on the move – as well as on the high street. This is what retailers must do to survive in the Future of Retail.
The retail environment may have changed dramatically but the four key battlegrounds – choice, price, convenience and experience – are every bit in evidence. On each front, retailers must work harder to survive, let alone win. This is a world where prices are standardized, consumers are dazzled and confused by endless choice, and shoppers judge stores by the way they make them feel not just the goods they sell.
All retailers, from pure play online stores to the stalwarts of our high streets and malls and everything in between, now face a myriad of challenges. At its heart is the shopper of the future – today’s constantly Connected Consumers who want it all and expect retailers to come up with the goods.
Understanding what makes these shoppers tick is more than half the challenge. Price savvy, technologically forward and with a mission to fulfill, the shopper of the future expects retailers to keep up with them, not the other way around. The challenge for retailers is to stay one step ahead of consumers’ demands. That means delivering on all fronts, be it product choice, service, customer experience or price.
The retailers that dominate and define this new age of retail will be the ones for whom change and uncertainty represents a fresh opportunity to thrive. Understanding the constantly changing consumer and market landscapes will be key, as will be a willingness to embrace innovations and invest to benefit retailers and customers now and in the years to come. That future of retail is here and now.
Are you ready for the Future of Retail? Find out more about how to navigate the Future of Retail in our report.
Please share your thoughts in the comments below or email me at James.Llewellyn@gfk.com.