Florian Kahlert joins GfK MRI as managing director
Florian Kahlert    

When Florian Kahlert's teenage daughter started driving, he took her to the Skip Barber Racing School. She learned to stay focused, react quickly and anticipate the unexpected. These best practices for driving also apply to running a research company. Florian, our new managing director, will use them to meet today's challenges while simultaneously looking toward the future.

Florian became GfK MRI's managing director in August. Previously, he had been managing director of Digital Market Intelligence (DMI) and SVP Business Insight at Knowledge Networks — now part of GfK. Before that, he was vice president of Product and Operations at Dimestore (acquired by Knowledge Networks).

Learn more about Florian in this Q&A:   

Q. How would you use Twitter to describe your first month at GfK MRI? 

A. I don't use Twitter, but if I did here's what you would see:
Excited about the new job #gfkmri great people bright future — we are just getting started.

Q. You've met with some of our clients in recent weeks. What did you discuss?

I’m having very different conversations with agencies, publishers and advertisers, but a common thread runs throughout. Clients want to know that we will "future proof" GfK MRI for them. As their situations and challenges change, they want to know that we’ll change with them. They want us to develop new products and explore new ways to leverage the data they need to reach their consumers in this increasingly cross media and digital world.

At the same time, they want to know that we'll continue to provide the reliable currency that they’ve come to trust for more than 30 years.

Q. You bring extensive experience and rich insights to our clients and staff — which of your accomplishments makes you the most proud? 

A. For the past 20 years, I've been part of companies and developments that could be described as disruptive to the industries where they occurred; but eventually, they propelled those industries and helped them stay relevant in a changing environment.

This recently happened at Dimestore. We realized that the market was ready for a new, cost effective way of gathering and providing insights. Many in it were unhappy with both the timing and the cost of some existing solutions. We proposed short-form, in-content surveys with real-time, user-level data delivery to aid campaign optimization. Initially, we were belittled by some incumbents and researchers, only to find that within a few months they started to emulate our solution. That felt really good.

Q. What about GfK MRI most attracted you to this position?

A. It's an awesome brand that delivers real value. Clients really trust us, and they understand and appreciate what we do for them. That combined with the challenge of stewarding this asset into a new landscape with so many unknowns and changes — and being sure that we stay relevant to our clients for the next 30 years — makes GfK MRI very interesting.

Q. Why is GfK in North America an exciting place to work?

A. We have the combined resources of the fourth largest research company worldwide — one that is successful in both syndicated solutions and custom research. And we’re in a region where we’re not yet as well known under the GfK brand name. Being part of a group that's bridging this mismatch to give clients the tools they need today — and creating new tools for the future — is a great challenge, and it's a lot of fun.

Q. What are your favorite magazines, TV programs, movies?

A. I read The New Yorker and NY Magazine every week; I also read Der Spiegel, a German news magazine. I watch Homeland, Newsroom, Justified, and, of course, The Daily Show.  My movie tastes are pretty broad, but one of my all-time favorites is Pulp Fiction. It is violent, but it’s incredibly well written, and you find new things every time you watch it.

Q. What was the best book you read this summer?

A. I have two favorites, Argo and The Power of Habit.

Q. What apps do you most often use on your smartphone and your tablet? 

A. I use my tablets and smartphones for utilitarian purposes. I like The New York Times and The New Yorker apps on tablets, and I use my smartphone mostly for email, texting, getting directions, and finding restaurants — rarely for calls. I always look up places on Yelp before making a reservation.

Starch Digital finds sweet spot for candy ads

More than six in ten (66%) US adults who read digital magazines on their tablets or e-readers indulge in sweets when cravings call, according to the Survey of the American Consumer®. So it's no wonder that they take notice — and take action — when ads for confectionary delights appear in their digital magazines. Starch Digital shows how certain ads do a better job of finding the sweet spot with 18-34 year-olds; others score better among those 35+.

For the most part, the younger set responds better to ads promoting the types of candy that many associate with childhood, like M&Ms. Those 35+ respond more to brands with a sophisticated bend, such as Lindt.

Starch Digital measures ads in the Candy & Mints category as well as 624 other product categories. We provide metrics on readership and ad effectiveness in more than 40 consumer magazines to offer:

  • Insights at the genre, category and ad level

  • Standard demographics

  • Percent of readers who "noted" an ad
  • The extent to which an ad was read
  • Actions taken as a result of seeing the ad

We release results weekly and aggregate them by platform or medium.
Here are just some of the highly noted ads from the Candy & Mints category that drove action among readers 18-34 years old and 35+. These ads appeared in digital editions of magazines on tablets during the first half of 2013. Several also performed well in titles not listed below, demonstrating strong overall performance across campaigns.

Digital ads & magazines that deliver 18-34 year olds
Ad Magazine Issue Date % Noted % Action Taken (Non-Interactive)
Milky Way Sports Illustrated 2/25/13 78% 83%
M&Ms Peanut Butter Us Weekly 6/24/13 77% 93%
3 Musketeers People 3/25/13 77% 76%
Skinny Cow Divine Chocolates Women's Health 4/1/13 77% 88%
M&Ms Milk Chocolate Woman's Day 2/1/13 73% 90%
Digital ads & magazines that deliver 35+
Ad Magazine Date % Noted % Action Taken (Non-Interactive)
Lindt Chocolate Martha Stewart Living 3/1/13 92% 71%
Lindt Excellence Chocolate Bar Good Housekeeping 3/1/13 85% 74%
Tic Tac Mints Rolling Stone 6/6/13 79% 84%
Ghirardelli Intense Dark Chocolate Travel & Leisure 6/1/13 79% 82%
Dove Promises Better Homes & Gardens 2/1/13 74% 74%

Please contact us for more information about understanding digital magazine audiences and their engagement with ads.

Traveling Foodies — a pairing of savvy and influential

They seek Tartufo in Tuscany, tapas in Barcelona and escargot in Paris. "Global Vacation Foodies" are US adults who enjoy fine dining while abroad for leisure. According to Traveling Foodies — the new GfK MRI analysis — these culinary savants know how rare spices can enhance signature dishes. But they also know how to influence others on topics such as politics, books and computers.

Global Vacation Foodies are adults who have traveled outside the lower 48 states at least three times in the past three years and engaged in fine dining during each of those trips. These powerful influencers account for only two percent of all adults, but they’re more likely to be heavy users of magazines (index 250), internet (133) and newspapers (121). 

The complete Traveling Foodies analysis is based on data from GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer ®. It tells you about the demographics, product and media use and psychographics of global and domestic vacationing epicures. Here, we provide just a tasting of the analysis that focuses on the power of persuasion that Global Vacation Foodies wield and some of the sentiments that guide their purchase decisions.

A silver platter of influence

They are more likely than typical adults (even global vacationers who are not foodies) to be influencers in several categories. Category influencers are deeply familiar with a specific category, based on their answers to the Category INFLUENTIALS battery in the Survey of the American Consumer. These foodies frequently make recommendations across broad social networks, are highly trusted and are word-of-mouth leaders.

It's no surprise that our gastronomes are category influencers for vacation travel (index 431), wine (431), restaurants (index 291) and cooking (159). But they also are more likely than others to influence people’s beliefs and behaviors regarding:

  • Politics (index 311)
  • News (index 265)
  • Books (index 252)
  • Movies (index 202)
  • Healthcare (index 147)
  • Computers (index 134)

Buying Styles, the "why" behind the "buy"

Global Vacation Foodies’ attitudes differ in many respects from those of typical adults. For example, they're more likely to seek style and quality and to be socially and environmentally conscious.

Buying Styles of Global Vacation Foodies
Agree with statement Index
I buy brands that reflect my style. 124
I would pay extra for a product that is consistent with the image I want to convey. 123
I am willing to pay more for a product that is environmentally safe. 126
I expect the brands I buy to support social causes. 114
Brand name is the best indication of quality.  110
Source: GfK MRI Traveling Foodies
GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, Fall 2012

Behind the wheel with Traveling Foodies

There are significant differences between Global and Domestic Traveling Foodies. For example, Domestic Traveling Foodies look for different attributes when shopping for a new car than Global Traveling Foodies.

Traveling Foodies' Automotive Attitudes
(Indices above 110 and below 90 indicate interesting
differences compared to Total Adults)
Agree with statement Domestic Vacation Foodies Index Global Vacation Foodies Index
Having a vehicle that is fun to drive is a top consideration in my purchasing decision. 136 115
I look for vehicles that offer spirited performance and powerful acceleration. 134 97
My first consideration in choosing a vehicle is its exterior styling. 133 98
The vehicle a person owns says a lot about him or her. 120 104
I look forward to technology advances in new vehicles. 120 102
I seek out vehicles with bold, innovative designs that stand apart from others on the road. 118 121
Rebates and incentives strongly influence my new vehicle purchase decisions. 114 102
Source: GfK MRI Traveling Foodies
GfK MRI's Survey of the American Consumer, Fall 2012

Beyond vacations and dining, Traveling Foodies can help connect marketers with other consumers. The complete analysis, Traveling Foodies, is available for free to all GfK MRI subscribers. Others may receive a summary of the report at no cost. Please contact us for more information.

Julie says, "Get CRANKing on your ranking"
Julie Erbe

Pssst … I'm going to let you in on one of MEMRI 3.3's best-kept secrets, “Rank on Target." This new feature adds value to crosstabs and Cost Ranks by letting clients analyze several targets simultaneously against media / brands / segments / activities. It shows where you stand within a competitive set, and it can be used alone or with MEMRI’s standard ranking variables. Rank on Target gives the option of highlighting / extracting targets where your row variables rank in the top indices.

Let's say, for example, that you want to learn how well you connect with 12-15 year olds who agree with GfK MRI's psychographic statement, "I usually speak my mind." You also want to see your rankings for some of the leisure activities in which this group participates. Using Rank on Target, and in this case, applying it to GfK MRI's Teenmark study, you can learn how your activities rank within this competitive set of teen targets.

It's easy to use “Rank on Target”:

  1. Highlight the targets in your Crosstab (or in Cost-Ranking). In this example, we've created a Crosstab.
  2. Click on Zoom View in the upper menu bar:

  3. Click on Variables in the same menu bar.
  4. Select Index and click on Insert as Rank; Select Rank on Rows, go back to Index, click on Insert as Rank and select Rank on Targets:

  5. You have just created a tab that shows your Target and Row rankings:

That's all there is to it! This is a great tool to understand — and demonstrate — how your brand delivers a target and its desired attributes.

Learn more about GfK MRI data — best practices, common mistakes, advanced uses and more — by attending GfK MRI's online webinars led by me, Julie Erbe. Please send me a note if you’d like to attend the webinars but have not received evites.

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