Recent Posts

Value-based purchasing initiative in American hospitals

July 22, 2014 10:06 am by in Health

Historically, hospital reimbursement in the United States has utilized a diagnosis-related group (DRG)-based system that brings incentives for volume and inexpensive products over quality health care. In describing the relentless pressure to keep up-front costs low, a hospital executive noted, “Drugs and devices are easy areas to focus on where costs are concerned, because there’s a price tag on them. You’re going to be using the cheaper option. There’s no discussion.” As a result, a race to the bottom ensued, as industry competed to offer the lowest-cost products.

Change is in the air

Quality real estate enhances retail drawing power of small and mid-sized cities

July 21, 2014 10:11 am by in Retail, Travel & tourism

Retail centrality is an established benchmark for evaluating retail drawing power. This indicator compares the purchasing power of the population of a given region to the retail turnover generated at that location. Retail turnover that exceeds the purchasing power available to the local population signifies that the local retail trade is able to draw purchasing power from the surrounding region.

Mid-sized German cities such as Straubing, Weiden and Passau once again surpass large metropolises in their ability to attract consumers from surrounding areas. According to GfK’s 2014 study on retail centrality in Germany, the quality of the local retail real estate in mid-sized cities is a key factor in drawing shoppers from outlying regions.

Non-invasive prenatal testing: A genomic leap forward for fetal health

July 21, 2014 8:15 am by in Health

Most expectant mothers are offered prenatal testing in the form of blood serum and ultrasound tests. The goal of this testing is to inform parents of the health of their fetus through the detection of genetic abnormalities. More specifically, the tests identify if a fetus has an abnormal number of chromosomes, which is known as aneuploidy. This can result in minor, severe, or sometimes even fatal, mental and physical ailments.

Although current prenatal testing methods can moderately assure parents that a fetus has no genetic abnormalities, the lack of absolute certainty can lead to mothers undergoing unnecessary invasive procedures that put the fetus at risk, or worse, making a decision to terminate a fetus that is actually healthy.

New Energy Vehicles Drive a Huge Emerging Market

July 15, 2014 9:12 am by in Automotive

In the last decade, China’s automotive industry has developed at an extraordinary pace. By 2009 it had overtaken the USA as the largest vehicle producer and seller in the world. But in the current and future global climate, such growth will generate problems, with national energy security, environmental damage, long-term climate change and urban congestion. This set of challenges has driven the Chinese government to focus on the development of New Energy Vehicles [NEV] as a national strategy, which is creating an incredibly rich seam of opportunity for both domestic and international manufacturers.

For love or money: Where next for customer incentives in financial services?

July 8, 2014 11:36 am by in Financial services

It looks like we’re coming out of the worst days of the recession, and research from GfK shows that UK consumers are starting to return to brands they trust. But when times were tight, people learned to look for value and they now expect incentives for their loyalty. How should financial service brands ensure that those rewards not only encourage loyalty, but help develop stronger emotional ties with brands and increase engagement levels?

The Affordable Care Act – the final stretch of implementation

July 7, 2014 8:01 am by in Health

After years of anticipation, federal and state governments will work with health plans to provide coverage for the first Exchange / Marketplace plan members. This, however, poses many questions for providers, patients and manufacturers on product access and reimbursement. Healthcare expenditures, particularly in pharmaceuticals, will rise, and health plans will be looking for ways to contain these costs. The rising cost of new drugs and the increase in patients who will seek these treatments – major drivers – would suggest health plans will look to their formularies to control costs. How these health plans navigate the system will have major market access implications on manufacturers and must be considered when developing access strategies for pipeline products.

Two Decades of Media Tumult

June 30, 2014 1:03 pm by in Media & entertainment

The release this month of the 2014 edition of the annual Ownership and Trend Report from The Home Technology Monitor™ (HTM) marks my 20th year directing this service. It has certainly given me a unique vantage point to watch the ebb and flow of the ever-changing media world. We’re going to take a quick look at the world of 1995 versus 2014 , if for no other reason than to let us sit back and contemplate just how much change there has been.

Ethnicity in Canada: The Asian Grocery Store Goes Mainstream

June 25, 2014 8:02 am by in Consumer Goods, Retail

Canada’s booming Asian population is transforming the country’s culture – and its consumer marketplace. And some marketers are finding creative ways to respond to this opportunity. No longer overlooked by major CPG manufacturers and retailers, Canada’s Asian consumers are seeing their wants and preferences more fully met in the grocery aisles – and even on the websites of large food companies.

In our latest video, Juliann Ng (Vice President of GfK Consumer Experiences) talks about her personal experience as an Asian Canadian, and the opportunities marketers have to tailor food products, store shelves, and online content to Chinese, Japanese, and Filipino tastes in Canada.

England vs. Uruguay – Radio streaming wins as England loses

June 24, 2014 7:37 am by in Technology

For England, the World Cup dream is over for another four years before it truly got started. Luis Suarez and the Uruguayan team was consigned England to a second defeat and an early flight home. But while England was losing in São Paulo, streaming radio apps sealed a win as people took to their smartphones to keep up-to-date with the action as it unfolded.

What does this mean for smartphones?

Staying afloat: overcoming the challenges of distribution

June 24, 2014 5:53 am by in Technology

With a complex network of inter-reliance from manufacturers through to retailers and an increase in globalizing businesses, it is proving a challenging time for all parties involved as distribution chains grow more extensive and complex. So how can businesses tackle the mounting distribution challenges to maintain profitability?

Distributors are under constant pressure to broaden their product portfolio as the retail and reseller community seeks out new products and markets. At the same time, changing routes to market, the shift to online selling, increases in software and services sales and increasing demands from vendors to show ROI are chalenging traditional distribution models. Developments such as Bring Your Own Device (BYOD), virtualization, cloud and services subscription are all challenging the traditional transactions from vendor to end user.