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© GfK Business & Technology 2011 01


Trends Opinion
04 Switching your digital ecosystem: a painful 22 Charlie bit me: how can brands create viral
process? marketing materials?

12 Discoverability drives choice, adoption and 28 Where next for word of mouth?
loyalty in the digital market
32 Loyalty in telecoms across the generations
16 Turning UX into hard metrics: the crucial
role of User Experience (UX) 40 Your mum wants to be your friend: accept
or reject?
18 Gamification: when brands get playful to
engage with customers 48 Analysis: what gives our qualitative
research the X factor
36 Is the end in sight for the personal
navigation device? It depends how good
the zoom is on your smartphone’s camera Inside GfK
44 Consumerization of IT resources: brings 52 Keeping you up to date with
headaches for business the latest news from GfK

23 17 13

Welcome to our latest edition of TechTalk, our magazine that provides their business planning. The ever diverse range of topics in TechTalk
your consumers perspectives on hot topics in technology research. For from gamification and viral marketing through to consumerisation
this edition we are taking a close look at the User Experience, an area of IT resources reflects the exciting nature of our category and the
that is rapidly becoming a key driver for customer retention as our discussions we are having with our clients. We welcome continuing
main story explores. conversations so do reach out if you want to explore any of these
topics further.
Our research of over 4,000 smartphone users across nine markets
discusses the way in which simplicity, integration and access are key Happy reading!
parts of the user experience on which brands will increasingly need
to focus in order to drive business. New areas of the user experience
such as Discoverability are also taking centre stage; how do you Anette Bendzko
encourage consumers to explore their technology and discover new Global Head of GfK Business & Technology
digital experiences? Our research on turning UX into a hard ‘currency’ Tel: +1 847 371 1585
also discusses the way in which brands can really integrate this into Email:

© GfK Business & Technology 2011 03

GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Digital Ecosystems

switching your digital ecosystem: A painful process?

By Richard Preedy & Ryan Garner

Switching between different types of smartphones (differentiated by their OS e.g. Android) is becoming
increasingly difficult for consumers. When benchmarked against everyday services and utilities, consumers
worry more about having to switch the type of smartphone they own than their insurance, home telephone
or pay TV providers. Simpler, integrated user experiences are playing a huge role in driving this aversion to
switching. These user experiences are no longer just device-specific, but relate to the wider ecosystem of
digital content and devices.

Easy access to content across numerous devices is driving higher There is no doubt that the use of connected devices (devices
levels of loyalty to content ecosystems, leading consumers to that are connected to the internet such as smartphones, tablets,
believe that switching their digital life to an alternative provider laptops and now TV sets) is changing consumer behavior. The
is a difficult chore. For some (Apple iPhone & iPad owners in availability of apps and digital content has been extremely
particular) the thought of switching is considered as difficult as important for the explosive growth of smartphones: almost
moving bank accounts. It follows that digital providers that create every third mobile phone (29%) sold in 2011 worldwide is a
harmonious user experiences across their digital ecosystems will smartphone (source GfK Retail and Technology data). But a
be able to increase consumer loyalty. GfK’s research examined more subtle area, and one with growing importance, is the
some of the key areas of smartphone user experiences and their user experience on these connected devices. While consumers
impact on switching behavior. become used to increasingly intuitive and seamless interactions
with the interfaces on their smartphones - as the connected

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GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Digital Ecosystems

GfK has contended before that content and services drive

appeal and loyalty to smartphone providers. The data
Overall each of the three core areas above shows that those more engaged – i.e. use more
of the user experience; simplicity, services on their smartphone – are more likely to state
their future loyalty to their current smartphone type. The
integration and access have similar
data in the figure two shows that the tipping point for this
levels of importance; however there are uplift in loyalty is at 7 or more services.
some interesting country differences.
There are some interesting country differences too,
European countries (the UK, Germany, France, Spain and
Consumers in western mature countries Italy) use fewer services on their smartphones compared
place greater emphasis on simplicity to non-European consumers in the US, China, Brazil and
than integration and access to services. Japan. Consumers in the US are the most likely (61% of all
US smartphone users) to use 7 or more services followed
In contrast, Chinese consumers place closely by China (56%) and Brazil (53%). This high level
greater importance on the ‘access’ of service usage on smartphones has implications for the
of content with 92% of consumers user experience. The research uncovers three core areas of
the connected device user experience that impact service
stressing the need to access content
usage and loyalty. These are outlined in more detail below:
across all devices.
Figure one: Perceived difficulty in switching providers (% of rankings). Over the years, smartphones have become infinitely easier
to use which has empowered consumers to use more
advanced features and to do more with their phone.
Nokia, the early pioneer of advanced mobile phones,
devices become more complex and advanced beneath the
released the first mobile phone with a WAP browser
Loyalty to Smartphone Type surface - consumer behavior is being impacted in new and
in 1999 - the 7110. However, back then browsing the
fascinating ways.
internet on a PC was a cumbersome experience and
75% trying to access small bits of web-based information on
GfK recently conducted research among smartphone
% stated loyalty to smartphone type

a mobile phone was never going to be a simple process,

owners in nine countries around the world; Brazil, China,
without even thinking about creating “enjoyable” user
70% France, Germany, Japan, Italy, Spain, the UK and the US.
We examined some of the key areas of a smartphones
user experience and its impact on switching behavior.
65% Since then, user experiences have gone beyond the
There are inevitable differences between the countries
functional and have been refined to a level that add
due to their varying levels of digital and technological
an element of “intimacy” and “discoverability” which
60% development. Despite this, there are universal trends such
creates new and fun experiences for the end user. We’re
as: the more mobile services that consumers use, the
now at a stage where new mobile device technologies
less likely they are to switch their smartphone type in the
55% software and advances in mobile networks have made
future (See data in figure one).

1-2 Services 3-4 Services 5-6 Services 7-8 Services 9+ Services
Number of services used on smartphone

Figure two: Loyalty to smartphone type

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GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Digital Ecosystems

Consumers who are building a library As smartphones become more advanced, creating a
smooth user experience becomes a more complex task.
of media and content are demanding
In order to make the most out of the wide-ranging
access to their digital life regardless of capabilities of smartphones, the functions, features and
the device they are using. services need to work in harmony. (Having the option
to immediately post a photograph you’ve just taken
with your phone to Facebook is a good example of this
Almost three in four smartphone owners harmonization).
(72%) believe it is important to be able
to access the same content (music, A significant proportion of smartphone owners (71%) Consumers who are building a library of media and
now believe that the various features, services and
videos, books, apps, etc.) on any internet “There are some interesting country content are demanding access to their digital life
apps on their phone work seamlessly with each other. regardless of the device they are using. Almost three in
enabled devices (smartphones, tablets, Nevertheless, regardless of this high approval rating, the differences too. European countries; the
four smartphone owners (72%) believe it is important to
PC, TV sets, etc.). proof of well-executed integration and a smooth user UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy use be able to access the same content (music, videos, books,
experience is found in the usage patterns of consumers. fewer services on their smartphones apps, etc.) on any internet enabled devices (smartphones,
By examining our data more closely, we find that those tablets, PC, TV sets, etc.). As one would expect, this
who use more services on their smartphones believe that
compared to non-European consumers
becomes even more important among those who own a
the services and features offered are much more tightly in the US, China, Brazil and Japan. tablet as well as a smartphone and PC – 80% of this sub-
integrated. Furthermore, those who use more services on group agree. Cloud-based services are being rolled out by
their phones are more likely to consider staying loyal to many service providers to offer solutions to consumers’
their current smartphone type. Well executed service and
Consumers in the US are the most likely
content ‘access’ user experience needs.
hardware integration are therefore having a positive effect (61% of all US smartphone users) to use
on consumer loyalty. 7 or more services followed closely by Overall each of the three core areas of the user
internet-enabled applications commonplace among most China (56%) and Brazil (53%)” experience; simplicity, integration and access have
Tighter integration of services also allows for more similar levels of importance; however there are some
smartphone owners and a key driver of handset selection.
intelligent use of customer usage and purchase data. interesting country differences. Consumers in western
A growing number of people are finding a smartphone
Companies that exploit ‘Smart Data’ will effectively yield mature countries (particularly France, Germany, Italy,
solution that they are comfortable with. Consequently,
greater results in engaging consumers with their service Spain and the UK) place greater emphasis on simplicity
almost three in four (72%) smartphone owners state that
or brand. Recommendation engines are a prime example rather than the integration and access (from the cloud)
they find it easy to access applications and navigate the
of this: these services provide new product or service Access to services. For example German consumers find their
menu system on their phone. These subtle refinements of
recommendations to the end-user by analyzing past Many consumers who have owned a connected device smartphones easy to use (84%) and place less importance
the user experience have become immensely important to
usage and purchase data. This intelligent use of customer are likely to have a varied collection of digital media, on accessing content on numerous devices via the cloud
the consumer. Our research shows that disrupting this set-
data adds greater relevance and discoverability which, if including music, videos, books, magazines and apps. This (64%). In contrast, Chinese consumers place greater
up, (i.e. moving from a smartphone set-up that is known
executed well, can heighten the user experience. new ‘digital life’- where the consumer has invested time importance on the ‘access’ of content with a huge 92%
by the consumer to a new unknown one), has become a
huge barrier to switching their smartphone type or digital and money collecting digital content - inevitably brings of consumers stressing the need to access content across
ecosystem. new usability demands. all devices. This finding aligns with the ‘Cloud’ research

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GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Digital Ecosystems

The biggest barriers to switching smartphone types were related to user experience:

»» 33% disrupting your current smartphone set-up (i.e. the apps and features I use)

»» 29% having to learn how to use another type of smartphone

»» 28% having to move your content (music, video, books, apps, etc.) from one type
of smartphone to another

we conducted in the enterprise market, where emerging However, GfK’s recent research examined barriers to losing the user experience benefits that come with it. This localized service provision. The opportunity in these markets
markets like China were leading the way in their attitudes switching smartphone types. The list included brand and also impacts on the consumers’ perception of how difficult will inevitably lead to digital ecosystems developed by local
and usage towards cloud based services. price considerations but the biggest barriers overall were it is to switch smartphone types compared to other providers offering digital platforms that are localized to the
related to user experience: services and utilities. needs of eastern consumers.
These parallels in the consumer and enterprise markets Overall and perhaps unsurprisingly, switching bank
demonstrate the thirst for advanced technology in »» 33% disrupting your current smartphone set-up account is perceived to be the most difficult service to Regardless of provider, this cross-device accessibility of content
emerging markets and their willingness to skip a (i.e. the apps and features I use) switch out of the list of services/utilities provided. When is (to some) of great benefit to consumers. It will encourage
generation of technological infrastructure i.e. in the »» 29% having to learn how to use another type of we isolate those consumers with both a smartphone and them to invest more in their digital life and enable them to do
consumer market skipping the desktop computer smartphone tablet with the same Operating System, the smartphone and discover more. Those smartphone providers that create
generation means consumers have little local storage becomes the most difficult service to switch. harmonious user experiences will be able to increase consumer
»» 28% having to move your content (music, video,
(desktop/laptops have more storage space than mobile) books, apps, etc.) from one type of smartphone to loyalty to their digital ecosystems as consumers find it more
and are relying on access to content in the cloud. In another This finding shows the importance of the device portfolio trouble than it’s worth to switch manufacturers/ecosystems
Japan, technology (especially mobile technology) is highly in a service provider’s ecosystem, such as Apple’s. Apple when they have found a system that works for them.
advanced and culturally customized. Japanese consumers was the first to launch a tablet, and they have since
place equal importance across all three user experience The barriers listed above show the importance of the launched iCloud, which synchronizes content and data Brands competing in this space will be able to elevate their
dimensions; simplicity (72%), integration (68%) and age-old mindset, ‘if it ain’t broke don’t fix it’. Consumers across devices. Google has taken a similar approach, customers’ switching consideration to a much higher place.
access (72%). Japanese consumers are very comfortable become stuck in their ways and those who are satisfied making Android available on tablets as well as on This investment in user experience could yield great results and
with the user experience of their connected devices so with their current set-up will be difficult to tempt to a new smartphones. Google’s services have always been internet those in dominant market positions at the moment would
much so that the biggest barrier to switching smartphone platform. This mindset has only hardened with the growth based so that users of those services will experience similar be difficult to challenge in terms of capturing market share.
type is disrupting their current set-up. This is also one of of connected devices, maturity of technology markets cross-device access to their data. Microsoft are also placing This is a luxury that many of the large high street banks have
the biggest barriers globally (as detailed below) but in (Japan) and their rapidly improving user experiences, huge emphasis on their ecosystem of integrated services and experienced for some time.
Japan’s case this is a lot more pronounced. especially when managing their digital lives. devices and their latest push into the smartphone sector in
So what impact does the user experience have on future 2012, led by their partnership with Nokia, will be an important Source

smartphone purchase considerations? Of course, there This is perfectly exemplified when we look at those who step in bringing together this ecosystem. Furthermore it is The GfK report on UX and loyalty in the digital ecosystem research was
will always be those consumers who are looking to switch own a smartphone and a tablet using the same operating not just Apple, Google and Microsoft offering these kinds conducted by GfK Business & Technology. It includes the opinions of 4257
their smartphone type due to an unsatisfactory service system (OS). For this group, another barrier becomes of digital platforms. The importance placed on cloud based smartphone owners in nine countries who were interviewed between 17th
a huge factor in their smartphone switching decision. and 28th October 2011 using online interviewing techniques appropriate
provision or hardware defect. And for those who are services was highest among Chinese (92%) and Brazilian
to the country.
not subjected to such negative experiences, persuasive Almost two in five consumers in this sub-group (38%) (85%) smartphone owners. Whilst consumers in emerging
marketing from rival brands and/or peer influence will still are reluctant to switch smartphone type because their markets aspire to western brands there is also a desire for
encourage the thought of switching. smartphone and tablet would run a different OS thereby

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GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Discoverability

Discoverability drives choice, adoption and loyalty in

the digital market
By Simon Pulman-Jones

Pleasure for its own sake is becoming as crucial to the effectiveness of digital operating systems as the
fundamentals of UX design. We are seeing a new dimension for UX: discoverability - the joy of discovery for its
own sake. Discoverability is about three key success factors: personalized discovery; game-like engagement
and viral appeal. This new dimension is about understanding how to engage digital consumers – encouraging
them in exploring, finding, trying out – ‘experiencing’ new digital stuff.

User Experience – or UX – has historically been the discipline that What we are seeing is a new dimension being added to one
has kept technology design honest. When all around them are of the core principles of UX: discoverability. Discoverability
losing their heads about the next shiny new technology feature, has always been a fundamental requirement for effective user
the UX experts are there, soberly insisting that any new design experience: “the ability for a user of a design to locate something
must first and foremost be seen from the user’s point of view. Is it that they need, in order to complete a certain task.” 2 First you
usable? Is it useful? have to be able to discover that a piece of functionality exists, and
then you have to be able to discover how to use it. But a new
So when one of the founding fathers of UX starts getting carried twist on discoverability is rapidly becoming one of the defining
away about the intimate sensuality of a user experience, we characteristics and key success factors for digital user experiences.
might be forgiven for thinking that we’ve reached a watershed in This is the joy of discovery for its own sake – the pleasure of trying
the evolution of technology. That’s what the iPhone did for Don out an intriguing new App or widget, seeing if it’s enjoyable
Norman1: “the iPhone felt like a piece of delight. It really is neat or useful, and either adopting it as part of your repertoire, or
to go from one page to the other not by pushing a button but by throwing it away.
swiping your hand across the page. The correct word is intimacy;
it is more intimate. Think of it not as a swipe, think of it as a In the increasingly mature market for digital experiences, with
caress.”2 intensifying competition between the main digital ecosystem
offerings (Apple, Android, Blackberry, Windows), the ability to
Norman is not losing his sober UX grip. He’s recognizing the drive exploration and trial of new functionality and services is

‘Discoverability’ is the new user fact that pleasure for its own sake is becoming as crucial to
the effectiveness of digital operating systems as the basic UX
vital. ‘Discoverability’ is the new user experience phenomenon
providing this ability, combining Amazon-style, pleasurable,

experience phenomenon providing the fundamentals. We love to do that caressing swipe so much that
we take every opportunity to turn the page, to flick the button –
personalized discovery of new product and service options, the
engaging and immersive experience delivered by the gaming

ability to drive exploration and trial of to find out what delight is hiding around the next corner of the
digital interface.
industry, and the ‘viral’ infectiousness of quirky personal
discoveries typified by YouTube.

new functionality and services

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GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Discoverability

nurture that is being exploited when we are offered frequent

updates to the Apps that we’ve downloaded. Somewhere in the
Discoverability is becoming an increasingly
recent past, software updates have shifted from being about
significant factor in some key business issues periodic step-changes in the level of functionality being offered,
for providers of digital products and services to being near-constant incremental adaptations in the evolution
of our digital experiences. So we are encouraged to be constantly
discovering new ways to improve our digital fitness via new
enhancements to operating systems, or new Apps. In this way,
the smartphone ownership experience is like that of a Tamagochi
products and services within your ecosystem easy and
– the little electronic pets that require constant care. Our instinct
pleasurable to discover and adopt is becoming a key
to nurture our devices is a key element of discoverability – driving
driver of loyalty, and a barrier to switching to other
us to try new stuff that might help our devices thrive – and, by
extension, us with them.
»» As seamless shifting of valued personal content
between TV, PC, tablet and smartphones becomes an Discoverability will become increasingly important in driving
accessible, mainstream proposition, consumers are acquisition and retention of customers within fast-evolving new
faced with the challenge of accessing familiar content digital ecosystems. Many are looking to the games industry for
experiences on new devices, via new interfaces. know-how about delivering the fun, onward exploratory drive,
Video clip: Volkswagen, The Fun Theory, piano stairs Pleasurable exploration and experimentation with new and engagement required. This is a reflection of just how much
options is becoming a key factor in driving trial and the UX stakes have risen in the new world of digital experiences
adoption. – where success depends not just on the effective and delightful
The incremental enhancements intended to lock customers into a This new dimension of discoverability comes to the rescue of both delivery of core features and functionality, but also on the elusive
given digital ecosystem – whether it’s Apple’s Siri, or a television consumers and companies. It can enable consumers, confused by »» As smaller, personal screens increasingly become the magic ingredient that generates fun and engagement. As Rovio,
service provider’s 3D TV offer – depend for their success on too many options, to make choices that feel like happy, ‘meant to dominant device amongst people’s interconnected the creators of Angry Birds have admitted, “for every Angry Birds,
customers being tempted into exploring and discovering them. be’ discoveries rather than random or forced choices. And it can mobile and home device ecosystems, an increasing there are a hundred dead birds!”7. Coming up with captivating
How can companies foster the necessary urge to discover? provide brands with a vital way to engage consumers and lead user experience interaction burden is placed on limited and intriguing digital experiences is no simple matter, and the
them towards new products and services. screen real estate. Where complex options cannot be success of future digital user experiences will increasingly depend
One powerful tool is fun. Volkswagen recognized this with their Three dimensions of discoverability are increasingly becoming key laid out for consumers to view as easily as on larger on high-quality creative talent alongside the user-focus and initiative (“This site is dedicated to the thought success factors for products, services and consumer experiences in screens, discoverability provides the onward drive to disciplined logic of traditional UX design.
that something as simple as fun is the easiest way to change the new digital ecosystem: engage consumers and guide them through possible
people’s behaviour for the better”). The Piano Stairs commercial options. Sources
shows commuters exiting Odenplan underground station in Personalized discovery: Amazon-style data- or profile-driven
1) Just Noticeable Difference: the website of Don Norman (
Stockholm and being seduced into using the stairs rather than the surfacing of possibilities
So, increasingly, UX is about more than ensuring that we are
escalator when they discover that the stairs have been converted 2) “Why do some people really hate Apple?” Charles Arthur, The Guardian, Tuesday
»» Game-like engagement: making the discovery of new able to execute desired tasks and functions via digital interfaces. 6th October 2011 (
into a giant electronic piano keyboard that plays when they walk
options feel like the pleasurable result of a consumer’s The new dimension is about helping us feel that we are being people-hate-apple)
up or down.
own skill rather than something forced upon them engaged digital consumers – doing well at our job of exploring,
3) “The myth of discoverability”, Scott Berkun (
finding, trying out – ‘experiencing’ new digital stuff.
Many digital experiences have reached a stage of maturity at essays/26-the-myth-of-discoverability/)
»» Viral appeal: the magic ‘I found it’ quality which drives
which usability barriers about how to use functionality have been YouTube-style selection and sharing 4);
Tom Chatfield, an expert and commentator on Gamification, and
largely overcome. At the same time, however, we are confronted
author of Fun Inc.4, talks about nurture as a fundamental aspect
by a new set of challenges – challenges to do with choice: what 5) “Fun Inc.: Why games are the 21st Century’s most serious business”, Tom Chatfield,
As a result, discoverability is becoming an increasingly significant of people’s new relationship to digital media: “Nurture is the killer London 2010
to use? - Which App to use? Which combination of Cloud and
factor in some key business issues for providers of digital products App.”5. By this he means that we are increasingly drawn to look
connectivity solutions to adopt so that it’s possible to enjoy valued 6) “The irresistible power of digital play - Why Brands Need to Wake Up to Gaming.”
and services: after our digital tools and devices – hoping that they will develop
content wherever and whenever it’s wanted? Which device Tom Chatfield, Games for Brands conference, London, October 2011
and thrive. He quotes a teenage girl who said that she sees her
should become the dominant ‘home’ or ‘hub’ device amongst our »» As the cross-platform media ecosystem battle
Facebook profile, “as a little person I send out into the world 7) “Let’s Get Started - Games as the Fastest-growing Media Category of the Age: how
ecosystem of larger- and smaller-screened devices? intensifies, each ecosystem’s array of Apps and Cloud can brands harness this explosive growth?” Ville Heijari, Rovio Mobile Ltd, Games for
– and I really hope it doesn’t get hurt!” It’s this urge towards
services grows richer and more complex. Making new Brands conference, London, October 2011

14 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 15
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Measuring User Experience

Turning UX into hard metrics

By Tim Bosenick & Sonja Kleinschmidt

The importance of the User Experience (UX) is increasingly recognized for the crucial role it has to play in take-
up and loyalty of devices & digital services. The consumer devotion to their product eco-system of choice,
the way in which users are encouraged to explore and discover new service facets, the ease with which it is
possible to execute the actions you want quickly and easily; all these are core drivers of adoption and loyalty
driven by the User Experience.

This has not always been the case, with UX historically being
considered a discipline that is often separate from overall GfK SirValUse (our global UX team within
marketing prerogatives; a stage undertaken as something of a
the GfK business) has developed a set of UX
hygiene factor to ensure ‘all is well’ before getting on with the
‘more important parts’ of the marketing cycle. performance metrics, so for the first time we
can provide brands with a standardized UX
The emergence of the central role for UX is clearly to be
applauded by those of us who always considered that the
User Experience is, after all, what consumers are buying so
we had better get it right! However, this move has brought
with it expectations for hard data to support decisions about to represent good practice but are difficult to explore only via
the product form factor or user interface. After all, if tough consumer sessions.
decisions about the User Experience have to be made then it is
perhaps not unreasonable to demand hard metrics to assist in the GfK has undertaken validation work using independent academic
decision making. Historically this has been a problem for UX as evaluation to assess the the value of this approach. We tested
the discipline has to date been largely qualitative in nature and four smartphone models (each with a different OS) and found
generally not provided hard metrics into the business. consumer reaction to significantly rate the iPhone much higher
than other models on measures around ‘fun’, ‘fit’ and ‘feel’ but
To overcome this and enhance the impact that UX can make on the expert opinion relating to the UX found its score only slightly
business performance, GfK SirValUse (our global UX team within higher than other smartphones tested. Both judgments are valid,
the GfK business) has developed a set of UX performance metrics, integrating them to provide a single coherent measure to use
so for the first time we can provide brands with a standardized within a business has proved to be an exciting development for
UX currency. Our approach covers the hygiene aspects of usability the future direction of UX.
(‘was I able to do what I wanted to do?’) through to the more
holistic aspects of the user experience (such as ‘Was I able to Next steps in our development are to explore (with our database
explore and discover new features easily?’). in GfK Retail &Technology) the impact of the UX metric on sales
volumes. We aim that this will not only validate the relationship
The two key strands of UX assessment are included – consumer between the metrics and business performance but also
reaction is obviously there but perhaps surprisingly for those fundamentally position UX as the key business metric that any
immersed in market research methodologies, expert judgment is brand in tech markets needs to get right.
also included. Our view is that expert opinion is critical to retain
as there are some key aspects of design that are long known

16 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 17
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Gamification Interview

GfK: So, tell us, what is Gamification?

Kam: Gamification is the application of gaming mechanisms Gamification is the application of gaming
into a real-world process, with the aim of improving the user
experience through the notion of playing.
mechanisms into a real-world process, with
the aim of improving the user experience
GfK: How is it currently being used in Marketing? through the notion of playing.
Kam: Gamification marketing is being used in a number of ways,
but its natural home is online – with prizes and rewards given to
people when they post on blogs, share or comment. Really, it’s
a way of sharing an individual’s engagement with a particular long, hard look at what you are doing and what it means – for
proposition. What we see a lot of is, if you ‘Like’ content, post you, for people talking about you and for others hearing it.
about it, or do something about it, you are then eligible for points There is no hard and fast answer. It takes a lot of focus and a real
or scores that are redeemable – ideally for something meaningful understanding of the bigger picture and what it is that you are
that the individual wants. It’s a kind of incentive. trying to achieve.

GfK: How, if at all, is it changing or shaping Marketing? GfK: On that note, do you think a brand in any industry or
Kam: To put it simply, it can change the conversation. When any category can use Gamification?
social media came along, many decided they needed a Facebook Kam: The principle of engagement, particularly through playful
page or a Twitter account but without really understanding what means, can be applied to a very, very broad set of tasks. However,
this meant or how it would change the conversation between I do think that brands seeking to engage with gaming need
the brand and the consumer. The same can now be seen to know what systems work and what their exit plan is. Right
with Gamification. Many don’t realise that it can change how now, it seems that everyone is talking about how to get into
consumers perceive the brand and its values. It is right for some Gamification, but without considering how to get out of it –
and not right for others. i.e. how to avoid the psychological downside of giving people
incentives and then taking them away again. I haven’t seen any
GfK: Can you us a little more about what you mean by strategy that says ‘this is how we will wind it down’ and I’m a bit
GAMIFICATION: When brands get playful to engage ‘changing the conversation’. That is quite an interesting way concerned about that. In my experience, you need to think about
of putting it. What does that mean exactly? what happens afterwards, specifically: how will we manage it?
with customers Kam: Everything that a brand does affects its identity, its persona. How will we grow it? How will we keep it fresh?
If, by using Gamification, a brand says “well, now I’m going to be
Interview with Kam Star, CEO of PlayGen playful”, its marketers must understand that this has implications GfK: Can we now identify examples of proper Gamification
for brand engagement. Those implications will depend on who versus more simplistic examples?
you are, how you do it and how you frame it. I think that’s the Kam: I am not sure that simple is a bad thing. As you suggest,
thing that will essentially change the nature of marketing in some Gamification comes in different guises. On one end of the
ways. spectrum are the simpler, more points-based approaches. On the
Marketers are increasingly turning to ‘Gamification’ to increase loyalty and change the way other are the more complex experiences with multiple factors;
Sometimes when people talk about Gamification, they are ones that feel a bit more like a game, perhaps with different kinds
in which people interact with their brand. But what exactly is Gamification and how, if at all, of themes and a narrative or storyline that people are following.
actually talking about loyalty programmes. There is nothing
should companies be using it? wrong with loyalty programmes – we love loyalty programmes Again, I don’t think there’s a hard and fast rule about this. You
– but, again, if you bring in a loyalty programme you have to really need to look at the specific case and what’s going to work
Kam Star, CEO of PlayGen, has the answers – and one thing’s for sure: a successful Gamification understand that you are changing the nature of the conversation. in that case. I think there are some good examples emerging.
You are saying something new about where your brand is and For me, successful Gamification looks like more engagement. It’s
strategy requires a whole lot more than just points and badges…
how it should be perceived. And you have to be pretty careful when people are coming back more often, they are doing more,
that it’s something that can be sustained; if you whisk it away they are actively encouraging others to engage with your brand,
as quickly as you brought it in, you could end up doing lasting they are recommending your brand. They are, when all is said and
damage to your brand. In essence, it’s very important to take a done, buying more stuff. So, when Playboy uses Gamification and

18 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 19
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Gamification Interview

GfK: Once the process is up-and-running, how much GfK: You’ve touched on a few already but can you give us
Right now, it seems that everyone is talking emphasis should be placed on tweaking and revisiting, or
I think that in any audience you will have a some examples of really good Gamification when we are
about how to get into Gamification, but revising your approach? looking at the outcomes and the impact it’s had on the
Kam: If you look at some of the very successful loyalty whole mixture of different types of people. brand?
without considering how to get out of it – programmes, you will see that most of them – once they have There are those for whom Gamification will Kam: There’s a website called allkpop – an English-language
i.e. how to avoid the psychological downside established a particular mechanism – keep it fresh by introducing always be fun and interesting. There are gossip news site – that used Gamification. They doubled their
of giving people incentives and then taking new offers or different ways of getting points. Whether it’s
others who will be there for some other number of link shares and massively increased the number of
for supermarket club points or airline miles, they also keep it comments they had. It really worked for them. It was basically a
them away again. interesting by reminding people what it’s for, highlighting special reason. If Gamification manages to tap into very simple system, but very nicely integrated. There is another
occasions, that kind of thing. This needs to be a managed process that, it will succeed. If it doesn’t, it won’t. good example called Club Psych, based around a TV series
because, once the novelty has worn off, it won’t continue to called Psych. On the website there were actual mini games that
engage unless there’s real meaning in it. Therefore, part of any you could play, like creating a virtual world of the set itself and
Gamification strategy should be to keep it fresh – by reintroducing sending it to your friends. The site more than doubled both the
gets a 60 per cent growth in monthly revenue, well, that’s done various offers, keeping the game interesting, maybe changing number of page views and the number of return visitors, so it had
right. Likewise when DevHub, a website which effectively gamifies some of the rules, introducing new things… a massive impact.
website design, saw its number of purchases per user per month
goes up by three times. Probably a case in point here is Google, which gamified its GfK: Does Gamification work on any audience?
news and gave out badges etc, only to pull it after quite a short GfK: Is it about giving consumers something they’ve never Kam: In any audience you will have different types of people,
Then there are times when it goes wrong… for example, Tumbler, period because no one had thought properly about the meaning seen or done before, or is it about really getting to know and Gamification doesn’t work for every type. Twenty to thirty
a micro-blogging site, introduced points every time someone behind it. I’m sorry if this sounds obvious, but this is what needs what it is that your audience will enjoy and engage with? years ago, Professor Richard Bartle identified four personality
‘tumbled’ something. The result of this was that people went to be considered every time someone comes up with a new Kam: It’s both. If you can give people something they’ve never types that engage in multiplayer games, and many have since
onto Tumbler, hit the keyboard randomly and then posted. This plan. And, when you look at some good examples, it’s clear had before, if you can educate them as to why it’s a good confirmed that this is a good classification. Specifically, Bartle talks
meant that the platform became completely filled with nonsense that it doesn’t have to be complicated. Around a festival called thing, and do this succinctly and quickly, then the opportunity about Achievers (people who like to get points and who will love
and lost a lot of users. It has never really quite recovered. Bamboozle, a company called CroudTwist were giving away VIP is enormous. However, providing what your users yearn to have Gamification), Explorers (people who just like new stuff so will
passes, the opportunity to be on stage with a band, merchandise, and to be a part of, to make them feel valued – well, those are love Gamification at first but quickly become bored), Socialisers
GfK: How much science is there behind this and how much autographs, all the kinds of things that the people who were the fundamentals of a good user experience. I wouldn’t want to (people who don’t really care about points or badges and the like,
is about intuitiveness? interested in going there would absolutely love. The meaning was choose between those two approaches. I think you’d need both. they want to just socialise) and Killers (people who are most likely
Kam: Its less down to the science and more about the arts, obvious. to spoil it for others and would enjoy Gamification if they can
although it’s both combined. It’s a little like architecture or an GfK: Do you have any more insights around what to do, or somehow harm other people, albeit psychologically). I think that
amazing website user experience. You can’t say, ‘here is a formula GfK: Do you worry about any fatigue in the wider industry what not to do when it comes to gamifying the experience? in any audience you will have a whole mixture of different types
and if you repeat this formula you will succeed’ because next time with so many people now adopting game design and these Kam: Fundamentally, you need to understand your audience and of people. There are those for whom Gamification will always be
it will be subtlety different. When entering into Gamification, the more playful tactics? their motivations, why they are engaging with your brand. You fun and interesting. There are others who will be there for some
ideal is to have someone on board who understands game design Kam: As a consumer, every time you come across something that need to understand how you can create value from the thing other reason. If Gamification manages to tap into that, it will
and someone who understands behavioural psychology. You is gamified, the first question you ask yourself is what’s in it for you are asking them to do today that you didn’t ask them to do succeed. If it doesn’t, it won’t.
just need people who have been around the block with the user me? If that is answered very clearly, then you will engage with it. yesterday. Generating this value is very very important and the
experience and can give you some good insights. Then, you need My worry is that the area will start to become a little like internet key to success. The complete opposite would be not doing this GfK: What does the future hold for game-based marketing?
to do closed beta community testing to identify where it can be advertising; of course internet banners are there, but most people – to simply take some gaming mechanism and create some kind Kam: I think the future is very bright. I think it’s very playful. There
improved and how it could go wrong before you deploy it across don’t really see them anymore. of system that you think could be really fun without asking the are lots and lots of opportunities. The games industry has been
your entire public-facing brand. In some cases, this user capability key questions… Is this meaningful? Does it create value? Does it around for about 40 years, perhaps a little longer, and even after
testing has been missing! When people become fatigued with something, they will ignore create a connection? all that time we’re still coming up with new genres, new ways of
it. But I also think that’s when marketers will take the opportunity playing. I think, game-based marketing, wow! We are probably
to do something innovative, creative and refreshing with in year one or year two, and long may it continue – although I
Gamification, framing it in a slightly different way. That’s what we still think there is a distinction to be made between game-based
see with Facebook gains, with apps – it’s the same thing. marketing and loyalty-based, loyalty-driven campaigns.

20 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 21
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Discoverability

Charlie bit me: How can brands create viral

marketing materials?
By Colin Strong

Most of us love getting a link to a piece of internet material which we find amusing and then forward on to
our friends. It’s harmless and generally leaves us with a good feeling so it is easy to see why many brands are
so keen to get in on the act. It’s also perhaps not unreasonable to expect digital viral material to potentially
work well for technology companies given that the target market is likely to be spending more time online.
Of course some brands do this extremely successfully, but many others try and fail – so what makes some
succeed while others end up in the outer reaches of YouTube?

To try and answer this, GfK spoke to Dr Dominic Yeo, an new versions, spin-offs and so on. The second key factor is the
academic at University of East Anglia with a particular expertise need to ensure that the social-networked environment of the
on this aspect of consumer behaviour about research he had people passing it on is very strong with many followers or friends.
conducted whilst pursuing his PhD at Cambridge
In terms of the content, Dominic’s own research has found
The main findings from his fascinating research are that whilst that digital materials which go viral generally create a new spin
there are many reasons why a piece of digital material can go on established behaviors. So, for example, we see twin babies
viral, findings generally point to two key factors. First, the content appearing to talk to each other, a nerdy college kid doing his
itself is (typically) emotionally engaging and possesses strong own take on star wars, a cat playing the piano. All of these are
‘participatory potential’ to enable further conversations, inspire familiar activities, but with a highly unusual or provocative take.

22 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 23
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Discoverability

then almost matched by the pleasure of sharing this with friends

and followers who in turn feel this as they send it on.
‘‘Discoverability’ will only really work if those But ‘discoverability’ will only really work if those consumers
consumers discovering the material have discovering the material have significant digital networks. The
double rainbow viral video with over 31 million hits on YouTube is
significant digital networks. The double
a good example. This viral video, posted by Paul “Bear” Vasquez,
rainbow viral video with over 31 million hits tracks his sighting of, and emotional reaction to, a double
on YouTube is a good example. This viral rainbow from his home just outside Yosemite National Park. This
video, posted by Paul “Bear” Vasquez, tracks video made no impact for a while until an influential blogger
discovered it and shared it on his blog. It then went viral, clearly
his sighting of, and emotional reaction to, a demonstrating the importance of social network in creating viral
double rainbow from his home just outside videos.

Clip one: Yosemitebear Mountain Giant Double Rainbow Yosemite National Park. This video made no
Dominic argues that if material that has content with viral
impact for a while until an influential blogger potential is made more ‘discoverable’, the chances of it going
discovered it and shared it on his blog. viral will clearly be much greater. This is why brands will often pay
influential bloggers to cite their material, effectively ‘oiling the
wheels’ of discoverability.

As Dominic says, “This means that the viral materials usually To illustrate some of these themes, Dominic cites two examples,
create some kind of ambiguity or controversy which generates one is purely consumer-generated and the other is brand-
conversations; this in turn drives consumers to pass it on”. generated. The consumer-generated example is the ‘Charlie bit
me’ video which is famous for being the most viewed YouTube
Discoverability also has a significant role in making digital video of all time. It has had more than 375 million views and,
materials go viral. Some consumers clearly love the whole process apart from professional music videos, remains the most viewed
of discovering new pieces of digital material that they can pass YouTube video. The clip features two English brothers, aged three
on to their friends. The excitement of discovering new material is and one. In the video, the younger brother, Charlie, bites the

Clip two: Charlie bit me, again!

24 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 25
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Discoverability

a budget involved to seed the video (e.g. to pay bloggers to

distribute it). Rather, its spread was more dependent on the
‘‘The T-mobile Royal Wedding video was very nature of the content, particularly its participatory potential. The
timely as it latched on to the recent UK Royal marketer-generated T-Mobile Royal Wedding video on the other
hand, played on a recent event by latching onto the popularity of
Wedding at the time of its release, thereby
another object and was widely seeded through social media. So,
conveying a sense of relevance and great what it lacked in participatory potential (potential for imitation), it
fodder for conversations. While it is not easily made up for by having lots of people passing it on.
imitated, it is certainly emotionally engaging.” So what advice does Dominic have for a brand that wishes to
increase the likelihood of making a successful piece of viral

finger of his older brother, Harry. This video has high ‘participatory The T-Mobile Royal Wedding example is, in all likelihood, the safer
Clip three: JK Wedding Entrance Dance potential’ in that it’s easily imitated and it is emotionally engaging; route for a brand to choose, as Dominic puts it, “because a digital
search on YouTube and you will find countless ‘Charlie bit me’ content that possesses a high level of ‘participatory potential’
music remixes, alternative versions, and spoofs. will definitely generate many spoofs which will almost inevitably
The marketer-generated example is the ‘T-mobile Royal Wedding’ entail something disparaging and not so flattering for the brand
video which is widely shared but has not inspired many re-takes. involved”. Trawling through the huge number of videos with ‘viral
Interestingly enough, this is itself clearly a derivative of the original potential’ on YouTube, it struck me that the other element, the
‘JK Wedding Entrance Dance’ which generated over 70 million ‘discoverability’ of the video is something that brands are unlikely
views on YouTube. to want to leave to chance either when trying to guess which of
the millions of videos across millions of topics are likely to be the
The T-mobile Royal Wedding video was very timely as it latched next ‘Charlie bit me’.
on to the recent UK Royal Wedding at the time of its release,
thereby conveying a sense of relevance and great fodder for Dr Dominic Yeo is Lecturer in Consumer
conversations. While it is not easily imitated, it is certainly Behaviour at Norwich Business School,
emotionally engaging. University of East Anglia. He graduated with
a PhD in Social Psychology from Cambridge
Dominic’s view is that, in the two examples, there are slightly University where he was a member of Trinity
different viral mechanisms involved; in the consumer-generated College.
‘Charlie bit me’ example, which is more ‘organic’, there wasn’t

Clip four: The T-Mobile Royal Wedding

26 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 27
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Recommendation models

where next for word of mouth?

By Oliver Robinson

As consumers, we’re handing over more and more data about ourselves in exchange for products and
services we take for granted. It’s this individual-level data that’s likely to provide the next generation of
recommendation models, and the user experiences they fortify.

Recently, for the first time in ages, a friend recommended an As time has passed, the magazines have come and gone
album to me and I went straight out and bought it. No listening (unfortunately, with the troubles of the publishing industry,
to samples on iTunes, no streaming on Spotify, no whatever it mostly gone), and I can’t really justify staying up until 3 a.m. to
was that we did before these formats existed - just me and my listen to Gilles Peterson any more. Recommendation, though,
credit card. As it turned out, the album was disappointing. I has persisted. I can catch up with Gilles Peterson digitally (and on
don’t want to point fingers, and I’m not going to bore you with demand), the magazines have been replaced by an immeasurable
what it was, but it did spur me on to think about how the role of community of passionate (and, for the most part, knowledgeable)
recommendation is being changed by technology. bloggers, and many record shops are building enticing, digital
When I was a few years younger (and remembering that is
becoming harder), I bought all sorts of things because people told Put simply, it’s become much easier for me to search, learn,
me I should. Music mostly, books, the odd film, and frankly tragic discover, and consume.
quantities of Panini soccer stickers. Essentially, my consumption
was being determined almost entirely by my peer group and, So, how can we apply this one-man history of posturing and
looking back at it, a lot of canny marketers. consumption? What are the commercial implications?

With age, generally, comes wisdom. In my case, with age came Let’s start with an obvious example. Amazon’s success has at least

“I wouldn’t recommend the obligation to try and forge a unique and distinctive identity.
Whatever the reasoning, the key point is that whatever my
partly been a product of their implementation of recommendation
mechanics. By digitizing and aggregating the process, and

sex, drugs or insanity for peer group was listening to, reading, watching, or arranging
into shiny, but overpriced sticker albums, became increasingly
carefully controlling where and how the results are integrated
into the user experience, Amazon has reaped the rewards. The

everyone, but they’ve irrelevant. Instead, I started to discover the world of late-night
DJs, independent record shops, and some elitist music magazines
process of searching, evaluating, and ultimately purchasing a
product from Amazon is continually interrupted by reminders of

always worked for me” (the stickers were eventually forgotten). what people searched for, what they purchased, and what they

- Hunter S. Thompson

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GfK TechTalk - November 2011 UX: Recommendation models

Apple is moving in a third direction. The introduction of Siri, a digital assistant - effectively
artificial intelligence - suggests they’re trying to improve their understanding of you from the
content level, to something more nuanced and personal. If Siri takes off, and starts being used
by consumers for everyday activities, the data collected about how you live your life would be
potentially game-changing for recommendation.

Recommendation of music has come a long way in the digital era. Recent developments in music delivery, in fact all the content
The advent of services like LastFM and Pandora has increased industries, have been built around improving access; essentially,
access to a wider circle of recommendation sources. Rather than minimizing the barriers to (legal) consumption. It’s hard to see
relying on your friends, colleagues, and a scattering of writers and how services like Spotify and iTunes can significantly improve
DJs to guide you towards music, you can now take advantage in this respect. Instead, innovation (and differentiation) is
of aggregated recommendations from millions of like-minded likely to come from different elements of the user experience;
listeners, or an ever-growing database of music coded up to socialization, for example, could be one dimension for
reveal patterns and commonalities between different songs. improvement, and recommendation would be a prime contender
However, complex as these recommendation models undoubtedly for another.
are, they remain relatively one-dimensional. While the mechanics
thought of it. Given the prominence of these interruptions, we weave content into the fabric of the site itself (integration of The
underpinning the recommendations differ, in both cases they’re Horace Dediu has attributed the disruptive potential of Siri
can assume that the impact on revenue outweighs any negative Guardian and Spotify are recent examples) indicates a desire to
driven by aggregating data at an overarching, global, and (Apple’s aforementioned digital assistant) to the simplicity of its
impact on user perceptions. Indeed, if convenience and value drive this understanding even further.
therefore fundamentally impersonal level. Music, I would argue, aim; helping you to ‘lubricate’ your life, by taking ownership
have been the cornerstones of Amazon’s success, then the space
is consumed at a far more nuanced, individual level. So why of small tasks to free up your time. Perhaps this is the best lens
afforded to recommendation in the user experience suggests that Apple is moving in a third direction. The introduction of Siri, a
shouldn’t this lead to recommendations? through which to view the future of recommendation, how it
it doesn’t sit far behind. digital assistant - effectively artificial intelligence - suggests they’re
can be best used to serve the consumer by lubricating their life
trying to improve their understanding of you from the content
The devices we use to listen to music are becoming increasingly - whether searching for a product or choosing what to listen to
That Amazon is orientating user experience towards level (i.e. which apps you use, what music you listen to etc.),
aware at this individual level; they’re always with us, always when writing a TechTalk article. The advantages of the aggregated
recommendation shouldn’t come as a surprise, given the number to something more nuanced and personal. If Siri takes off, and
on, and, without getting too theatrical, always listening. For model are clear, but the result remains frustratingly disconnected
of us who frequently look at personalized recommendations starts being used by consumers for everyday activities, the data
example, when Apple’s recommendation service, Genius, runs with the individual user experiences and their needs.
when shopping online (see chart above). collected about how you live your life would be potentially game-
on an iPhone, it could potentially have access to all the sensory
changing for recommendation.
and diagnostic data the device can collect. Data ranges from
Of course, successful personalized recommendation is dependent Obviously there’s a limit to how far we can hypothesize about
where you are, to what the weather’s like and what you’re doing.
on knowing you in the first place. Amazon isn’t alone in the long-term strategies of these players, but it seems clear that
Speaking as someone who listens to music regardless, but also
improving their capabilities here, but where they have their the potential for understanding their users is increasing. So, what
takes into consideration such recommendations utilizing this data
(more complicated than it sounds) algorithmic analysis of on-site could it mean for recommendation and the user experience?
could have profound implications.
behavior, other companies are adopting different approaches. Let’s look at a practical example of how recommendation could
Facebook probably knows you better than most, with users be improved to further enhance a user experience. It’s an area
The argument from existing services would be that all they require
typically offering up a wealth of information voluntarily. Who that still has significant room for improvement (regular TechTalk
is for you to put forward an example of something that suits your
you are, who your friends are, and what you all like, is powerful readers will not be surprised by this theme).
mood and they’ll do the rest and, to be fair, they’re right. The
stuff on its own. Couple this with the growing tendency to
truth is, I’m sometimes busy and always lazy.

30 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 31
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Loyalty in Telecoms Across the Generations

Loyalty in Telecom across the Generations

By Howard L. Lax

Marketers have long recognized generational differences in branding, media and advertising. Everything,
from music and spokespeople to technology and channel is selected for target audiences defined - at least in
part - by generation. But is there a generational effect when it comes to customer loyalty? Drawing upon the
2011 GfK benchmark survey of 4,642 cell phone users in the US, we explore how the generations are both
similar and different in their degree of loyalty and the drivers of loyalty to cell service providers.

A generation is defined by a common sense of identity with The achievement-oriented, high self-esteem Generation Y was
“new symbols, new people, new names” and the history, culture, reared in a world where everything from family and sexuality to
and experiences in which they are preserved. Each generation is race and religion were redefined, but also deeply shadowed by
differentiated by its identification with different anchors and a school shootings and terrorism. Generation Y witnessed the birth
collective persona. of social networking and embraced the ’i-everything’ personalized
interconnected world and a democratized Internet economy.
The concept of a generation is inherently amorphous. For
convenience, generational boundaries are defined by year of Generation Z (dubbed Generation C for Connected by Booz &
birth. In the US, the following definitions are employed: Co.) was baptized in a digitized, mobile, social e-world. Their
sense of opportunity is paralleled by an eerie uncertainty about
»» Traditionals: pre-1946 the economy, social safety net, failing schools and American
primacy. They saw an African American elected US President
»» Baby Boomers: 1946-1964 before the oldest of them could vote, don’t remember a pre- 9/11
»» Generation X: 1965-1979 world and, alas, are too young to participate in the surveys on
which this paper is based.
»» Generation Y: 1980-1992

»» Generation C (or Z): 1993 – ? But does loyalty differ across generations?
Traditionals exhibit the highest level of loyalty, having the largest
Traditionals, with their memory forged by the Depression and proportion of Loyal Advocates, the most loyal customer group (1),
World War II, manifest a work-hard, save-hard mindset, combined followed by Baby Boomers, then Generation X, with Generation Y
with respect for authority and country. They grew up with radio, displaying the weakest bonds.
migrated to TV and most are now online.
The differences in the magnitude of loyalty are greatest between
Reared in a milieu of rebellion, Baby Boomers challenged Traditionals and Generation Y, the generations with the most
authority. They saw the promise of a moon landing and degrees of separation. Baby Boomers lag slightly behind
experienced a political environment shocked by assassinations. Traditionals in the share of loyal customers, while Generation Y
Better educated and more affluent than their parents, they grew is close on the heels of Generation X. Between Baby Boomers
up with electric typewriters, but embraced PCs. and Generation X, however, there is a relatively sharp drop in the
percentage of Loyal Advocates.
A skeptical, cynical Generation X with a conservative persona
of retrorebellion emerged into some uncertainty: Social Security On the flip side, when looking at customers categorized as least
came into doubt; the dotcom boom imploded; the ravages of loyal (the Exit Bound), the differences between the generations
HIV/AIDS became apparent.

32 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 33
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Loyalty in Telecoms Across the Generations

are more blurred, and Generation X has the largest share of Exit A Few Takeaways
»» Consumer perceptions, preferences and loyalty show both
similarities and differences between the generations. Here
While the level of loyalty exhibits a clear pattern across
are a few key takeaways:
generations, the configuration of key drivers is more complex.
The blend of criteria that emerges as drivers is mixed, with the »» Don’t take the loyalty of Traditionals for granted: they
picture complicated by the extent to which a specific dimension expect performance and aren’t willing just to settle. And
is a positive driver of loyalty (an enhancer), a negative driver of don’t make the corresponding mistake of assuming that
dissatisfaction (a dissatisfier) or a dual driver of both (2). people in Generation Y are inherently fickle.

(Un)reliability of coverage, for example, jumps first for »» Avoid homogenization: one-size-fits-all approaches
Traditionals, Baby Boomers and Generation X, but doesn’t raise promise to hit a lowest common denominator that isn’t
a ripple for Generation Y – the only generation with a focus on maximized for any group.
phone apps. While the generations display much agreement on
what matters, there is little agreement on either how positive »» The positioning of products, services and brands and the
or negative the impact is, or the magnitude of importance. associated messaging to build loyalty with the different
Clarity of calls is universally important, but there is a vulnerability generations needs to be customized.
among Traditionals and Baby Boomers, while easy access to help
»» While generational differences are real, the generations
indexes as a weakness for every generational cohort. The actual
themselves are porous: generations are a state of mind, an
devices rank as drivers for every group, indexing especially high
attitudinal age, not a strict chronological definition.
for Generation Y. Plan selection is also important to every group,
while ease of switching plans is a driver for every generation »» Don’t make the mistake of treating the older generations
with the exception of Baby Boomers (and another major as techno-adverse: even if they show more reluctance,
vulnerability with Generation Y). less early adoption and different reasons for employing
technology than Generation Y, Traditionals use technology
Are the differences generational or life-stage related? Absent on a daily basis.
a time series into the future, it’s impossible to be certain. Plan
Next up, Generation C, the oldest of which are just turning 18 are
Selection, for example, is an enhancer for Generation X but a
now old enough to sign for their own cell plans. This could get
dissatisfier for Generation Y. While this might reflect life-stage
really interesting.
economic differences – Generation Y, with less disposable income,
look for lower-cost plans – it also seems to be rooted in different
needs and attitudes, with the more-wired Generation Y expecting
additional capacity, customization and choices. Other differences
also point to enduring generational distinctions. 1) This is based on LoyaltyPlusSM which scores loyalty across emotional and
rational attachments and actual and intended behavior and the level of
dissatisfaction on any of the key drivers

2) Because the world is not linear, GfK distinguishes between positive drivers of
loyalty or enhancers and negative drivers or dissatisfiers. Those performance
criteria that ‘pop’ in both directions are considered dual drivers. Additional detail
on enhancers vs. dissatisfiers is available.

34 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 35
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Personal Navigation Devices

Is the end in sight for the Personal Navigation

Device? It depends how good the zoom is on your
smartphone’s camera.
By Katherine Savage

Personal Navigation Devices (PNDs) will still compete with smartphones for market share in the short-term.
However, in the long-term, the increasingly comprehensive functionality of the smartphone, together with its
ability to cater to consumers’ needs beyond simply mapping and navigation, is set to overtake PNDs.

If we go back to November 2010, GfK research showed that 70% smartphone owners who don’t currently have a PND plan to buy
of smartphone owners in the UK, Germany and France preferred one in the future, whilst a slightly higher percentage of all PND
to use a dedicated PND for in-car navigation rather than their owners (21%) intend to switch to a smartphone for navigation.
smartphone. However, smartphones continue to offer increasingly Half of those PND owners planning to switch intend to use the
sophisticated mapping, navigation and location-based services - smartphone they currently own, whilst half will buy a smartphone
so how has this affected the PND market, what would consumers to use for navigation.
say a year later?
“The question is which device I choose – an actual separate
Overall, the navigation market is not yet saturated. GfK surveyed GPS device, or whether I take advantage of my iPhone‘s
over 1,800 respondents in the UK and the US in September 2011 capabilities and simply buy the TomTom application and use
and results showed that 37% owned neither a smartphone nor my phone as a GPS.
any kind of PND. The survey also revealed that more people
owned PNDs than smartphones with 20% owning portable I can see the pros and cons of both. I particularly like
PNDs compared with 15% who owned just a smartphone. Just the minimalist nature of having everything in the one
under a fifth of respondents owned both a portable PND and a device…why buy more things when you can simply buy the
smartphone. Of those, 91% use their smartphone for some form application?”
of mapping, navigation or location-based service.
With the technology currently available, neither PNDs nor
It is not clear whether either PNDs or smartphones will gain smartphones have yet to meet all mapping, navigation and
an advantage over the other in the near future. A fifth of location-based service needs. When people were asked for

36 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 37
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Personal Navigation Devices

of products or services they want to receive in their local area.

“Mr. @richgoeman is the @FourSquare major Smartphones outperformed PNDs in all areas apart from the
ability to access location-based applications, where, unsurprisingly, “@TomTom on my #iPhone saved my life in Consumers want to see more local offers, and they’d prefer to
of everything that’s #Carmel! :)” Thank you...
a quarter of smartphone owners use location-based applications #France. The #Pioneer AVIC 920BT let me receive them on their smartphone rather than on their PND.
thank you very much :-)” to find people, receive promotions and offers, or to participate in When asked whether they would like to receive more offers from
games etc. In addition, 11% cited location-based apps as a reason local retailers, 61% of smartphone owners would like to receive
for using their phone, compared to 7% of PND owners. them on their phones, but only 49% of PND owners would like
to receive them on their PNDs. A third of smartphone owners said
reasons for using their current devices, PNDs outperformed Whilst the number of applications available on PNDs is limited they would prefer to receive marketing offers and promotions
smartphones in all areas including screen size, strength of GPS compared to those available on smartphones, they are there, and through their map and navigation services than via other formats
device, and can calculate fuel-efficient routes as well as running
signal and the ability to find the fastest route. they are growing. TomTom‘s GO LIVE 1005 World allows users to like SMS/texts, emails, or banner adverts. Only a quarter of PND
engine diagnostics using ecoRouteTM. PND’s encroachment into
access Google, Expedia and TripAdvisor to plan their journeys on owners said the same.
the world of smartphones even goes as far as the ability to make
“Also went on eBay to look for a GPS watch and bought an older the go, and to share their destination and arrival time via Twitter.
phone calls, as evidenced by Garmin’s nüvi 3790T, which uses
Garmin one for £50... Let’s be honest, the iPhone will not hold Garmin SatNav owners can download specific Points of Interest Of course, the smartphone has one vital advantage over the
Bluetooth technology to enable hands-free calls.
charge long enough to be an iPod and use GPS.” (POI) including, for example, sports grounds and stores to their PND – it’s always with you. It finds your location when you’re
lost, helps you out with an unplanned journey and is there when
However, the range of location-based experiences available on
you unexpectedly have to look up a location or place. Over half
smartphones remains far broader. In addition to this greater
of smartphone owners had used the GPS on their phone to find
choice though, there is also the matter of consumers’ increased
their current location, or a place or POI near them within the
time and emotional investment in their smartphone. As every
past month. As smartphones prove their usefulness as a ‘back-
aspect of consumers’ lives goes mobile, there is a reliance
up device’ for unexpected location enquires, their chance of
on smartphones to fulfill more functions, both practical and
becoming the primary location device increases.
As smartphone technology continues to make inevitable advances
This is evidenced in the location market. Going beyond mapping
and to match PNDs in technical capability, the increasing reliance
and navigation services, location-based applications, which are
of consumers on their smartphones for all aspects of their
currently available on smartphones, encourage high engagement.
lives will be seen in location services as well. With the added
For the most part, this comes from frequency of usage. GfK
entertainment, deal-seeking, and social opportunities that
did web- mining in August 2011 and searched the internet for
location-based services bring to consumers, the dominance of
mentions of mapping, navigation, and location-based services.
smartphones in the long-term is certain unless PNDs can find a
Thanks to the posting of ‘check-ins’ on social network accounts,
way to offer something that smartphones cannot.
Foursquare outstripped the other location services by a long way
in terms of the volume of mentions found. Sources:

The survey on the use of navigation devices was conducted by GfK in September
Apps like Foursquare wouldn’t have achieved such high
2011 in the UK and the US. Over 1,800 respondents were asked about their current
engagement based purely on how frequently you can use the usage of navigation devices and future preferences.
service. Foursquare succeeds because it appeals to the consumers’ The web mining study was conducted between August 5th and September 1st and
desire to play games and to compete with others. Groupon has focused on mapping, navigation and location-based services brands.

become popular because it meets consumers’ demands for offers

The area of the shape is proportional to the number of mentions

38 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 39
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Online Security & Children

Your mum wants to be your friend: Accept or Reject?

By Anna Parkinson

With increasing numbers of children using social networking sites, how do parents feel about their safety and
is there anything they or other parties, such as network operators, can do about it?

Nowadays, each week seems to bring a fresh batch of news Most recently we have seen the results of a study of 2,000
articles and stories about acting safely on the internet and the parents in the UK by Laptop Magazine[1], announcing that 55%
privacy of our behavior online. As much as we’d like it to be of parents admitted to using Facebook for monitoring the lives of
restricted to just our friends or, in the case of online banking, the their children in order to read status updates, wall posts and to
company we are paying money to, there is always the possibility check photos. The most tech-savvy of parents have even logged
of the personal and banking details we happily share online being onto a friend’s account to gain more access into their child’s
viewed out of context, and by people we may not know. digital life.

Adults rightly feel nervous about this, and such issues have led Chief concerns: meeting strangers for UK parents versus
to Google setting up a new online social network (Google+) being victimized for US parents
allowing us to control more closely who sees our behavior online. GfK recently conducted a survey* amongst parents and other
But what does it mean for our children? For as many articles that adults to gauge their opinions and attitudes towards children
say children should not be allowed to use social networking sites using the internet. In line with Laptop magazine, 52% of UK
and the like, just as many say that these sites can, and should, and 54% of US parents were very concerned that children can
be used to enhance education, personal and social development, be members of social networking sites, compared to only 26%
and also to allow children to progress in a world which will only of US parents and 21% of UK parents being concerned about
become more tech-orientated. children belonging to online school-related communities. Not all

40 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 41
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Online Security & Children

since contacts in Google+ can be added to a specific ‘circle’ for example by providing extra services or features to help control
and the user is able to control which circle gets which kinds of online safety. A GfK study has shown that while children tend to
“68% of parents from the US (in comparison to 52% of UK parents) monitor their children’s
information. Even if children don’t block parents from particular choose the handset, it’s the parents who are the most influential
online activity, whereas in the UK the most commonly-taken action was preventing access to circles or filter what they see, it’s completely possible (and likely) in choosing the network for their children’s mobile phones.
bank details for use online by children” that on Facebook or Google+ they may have set up multiple
accounts or user names instead, without telling their parents. But what about their children’s education? Many adults don’t
realize all the extra boxes which must be ticked in order to
Social sites as a learning environment remain fully secure online and to hold completely private social
Despite the obvious concerns, there are many advocates of networking site accounts. Even subconsciously, children learn
online social media sites are seen as bad what action they took, but in the amount outside their comfort zone and start to
children using social media sites. Through early experience with from, and mirror, parents’ behavior and social skills and, in the era
therefore. of action too, with US parents doing more understand the internet more fully and
social media sites, as another blogger has pointed out, there is of internet activity, this extends to online behavior as well.
Supposedly, this is because of the type of than their UK counterparts. Our survey what access to new areas it can offer.
the possibility to learn how to use the tools effectively, and to
information and activities that children can showed that 68% of parents from the
“minimize the potential impact of having the chaos of schoolyard As we progress into an era of extensive online activity, both on
share on social networking sites, such as US (in comparison to 52% of UK parents) The dichotomy: parental actions are
squabbles and teen-learning experiences documented on the the go, and at home or at work, we must ensure that some
Facebook and Twitter, as opposed to those monitor their children’s online activity, not living up to parental concerns
Web and broadcast to such large audiences”[2]. So, by allowing barriers are put in place alongside better education, not only to
in the online school-related communities. whereas in the UK the most commonly- What we are seeing from our survey is
children to use social networks, possibly under supervision, protect our own privacy, but that of our children - even if only to
The most concerning feature about using taken action was preventing access to a disparity between parental concern
children can socialize while learning through experience how to avoid that awkward, ‘Your mum wants to be your friend’ request.
the internet that UK adults (parents and bank details for use online by children. and the actions they are taking. On a
use them safely. Some parents may not want to interfere with
other adults) listed was being exposed Despite chatting or meeting strangers scale of 1-10 (with 10 being extremely
this ‘learning experience’ because they could be perceived as Sources
to internet viruses. But when it came to being the greatest concern for adults, with concerned), 76% of UK parents and 74%
‘snooping’ or ‘spying’ on their children, particularly in today’s *GfK study conducted with 920 UK and 1,000 US adults between 20th-23rd May
children using the internet, the biggest regard to children using the internet, only of US parents responded between 6 and
society and the right to privacy. 2011.
concern named by UK adults was chatting 35% of UK parents put computers in a 10 as to how concerned they were about
or meeting strangers, while adults from shared space, and only 26% of parents children using social networking sites. **It should be noted that this data was collected before the recent London riots. It
The impact of, and for, mobile technology
the US said it was being victimized. And implement parental control software or And yet parents are only utilizing some would be careless not to mention the role that Twitter and youths played in these
Even with the potential benefit to children from being online events. Technology, when used for the wrong reasons, can be dangerous; therefore, a
these issues are extremely prevalent activated online filters (26% in the UK and measures of control - but by no means
and the desire to avoid ‘spying’, parents will no doubt remain strong argument remains for the development of better education and barriers to
among the horror stories we read in the rising to 31% in the US). Similarly, only all - to protect or monitor children’s online prevent such misuse of an otherwise fun and informative service, particularly
concerned. And with rapid and innovative developments in
press about suicides and physical attacks, 26% of UK parents prevent access online activity. Despite 55% of UK parents using amongst children.
technology in general – and in mobile technology in particular –
following online bullying, and the dangers unless under adult supervision (40% in Facebook[1] for digital monitoring of
there are now even more ways to access the internet away from [1]
of meeting strangers**. the US) – rising to just 38% for parents children’s activities, advances in technology
parents and schools. This leads us to the idea that maybe it’s not kids
with children aged nine and under. Apart and ways to use the internet mean it is
just the responsibility of parents to protect children online. Should
Parental actions: US parents take from that restriction of access unless under becoming ever more difficult to really [2]
social networking sites join forces with mobile phone carriers or blogging/a-social-world-for-our-children-what-is-the-future/
more action than UK parents supervision, it is children aged 10-12 who know what our children get up to online.
manufacturers to safeguard children’s privacy online? There is a
When asked how parents took action with benefit from the most protective steps
potential market for network operators in particular to be seen as
regard to their children using the internet, by parents, possibly because at that age, Google+, for all its benefits, can in fact
supporting parents who are wary of their children’s online activity,
US and UK parents differed not only in children are tempted to explore more act directly against parental supervision,

42 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 43
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Consumerization of IT

‘Consumerization’ of IT resources brings headaches

for business
By Andrew Stillwell

Mobile technology used in everyday life has become the equal to, and in many cases has surpassed, the mobile
technology that businesses are giving their employees for work purposes. This has brought unprecedented
challenges for businesses as employees increasingly access work email and data from personal devices,
and take the lead on demanding which technology they are provided with by their employer. The approach
businesses take to resolving this issue will significantly influence their IT policies in the coming years.

With consumer smartphones usage growing rapidly, and with employers have cameras, play videos, and are able to download
an equally rapid growth in the number of businesses providing consumer applications (apps); similarly, work email can often be
smartphones for their employees, there are many ‘employed accessed on personal smartphone devices, company data can be
consumers’ who now use two smartphones in daily life. Similarity downloaded, and company files opened – so why not just have
in the form and function of these devices has led to questions one device?
regarding the necessity of carrying both and, as a result, there is
increasing pressure on company IT departments to either allow As you are probably aware, this issue is more complicated than
employees to use their personal devices for work purposes or to it sounds: there is significant polarization between the way
provide consumer-friendly devices. ‘employed consumers’ would like to use their handsets and
the device security and data management requirements for
In a recent GfK survey, 19% said that in addition to their personal businesses. For this reason, as the pressure from employees to
mobile phone, they were provided with a mobile phone by their allow usage of personally-owned handsets for work purposes, or
employer. Of this group, 72% agreed they would prefer to have to be supplied with a range of consumer-friendly devices grows,
one device that they use for personal and work purposes, with so do the headaches for IT teams as they face unexpected and
only 6% disagreeing. It is likely that both devices are able to wide-ranging issues.
fulfil the tasks required of the other – smartphones provided by

44 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 45
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Consumerization of IT

straightforward, and relatively easy to manage. However, with and attachments. Future usage of tablets
the increasing number of options available, and the fact that it is will need to be considered both when
“25% of employed people surveyed admitted In the short to medium-term, usage of personal devices to
now common for employees to have access to personal devices developing and implementing policy, and
using their personal mobile devices to access which are at least the equal of what they are provided for work
access work email and data will increase, and this is almost when deciding on the handsets which will
their work email, with a further 46% saying (and to be using these for work purposes), this would be almost impossible to stop. However, this issue could be brought best serve this policy.
they wish their company would allow this. ” impossible to implement. sharply into focus by high-profile cases of confidential or
What does the future hold? It is too
Therefore, realistic solutions involve either incorporating
sensitive data being accidentally shared, lost, or passed on by early to say, and there are plenty of
personally-owned mobile devices into IT systems, or providing an unwitting employee using their own device. senior decision-makers out there asking
and supporting a range of mobile devices which satisfy employee themselves the same question. The most
business and personal needs, or a combination of these policies. likely scenario is a move away from the
This issue has become known as the ‘consumerization’ of Don’t be surprised if you see a few more grey hairs appearing on simplicity that many IT departments have
company IT resources and is widely accepted as the biggest and the heads of your colleagues in IT! Equally, although businesses would have a What will become of personal device experienced in the past when providing
most immediate issue for those supplying their employees with small level of control over mobile devices usage? In the short to medium-term, one brand of handset which satisfies all
mobile solutions, and maybe even for those who are not. The ‘Employed consumers’ know what they would prefer; 56% of as they would be used for work purposes, usage of personal devices to access work employees, towards a more diverse, but
way companies respond to these issues, and the policies and those surveyed agreed they prefer their personal mobiles to their employees would undoubtedly expect email and data will increase, and this is tightly controlled portfolio. What is certain
protocols that emerge as they do, will have a significant influence work mobiles, 51% agreed that the features and functionality of support – the IT help desk would become almost impossible to stop. However, this is that IT departments will need to take a
on working practices and IT resource requirements in the coming their personal mobile is much better than their work mobile (with the first stop for all related issues, and issue could be brought sharply into focus lead and set parameters for the provision
years. only 16% disagreeing), and the majority of these only use their would spend much of their day fending off by high-profile cases of confidential or and usage of mobile devices before their
work mobile when there is no other option. But do they really spurious enquiries. sensitive data being accidentally shared, end users become too comfortable with
The urgency of this issue is emphasized by the fact that to a know what they are asking for? lost, or passed on by an unwitting the current status quo. How long will it
certain extent, it is already too late – employees have been The most likely option looks to be a move employee using their own device. This be before the same employees who are
empowered by their ability to access work resources on their The future reality of personally-owned mobiles being incorporated towards supporting a limited, but more would lead to companies implementing accessing company files on their personal
personal mobile devices through mobile browsers; and are into company IT is likely to be very different to what happens diverse range of mobile devices than is more stringent policies, and enforcing devices realize that someone else is
accessing, saving, and sharing confidential data on personal currently. If this becomes official policy, in order to satisfy the data currently the norm. This would help to increasingly severe penalties for any probably carrying sensitive information
devices and in public spaces to a degree that IT departments had security requirements of their clients, businesses will need their satisfy a range of end user needs, but breach, in order to assure their clients they about them on their handset or tablet, and
not foreseen and were unprepared for. Indeed, 25% of employed employees to hand over control of sections of their phone and to would also allow companies a realistic continue to meet data protection and outrage ensues? When this does happen
people surveyed admitted using their personal mobile devices to enable remote device management and a remote wipe facility. In chance of having the resources to support security requirements. you can be sure it will be the employers
access their work email, with a further 46% saying they wish their addition to this, it is likely that in the near future, software which and maintain them. As consumers become who are facing the toughest questions!
company would allow this. This is almost impossible to control, segments functions for work and personal purposes and does more attached to their mobile ecosystems, The recent and continuing increase in
and is giving IT professionals significant policy issues. not allow data transfer between the two will be implemented. employees will want to work with their company usage of tablets, and personal Sources

Also, businesses may insist on wiping all data from the phone of favored OS or with the apps which most ownership of these devices, will only make
The survey on consumerisation in was conducted by
There is little doubt what companies would prefer, and what an employee who leaves. How many employees would be happy suit their needs – this solution should this issue more acute. The potential for GfK in April 2011 in the UK. Over 900 respondents
is the most efficient solution – a known list of employees who to hand over this level of control of a phone which they pay for provide a reasonable compromise between tablets to perform a wider range of PC-like were asked about their current usage of work and
have been provided with devices using a single OS, which employer and employee. functions, and the greater amount of data personal mobile phones and work email accounts and
the usage preference amongst those with employer-paid
contain uniform software and applications. This would make they will require and store to do this, extends work phones.
policy, support, legislation, and budgetary planning transparent, this issue a long way beyond sensitive emails

46 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 47
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Qualitative Research

Analysis: what gives qualitative research the X

By Emma Roberts

Have you ever considered the similarities between TV talent shows and Qualitative research? No, well let’s think
about this for a minute. What we don’t see is all the hard work - rehearsing with the musicians, the lighting, the
costumes, the camera work - that goes into creating each performance. The other vital ingredient that makes a
successful performance sparkle is the ‘X’ Factor – the intangible quality that some contestants have and others
don’t. This has little to do with technical talent and everything to do with the contestants’ personal story,
their experience and their character. As viewers of the show, we are presented with an edited version of each
contestant, typically showcased in a two minute song, briefly introduced with their personal story.

Research is often presented in a similar way; we share nuggets of the crucial link to transform hours of fieldwork into meaningful
the ‘story’ and impactful findings but we don’t often share all the insight. Often, more time is invested in analysis than in any other
hard work that goes into making our research successful. part of the research process – and rightly so. Most qualitative
researchers would probably agree that it can be the most
Qualitative researchers love to talk to our clients about our satisfying part of our role and yet curiously, it is the phase we talk
fieldwork methodologies, our outputs, our respondents, our about least.
samples, our timings, our modes of engagement, our deliverables
- the list goes on. We very rarely talk about our analysis processes The approach to analysis is what gives research the ‘X’ Factor. We
– how we do it, how it will add value, how we know it is robust, explore why analysis is often neglected in research design and
how we know it is objective. Analyzing our qualitative research how we can ensure it is as much part of the research process as
Image copyright: Helga Esteb /

findings is often the most intensive phase of our projects – it is collecting the data.

48 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 49
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Qualitative Research

analysis processes will become increasingly complex. challenging questions and tackling underlying assumptions. This Making sense of the complexity
Our qualitative research projects lead to reams of transcripts, is where qualitative research works best. Therefore, in a similar way to the ‘hard work’ (hours of rehearsal,
The entire process of qualitative research
videos, vox pops, online discussions and other outputs. At first Analyze in diverse teams – different academic and professional the singing lessons, the camera tricks etc.) overlooked in a
can support businesses on transformational glance, making sense of this can appear a very daunting task. In backgrounds will help with the process of challenging contestant’s X Factor story, analysis is often the elephant in
journeys, simply by posing challenging our experience, every researcher (and client) approaches a fresh assumptions and will also bring new ideas to the table. the room when it comes to talking about qualitative research
questions and tackling underlying research project with a set of assumptions, values and beliefs. methodologies. Especially for non-researchers (including many
Some of them are very much at the forefront of our minds Don’t ignore hunches - as described above, judgement and bias clients) there currently remains an air of mystique around the
assumptions. This is where qualitative and some are buried away at the back, making it difficult to are often confused. Successful analysts of qualitative research will analysis process.
research works best. acknowledge them, and therefore even more difficult to challenge be comfortable when applying their judgement. Great research
them. Some of these assumptions are helpful and others are not. is about attention to detail, expertise, impartiality and rigour but Qualitative research should be loaded with creativity and
But how do we know the difference? it’s also about resourcefulness, creativity, new ideas and passion. judgment while still retaining objectivity. To tread this line
Analysis in qualitative research is a process of making sense successfully, it is necessary to retain objectivity by owning up to
Minimizing bias and maximizing judgement of complexity. Having an idea of ‘sense’ is based on previous the assumptions and letting them go while being comfortable
Analysis: the elephant in the room
Below are some thoughts on how we can ensure that analysis experiences and judgements, so it is important to acknowledge with drawing on previous experiences, using our judgement
There are a few reasons why this crucial part of our methodology
limits bias and helps us to feel more able to openly discuss our this. to make ‘sense’ out of the complexity. The key to successful
is neglected when qualitative researchers talk to clients about
approach and thinking when trying to ‘sell’ our research. analysis of qualitative data is not always about applying
what we offer. Firstly, fieldwork approaches are often considered
Ideally, the analysis process will allow space to ensure that Be reluctant to reduce - we sometimes think that applying a grandiose theories, but about making sure that analysis models
to be the ‘sexy’ part of our methodology, the part of our work
judgement is maximized and biased assumptions are minimized. ‘model’ to our research somehow validates it, removes it from are applicable, appropriate and challenge any preconceived
where we engage and immerse ourselves (and often our clients)
Some of our methods for minimizing bias and maximizing judgements, and makes it more objective. It could just as easily assumptions.
in the lives of consumers - fieldwork attracts the spotlight!
judgement are described below. be argued that the opposite is the case. There is a temptation
Secondly, we assume that our clients know how we carry out
within any type of research to reduce analysis processes to a While analysis remains a topic to be brushed over very quickly
qualitative analysis and as a result we assume that they are not
Convene an ‘assumption amnesty’ - before the fieldwork takes framework or model. Shoehorning primary fieldwork into during most discussions with clients, GfK TechQual wants to
interested. Thirdly, because it is difficult! Explaining the methods
place, where all researchers (and clients) share and log their predetermined models actually reinforces – and in some cases bring about change, making analysis a real talking point. With
we use to ensure that our qualitative research is robust, objective
assumptions ahead of the research process. This log should be validates - our predefined assumptions and values, some of which an approach that helps to maximize objectivity and minimize bias,
and truly adds value is tricky and when you are working across
revisited before, during and after the analysis phase. Assumptions we should be rejecting. Models and frameworks work best analysis can lose its air of mystique and can become something
multiple and diverse international markets, it becomes even more
should be challenged and can be translated into hypotheses when they are used to ensure consistency and quality, for example we – and our clients - feel confident to talk about.
challenging. As new qualitative methods such as using social
where appropriate. The entire process of qualitative research can across multiple markets. But they should be used with caution
media and online communities become more mainstream, these
support businesses on transformational journeys, simply by posing when they assume particular value sets or take things for granted.

50 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 51
GfK TechTalk - November 2011 Inside GfK

USA: mobile approach for measuring media usage

In August, GfK MRI helped launch a project for measuring media

consumption: the smartphone- based survey, USA TouchPoints.

This supplements GfK MRI’s “Survey of the American Consumer”, a major national
survey for which data is collected via face-to-face interviews with an area probability
sample of 26,000 adults. For USA TouchPoints, Media Behavior Institute (MBI), the
market research company leading the project, equips 2,000 US respondents of the
Survey of the American Consumer with smartphones on which a special survey
app is installed. Every half an hour, a short survey pops up asking the consumers
questions such as “Which media have you used in the last 30 minutes?”, “What, if
anything, were you doing at the same time?” and “Who were you with?” The app
also asks for the mood the consumers are in. The data will show the daily routines
of specific target groups in the context of their usage of 550 product categories
and 6,500 brands. This enables advertisers to design a more target-oriented and
creative approach for reaching consumers in the right place, at the right time and in
Inside GfK the right mood. The fi rst fi ndings will be available in early 2012. In order to bring
the smartphone survey to life, GfK MRI and Nielsen each acquired a 25% interest
in MBI, the US licensor of TouchPoints, a methodology launched by the Institute of
Keeping you up to date with some of the activities that have been keeping us busy in recent months, Practitioners in Advertising (IPA) in the UK. MBI is headquartered in New York, USA.
as well as letting you know about new initiatives and across the company.

GfK Names Rogerio Monteiro Managing Director of Business and Technology Sector Italy: GfK survey wins prize for innovation

GfK has appointed Rogerio advertising tracking, and carries exemplary leadership qualities In mid-June, the GfK Eurisko Panel participants wear the EMM meter which uses sound-
Monteiro as managing director that will continue to advance our innovative research tools and Media Monitor (EMM) won matching technology to detect TV and Radio exposure in and
of GfK Business & Technology services.” this year’s Confindustria prize out of home. Using another electronic device, the Eurisko
in North America. In this role, for innovation in the field of Dialogatore, they also record their (other) media usage and
Monterio will lead research Monteiro joins GfK from its sister organization, GfK Brazil, where information, communication consumption habits. The Dialogatore, in other contexts, can be
initiatives and oversee senior he managed a broad client portfolio focused on the chemical, and media technology. used not just to answer questionnaires but also to scan barcodes,
leadership, while fuelling the consumer goods, finance and automotive industries. In 2008, take photographs, record videos and use the same special GfK-
growth and development of GfK’s Monteiro launched GfK Brazil’s Automotive Business Unit, The multimedia, consumer- patented sound recording procedure for TV and radio adopted by
expanding technology client base. growing the business exponentially as a champion for syndicated centric single source survey EMM the meter.
research. has been the benchmark for
“Rogerio’s diverse marketing and multimedia planning in Italy since The data obtained is transferred in real time to GfK via GPRS.
research background is ideally Prior to his role at GfK Brazil, Monteiro was a commercial business 2006. It supplies the national data Confindustria is Italy’s largest employers’ association. Since 2010,
suited to help our business director for a market research supplier and has worked with currencies for TV, radio, internet, it has presented annual awards for innovation to companies that
and technology clients meet many of the leading brands and companies, including Y&R, GM cinema and print advertising, as are responding to the convergence of information technology,
the challenges of better understanding their customers in a and Kraft, in the Brazilian market. Fluent in both Portuguese well as advertising via direct mail, on billboards and in retail outlets telecommunications, communication and content by developing
continually competitive landscape,” said David Krajicek, Co- and English, Monteiro holds a degree in Marketing from the and other places such as railway stations. The EMM is based on forward-looking solutions.
President, GfK Custom Research North America. “He brings Universidade Paulista (UNIP) and a Master’s in Marketing from a rolling sample of 7,000 individuals aged 14 and above, and is
a unique skill set ranging from product tests to in-market New York University. conducted across seven separate survey waves of 28 days each year.

52 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 © GfK Business & Technology 2011 53
Contact us

GLOBAL United Kingdom

Anette Bendzko Colin Strong

Tel: +1 847 371 1585 Tel: +44 207 890 9857
Email: Email:


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