GfK 2012-2013 Next Generation US Market Research Competition. Undergraduate. GfK logo
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GfK is proud to present the third annual Next Generation Competition in market research, to be hosted in conjunction with ARF Re:think 2014 in March. In the ever-changing, fast-paced corporate world, market researchers must be able to think on their feet and bring innovative ideas to address emerging business issues. This competition is designed to give undergraduate student researchers from US accredited colleges or universities a chance to test their marketing knowledge by creating a research project that addresses a critical issue that keeps marketers up at night.

The winning team will:

  • Receive a cash award of $1,000
  • Attend the ARF Re:think 2014 conference in New York City. Two team members and a faculty advisor will travel to the conference and receive complimentary conference registration, travel and hotel accommodations
  • Present a 5 minute synopsis of their project to the leading marketing and advertising research minds in the industry at the annual Great Mind Awards Ceremony during the ARF Re:think conference (two team members)



Rules and guidelines



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GfK, the ARF and leading marketing professionals from the Media, Retail, Financial Services, and Technology industries have identified three major business issues facing corporations today. Each team (from 1 to 4 students per team) will have the opportunity to submit a 2- to 5-page abstract of an original research proposal designed to effectively address one of these issues, or an issue of their own, in October 2013. The abstract should outline the topic, need, goals, and research methods for their projects.

A small number of qualifying teams will then be selected to actually conduct their studies and send final reports for Grand Prize consideration. These competition finalists will be selected based on the scientific rigor and originality presented in the abstracts submitted and will be invited to submit their completed project for final judging in January 2014.

The competition is open to full and part time undergraduate students currently matriculating at a US accredited college or university. Students may submit an entry independently or with a team (up to 4 students per team). One faculty advisor is allowed per team. GfK employees, including interns, are not eligible.

To qualify, final papers must:

  • Be based on the student(s) own original primary qualitative and/or quantitative research
  • Address one of the topics described below
  • Be authored by undergraduate students at an accredited 4-year college or university in the US (support from faculty is permitted, but the paper must be the work of the student or students)
  • Include a literature review, methodology section, results and discussion including a reflection of the relevance of the research for the selected topic(s)
  • Each team member must have primary responsibility for and materially support the conduct of the research presented in the paper



The competition and research topics



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Proposed research studies should address one of the following:

Issue 1: Using social media for product innovation and development (e.g., crowdsourcing)
For organizations to remain competitive, they need to innovate quickly and effectively. As social media continue to change the way we share information and develop relationships, what are the best ways to use social platforms to enhance the innovation process -- seeking out consumer creativity and feedback?  What motivations and passions can companies tap into? How can they identify the right people for their crowdsourcing and other collaborative activities?

Issue 2: “Showrooming” and other mobile shopping behaviors
In a world where consumers can now quickly access price and product information on their mobile devices, how are retailers maintaining customer engagement and ultimately closing the sale with consumers?  Can bricks and mortar retailers maintain their relevance in this world of near perfect information?  How can manufacturers (e.g., consumer electronics, durable goods) provide the right mix of information at the right times to connect with consumers in a way that generates the sale?  And how do they maintain the relationship after purchase to build a longer term bond?

Issue 3: Money, banking, and today’s young adults
In the past, financial services were generally sold or acquired at bank branches; but today’s consumers can bank online, on their smartphones or tablets – never setting foot in a retail bank. In this high tech world, how does the younger consumer (Gen Y) prefer to bank? Are they more apt to bank via mobile devices? Are they less inclined to visit the branch? Are they specifically seeking out financial service providers that cater to their mobile lifestyle?

Issue 4: Other emerging marketing issues
Frame an issue that you think is another area of emerging importance for marketers today.


  Why participate?  


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To qualify, final papers must:

  • Chance for a team of 1-4 students to win a $1,000 award, and for two team members to go on an all-expenses paid trip to NYC
  • Impress industry leaders (and future potential employers!) with your ideas and abilities
  • Gain real and valuable marketing experience by putting your skills to the test
  • Be showcased in post-ARF Re:think press and media releases, blog posts, and more—excellent exposure and resume builders!
  • Present your research project during the Great Mind Awards Ceremony at the ARF Re:think 2014 conference (limited to two team members)



Schedules and deadlines

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October 25, 2013 Competition entry forms due
November 15, 2013 Finalists notified
January 24, 2014 Final projects due
February 14, 2014 Grand Prize Winning Team notified
March 26, 2014 Grand Prize winning team (2 team members) presents their research project during the Great Mind Awards Ceremony at the ARF Re:think 2014 conference

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