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?
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.
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.
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.
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?
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.
Putting the customer at the heart of an organisation is no mean feat, and even with advances in technology and the digital user experience, the aspiration to become customer centric is alive but still illusive for most brands. Consumer research from GfK suggests that customer experiences across many sectors in the UK have plateaued or are in decline. This appears to be happening despite efforts by many mainstream brands to migrate to digital channels and invest in multichannel service delivery with a big drive towards more personalised communication in their marketing efforts.
The growth of smartphone ownership has impacted sales of digital cameras, with the low end particularly facing decline. Yet while smartphones have succeeded in putting a camera in every pocket, this has not completely wiped out the need for a dedicated camera device.
Convenience versus preference
Today, in the era of the ‘selfie’, smartphone usage is increasingly popular for updating social media statuses and documenting day-to-day events and movements by uploading photos in real time. With multiple functions conveniently packaged into one standalone device, manufacturers have adapted to such consumer behavior by developing photo-capturing technologies in smartphones to offer accessible and easy-to-use digital camera-like functions. These include offering competitive picture quality, filters and editing options that can then easily be shared on social networking sites at the touch of a button.
Communication in our society is increasingly visual – driven, in part, by the rapid rise of connected devices such as smartphones and tablets. More than half of consumers today are equipped with smartphones — and thus with increasingly high-resolution cameras, and readily available access to social network apps. The result? Sharing photos and videos with the world has never been easier.
We now take pictures of things we need to remember (e.g., details about a show from a poster) instead of writing them down. When seeking a friend’s opinion about a purchase, we share an image of the item in-store, instead of having a conversation to describe it. And today’s equivalent of “reading the instructions” may be watching a video on YouTube.
Despite an encouraging performance, England got their World Cup campaign under way on Saturday night in the way many expected – with a defeat to Italy. However, what was perhaps unexpected was the lack of uplift in mobile activity seen during the match, with many anticipating 2014 World Cup to be the ‘most mobile yet’. Gambling sites and apps, for example, typically see a strong peak on smartphones around important sports events as fans place last minute bets, but behavior on the night did not correspond with those expectations.