Consumers’ growing reliance on mobile tech devices and services is forcing marketers to rethink almost everything they do. In its fifth Next Generation (NextGen) Competition, GfK is urging undergraduates to submit proposals for innovative market research projects studying the interactions among consumers, mobile technology, and brands.
The winning team will receive a trip to New York City (for two team members and a faculty adviser) for an immersion in the world of market research, plus a $1,000 cash prize.
Teams need to submit proposals for their research projects by October 30th, 2015; GfK will then select several finalists to complete their research and submit reports in February 2016. The competition is open to undergraduates in business, marketing, market research, the social sciences, programming, and all other disciplines.
The 2016 Next Gen Competition asks students to explore questions such as:
- Are brands making the leap to mobile effectively?
- How do brand interactions on mobile devices differ from other contexts?
- How can marketers leverage mobile most effectively to generate sales and build relationships with consumers?
- How do brand interactions on mobile devices influence consumers’ behavior (e.g. product purchase, information gathering, ad recall)?
In their submissions, entrants will propose using at least one of the following research “lenses” to study consumers and mobile tech:
- User experience research – studying consumers’ interactions and satisfaction with actual use of a product or service
- Mobile research – creating surveys designed for mobile devices; encouraging respondents to provide photos, “in the moment” observations, and other feedback leveraging mobile.
- Social media – using social platforms to gather information and/or seeing how marketing trends are playing out in social environments
- POS and other databases – leveraging access to databases that capture consumer behavior in some form
Selected members of the winning team will visit GfK’s North American headquarters in New York City, presenting their findings, working with mentors in their areas of interest, and getting firsthand experience of research as a profession.
Past winners of the NextGen Competition – from Chatham University, Aurora University, Purdue University (Calumet), and Loyola University (Chicago) – focused on topics such as social media, Hispanic consumers, crowdsourcing, and the user experience of smartphones.