e-Commerce experts share advice for brands adapting to AI

By Julia Görnandt on October 02, 2018

Key takeaways on voice and digital assistants from ESOMAR Congress 2018

Artificial Intelligence, voice and digital assistants were all the buzz at ESOMAR Congress 2018. The promise is that when these technologies come together in digital personal assistants, they’ll make our lives easier, remove our “choice stress” and will become our trusted advisors. Sign me up! But, how will voice technology affect consumer behavior and how will brands tackle this new decision environment?

Our recent voice trends research included qualitative interviews with digital and eCommerce experts on this very topic. At ESOMAR, some of these respondents participated in our “Brands on Fire – How to adapt to the new market reality of AI platforms” panel. Danone, Wehkamp, Beiersdorf, Ericsson and SKIM had a lively discussion on the digital implications of AI for brands, marketers and insight professionals. I, along with Yasemin Ozdemir, had the honor to moderate the panel. Here’s what you missed and need to know.

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“Hallo Google, Alexa, Magenta: How's voice changing German consumer behavior?”

By Julia Görnandt on September 18, 2018

Voice technology and Artificial Intelligence were all the buzz at IFA, Germany’s largest consumer electronics show in September. Established players launched new products in Europe and there were a few surprise offerings from new market entrants.

Google introduced its premium smart speaker -the Google Home Max- here in Germany, along with a bilingual voice assistant feature that responds to queries in English and German interchangeably. And telecom giant Deutsche Telekom introduced plans for its own smart speaker activated with the magic words “Hallo Magenta." This introduction is the first smart speaker coming from a German company and includes Amazon’s voice assistant “Alexa” too.

As I was setting up our new office in the heart of Berlin, I reflected on how much technology has disrupted consumer behavior from the time I grew up here. Is Voice all hype in Germany? How and will German consumers embrace these AI technologies? What are the implications for brands? 

My team and I recently set out to answer these questions in Germany, and also in the US and UK. We explored Voice technology usage and awareness from the consumer and brand perspective. 

Here I’m sharing the Germany insights, which we unveiled at ESOMAR Congress 2018 in Berlin.

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Why it’s time to get emotional about the patient journey

By Adriënne Hoevers – den Hollander on September 10, 2018

Analyze patient needs to maximize your impact on treatment success

Emotions affect our behavior, what we do and how we do it. In the same way, as patients grow more influential, their emotions also affect decisions about their care and satisfaction with treatment. Yet patient research shows, particularly in the case of chronic conditions, that many of their emotional needs remain unmet. Frustration with progress, stress from the burden of taking more medication, or a sense of isolation are common, making them less likely to commit to their treatment or gain the maximum benefit. All of which could be bad news for your brand.

The good news is a new, holistic approach to decision mapping. We recommend a framework that recognizes the importance of patient emotions. One that moves beyond the clinical treatment path to the states they themselves have defined through the lens of their own needs. Here we explain patient’s various emotional states and offer practical tips on how to enable healthcare professionals to support patient needs. 

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Cracking the case of mobile-friendly conjoint surveys

By Joost van Ruitenburg on July 16, 2018

Originally designed for the desktop environment, conjoint research on mobile requires a more innovative approach

Ensuring your market research survey is mobile-friendly is no longer a “nice-to-have” for insights professionals. With more survey respondents opting for smartphones and tablets over computers, this requirement poses an ever greater challenge for conjoint analysis.

Conjoint is the go-to methodology for measuring customer preference for product features, to determine how pricing changes affect product demand and to forecast likely acceptance of new innovations. However, it was originally designed for desktop and doesn’t marry well with the smaller screen sizes and shorter attention spans of today’s mobile respondents.

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New considerations for mapping today’s physician journey

By Robert Dossin on July 03, 2018

Conventional research approaches to understanding prescribing behavior lack the insights required today

A physician's decision - or reluctance - to prescribe your drug over the competition has long been influenced by a number of factors, such as clinical efficacy, sales rep touchpoints, marketing materials etc. However, the proliferation of online medical information, social media referrals and wellness apps have added more considerations to the mix as patients take more control over their health. Now physicians, and other healthcare professionals, are assuming more of a “listener” role during consultations vs. solely the “adviser” role.

This shift in interaction between prescriber and patient, coupled with mounting time and cost pressure from the payers, places more importance than ever on accurately understanding why and when physicians make their prescribing decisions.

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Top Takeaways from SKIMspiration Europe 2018

By Mini Kalivianakis on June 29, 2018

Robots, tech trends and market research innovations take center stage in Rotterdam

Summer in the Netherlands not only blooms tulips, but also inspiration for marketing and market research executives at our annual SKIMspiration event. On June 21st, we opened our headquarter doors to clients and industry peers from leading companies across the Benelux region, such as Unilever, Roche, IKEA, and Aegon. Attendees, ranging from brand marketing and shopper insights managers to net revenue management and healthcare professionals, all joined us to learn how to Drive Digital Success. 

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3 Tips to Optimize Your Voice Commerce Strategy

By Ana Martin on June 08, 2018

“Alexa: do you remember the last consumer tech “must-have product” to hit the shelves?”

According to the Consumer Technology Association (CTA), it was the iPhone (2007) and iPad (2012). And now voice-controlled smart speakers, like the Amazon Echo and Google Home, have achieved that coveted status. CTA predicts 56.6 million smart speakers will be sold in the US next year; two years ago that number was just 7.2 million!.

Voice technology is set to fundamentally change the environment in which consumers make decisions, and who (or what) influences that decision. To stay ahead of the competition, brands will need to exhaust every opportunity to optimize their position in this new “4th sales channel” of voice commerce. 

Do you know how voice searches for your product category begin?

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Adaptiveness could be the key to predicting consumer preferences

By Jeroen Hardon on April 30, 2018

As telecom and technology markets are continually disrupted, our approach to their specific market research challenges needs to evolve with them.

What are you to do when you’re facing intense price competition, losing volume to the competition or launching new product innovations? Today’s digital consumers have more telecom and technology product options than ever before. For marketers in these industries, historical data will only take you so far when optimizing your product portfolio.

And the challenge only becomes more complex when you consider how today’s empowered consumers make purchase decisions differently than they did just a short time ago.

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The Long and Short of PepsiCo’s Promotion Strategy

By Maureen Arink on April 16, 2018

Discover the approach PepsiCo Benelux took to optimize the immediate and long-term impact of its promotions.

While short-term impacts on cash flow are often front of mind for the fast-moving consumer goods industry, after-sales dips and other aspects of sales recovery can prove detrimental to a brand’s financial health in the long run. Shopper insights managers looking to develop a promotions strategy with sustainable impact on sales and revenue growth, must be equipped with market research insights that address both the short-term and long-term impact of promotions.

This was the challenge PepsiCo Benelux faced with its savoury snacks, nuts and cereals categories, all of which are under constant pressure from competition.

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AI: Friend or Foe? 5 Tips to Add Automation to Market Research

By Samantha Bond on March 12, 2018

Getting Started with AI: Speed + Quality

From Uber’s self-driving cars to Amazon’s warehouse robots, artificial intelligence (AI) seems to be reaching human-level dexterity nearly everywhere. You might be wondering like us: how are brands actually taking advantage of next-gen automation innovation in market research today? Can artificial intelligence identify better insights cheaper? Will computers and robots render human researchers useless? As market researchers, who also happen to be human beings, we’ve been exploring many of the same questions!

Danone, one of the world’s leading food companies, recently sought to understand consumer consumption drivers for a new product category. 

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Unilever shares journey with SKIM on mobile ready hero image design

By Scott Garrison on March 05, 2018

eCommerce success in the consumer goods category doesn’t happen overnight — it’s a journey

Defining a set of marketing guidelines that drive a measurable increase in sales is an incredible feat, never mind doing so for 2.5 billion smartphone users across the globe.

Yet that’s exactly what our client, and consumer goods giant, Unilever is tackling with the challenge of developing a consistent and cohesive set of mobile ready hero image guidelines for all brands, in all countries to follow with all retailers. When co-presenting with us at the OmniShopper International Conference, Oli Bradley, Unilever’s global e-commerce experience design director, shared details on his eCommerce journey. Here’s what we learned:

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(Infographic) Brand Strategy Considerations for Voice Technology

By Cori Deutsch on February 27, 2018

The increased adoption of voice assistants is forcing many of our clients in the consumer goods category to ask, "Alexa, how are you affecting consumer decision behavior?" From search through the path to purchase, the implications of voice-enabled technology are far reaching for brands. Now recognized as the “fourth sales channel,” voice tech represents an evolving channel, requiring new insights. You know you want to gain consumer preference in this lane, but what questions should you ask?

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Driving successful CPG omnichannel strategies with the right customer journey framework

By Alex Zhu on February 20, 2018

Remind yourself why the right customer decision journey framework matters—and which one you should be using.

Today’s consumer path to purchase has evolved a great deal. To succeed in the omnichannel world, you can't afford to rely on outdated assumptions regarding your consumer’s decision journey.

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SKIM Expert Q&A: What you need to know about Customer Journey mapping

By Dhika Democrat on August 31, 2017

Every customer’s decision journey is unique, especially in an omnichannel world.  Customer journey mapping allows marketers to understand the different stages customers go through before, during, and after purchase. It also examines how to influence customers at the various stages of their journey.

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6 Learnings from OmniShopper Conference 2017

By Alex Zhu on July 21, 2017

It was my first time to attend OmniShopper Conference and I was fortunate to present with Tara Colalillo and Nikki Smathers on Disrupting the Habitual Consumer Decision Journey. There were many great learnings from the conference, but I'd like to share my top six here: from omnichannel customer experience to the future of eCommerce:

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4 Mapping Frameworks for Customer Decision Journeys

By Alex Zhu on May 20, 2017

Whether you’re a CPG brand manager or a B2B marketer, your customer’s decision journeys are complex, dynamic, and easily disrupted by new options and inputs – online and offline. Today’s omnichannel world has created a new path to purchase for consumers, business professionals, and healthcare decision makers. Their decision journey is influenced by technology and media that didn’t even exist a few years ago, but do you know how, where, and when?

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Why marketing should take back ownership of pricing

By Oskar Toerneld on March 19, 2017

Setting the right price is one of the best ways to positively impact a company’s bottom line. Yet, price-setting is not always top-of-mind nor owned by a single department within a company. This holds true across industries, whether it is consumer goods, healthcare, telecom, finance or technology. Sometimes Marketing takes responsibility for pricing, while other times Finance takes on the task. Often, we find that there exists no pricing strategy at all in companies, and thus, no clear ownership of pricing responsibility.

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The future of roaming in the EU

By Wessel Roose on February 17, 2016

On October 27th, the European Parliament voted in favor of a proposal on net neutrality. As part of this proposal, it was also decided that roaming costs within EU territory will be abolished, starting June 1, 2017. This does not concern all roaming, but “roaming within the range of normal usage”. It isn’t yet quite clear how normal usage is defined, and we have to wait until the end of this year to find out.

Topics: Telecom
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The promotion paradox

By Maureen Arink on October 19, 2015

Offering price discounts on consumer goods seems to be a quick answer to tough competition and to consumers who are more demanding and price sensitive these days. Many times our clients ask us which promotion strategy is most effective in driving share. However, the answer for short term sales boost is different from the one that maintains your brand’s financial health. Let us explain in this article what type of promotion offers the best long term effect.

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Customer Insights in the year 2020

By Dirk Huisman on June 09, 2014

Join us on a journey into the future, where even 5 years from now, many of today’s challenges of insights specialists will no longer be challenges. But, how will we evolve?

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Move it already! What is holding your potential customers back?

By Wessel Roose on November 29, 2012

In many service markets - like telecom, energy and finance - consumers do not switch providers very often and service providers are having trouble activating these potential customers. Even though some consumers might want to switch due to an interesting offer from a new provider, often they still don't act.

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Understanding sales promotions

By Oskar Toerneld on August 28, 2011

During harsh economic environments, companies have to make deliberate choices on how to invest marketing budgets to optimize profits. Especially in the competitive FMCG industry promotions are often used as a tool to increase sales. However, what is the most effective type of promotion? And what are the implications of these promotions on your overall product portfolio revenues?

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MaxDiff - What's the score?

By Jeroen Hardon on July 02, 2011

Have you come across the situation where many items (descriptions, statements or concepts) had to be put in preference order? Ranking and rating type questions are often used in these situations, although the last few years MaxDiff has been gaining more attention as a good alternative.

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From Rx to OTC drugs: Challenges for marketing and market research

By Robert Dossin on May 05, 2011

In light of increasing patent expiration rates, a switch from Rx to OTC proves to be a successful counter-strategy against generic erosion. As a result, marketers face challenges entering a new competitive environment. Our Consumer Health team has valuable experience in bridging the knowledge gap between healthcare and consumer markets to facilitate your decision making process.

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