News & Stories
25th Deutscher Handelskongress 2017 – Review
IWD market research GmbH was a part of the German Handelskongress in Berlin again. This year with the 25th Birthday of this whole congress, for that reason it was not a surprise that there were more than 60 exhibitor at the Retail World. The topic was “Digital Strategies changing the access to customers” and 1500 people were interested in. The Handelsverband Deutschland and the Management Forum of the publishing group Handelsblatt organized this event and presented 100 contributor from the retail-, political- and economical sector to impress the audience, like Pieer Haas (MediaMarktSaturn & Ceconomy), Alexander Birken (Otto Group), Ralf Kleber (Amazon), Philipp Lahm and Prof. Dr. Ulrich Walter to only name a few.
This year’s award winner are dennree GmbH and Ernsting´s family for different company size`s and Gerd Pieper got honored with the Lifetime Award.
There are also some new things of the German Handelskongress, for example the “Brain Snack Stage”. This is an extra stage where attendees could listen to short presentations about retail innovations and digital transformations, which everybody found very interesting.
Firmenkontaktmesse 2017 Magdeburg
A big success was this years Firmenkontaktmesse of the Otto-von-Guericke-University. For that reason IWD would like to say thanks to the whole organization team and their helpers for this awesome event. You could have found us on the second day at building 22. We had great conversations with employees of the next generation. We were also part of the presentation program, where we tried to enthuse young market researchers for our branch.
Annual Magdeburger Mückenwiesn
The annual Magdeburger Mückenwiesn on the 22nd of September was an event that IWD did not want to miss, in fact, we were there as the first beer was tapped. Many people joined in on the fun, creating a great atmosphere inside the carnival marquee. Special guest Ross Anthony was also a highlight, keeping the audience always entertained. The whole IWD team enjoyed the evening with traditional Bavarian food, beer, and good music.
The annual works outing
The annual works outing for a good team spirit was super successful. This year we went to Markkleeberg for white water rafting. For that reason that we had good weather we had ideal conditions to to paddle several rounds through the ruff parts on this route. We all worked together to find our way back, where a nice dinner was cooked by the team of the restaurant next door. We enjoyed our meal during a beautiful sunset with a delicious dinner.
IWD expands to Lithuania
After three month of testing, IWD started officially in Lithuania at the beginning of 2017. One can see that the expansion in Europe still goes on. The double headed project management is seated in Vilnius. Now, the market research institute IWD has 22 European countries in their portfolio to offer companies own managed projects with full service.
Review: 13th Deutscher Handelsimmobilienkongress 2017
As in the previous year the Deutsche Handelsimmobilienkongress took place in Berlin. This year’s agenda was: Selling space of the future and the resulting impact on retail properties- visions, innovations and challenges. On the 1st and 2nd of February 2017 round 300 guests forgathered at the Ellington Hotel in Berlin, all of them in executive positions of the retail sector, housing industry, financial economy as well as industries of service enterprises. One of the highlights of the congress was the sponsored event on the evening before by IWD market research GmbH respectively enviaM-Group and the award “Store of the year” for the most successful store concepts.
Additionally there were many pretty interesting speeches like “Challenges for cities and the retail sector: preserve attractiveness - submit modern concepts” of Christoph Kraus, manager of LIDL Dienstleistungs- GmbH & Co. KG or “REWE to Go – small space convenience concepts for highly frequented locations” by Christian Schneider, head of site development of REWE national.
Moreover innovations like „ Markthalle Neun Berlin- comeback of a monument as stage for detailed food craft “by Nikolaus Driessen, manager of Markthalle Neun GmbH, aroused the curiosity of the audience.
The IWD is looking forward to the 14th Deutscher Handelsimmobilienkongress in 2018 in Berlin.
IWD enlarges office – Relocation to city centre
After 15 years at the Lorenzweg IWD is now relocated at the Hasselbachplatz 3 in Magdeburg. At the Altstadt of Magdeburg the new home is based. The office has 500m² and is located at the historical Hasselbachplatz, surrounded by picturesque baroque buildings. It has a direct view to the Dom of Magdeburg.
Magdeburg is one of the most environmental cities in Germany, therefor the city is on the second rank. „We feel comfortable in the centre of Magdeburg near the Otto-von-Guericke-University and the Stadtpark for at least the next couple of years”, said Marcus Körner. The IWD team in Germany composed of 25 employees, including working students and trainees.
First view of the office
Dynamic growth at IWD – 12 new employees
During the first quarter of the year IWD had to run a recruitment marathon. The fields of data analysis, project management national and international hired in total 12 new employees, working students and interns.
In the past year IWD had a binary economic volume and this year started with a huge demand, too. Marcus Körner said: „This forced us to change our structures, increase our number of team members, implement technical innovations and relocate the IWD. The shareholder-managing director also explained, that the reorganization sets new positions in the field of marketing and quality management.
Our new team members
IWD at the 51st congress of German market research
„Influencing on entrepreneurial decision“ was this year`s central theme of the 51st congress of the German market research. Once again, IWD was one of the sponsors of this event. The IWD management team enjoyed to meet colleagues from the industry at the event in Berlin on the 26th to the 27th of April 2016.
German congress for trade properties 2016
Once again, IWD was one of the sponsors of this event, including a sponsorship for the award „Store of the year“ as well. Sandra Baethge was presenting the retail research solution for IWD in Berlin.
IWD on the Trade Congress 2015 in Berlin
Retail World 2015 was the central theme of this year`s conference. The congress took place at the Maritim Hotel Berlin on the 18th and 19th of November 2015. As previous years, IWD was one of the exhibitors this time, too.
IWD expand into France and the Netherlands
IWD is specialized in market research and growth further. The Full service enterprise offered prospective POS, Mystery Shopping and customer surveys in France and the Netherlands now.
IWD research for Netto UK
In November 2014 the first NETTO-discounter was opened in Leeds in Great Britain. Until the end of 2015 approximately 15 new branches will be followed. The reason is a Joint Venture between Sainsbury and NETTO`s parent company Dansk Supermarked. Customer surveys at the new branches and strategic consumer analysis will be the support of IWD for this cooperation.
Enhancing attractiveness of airports –
It is already the second year that the market research institute IWD from Magdeburg is conducting air passenger surveys on behalf of the airport management at the airports Schoenefeld and Tegel. This year the surveys are again conducted at all German commercial airports in close cooperation with the Arbeitsgemeinschaft Deutscher Verkehrsflughäfen (ADV). The ADV-questionnaire for FBB was completed by location specific questions, in order meet the travellers needs in the best way.
IWD air passenger survey Berlin Schönefeld and Tegel
The goal: enhance the attractiveness of airports. The questionnaire covers among others about 40 questions concerning the individual travelling behaviour, the services on-site and the social demographics. Passengers are being interviewed at Tegel and Schönefeld on 14 days each month at different times. This leads to about 30,000 interviewed passengers annually.
IWD on the retail innovation tour in NYC
IWD, represented by the managing director Marcus Körner, took part in a 4 day trend tour through New York’s leading shop and agency environment under the motto “online, offline, Omni channel – retail innovation”, organized by management forum. An intense program with highlights such as the ultimate department store Bloomingdale´s, the heavily frequented shopkick, the custom made earphones of Normal or a store visit of the “online glasses retailer” Warby Parker gave fascinating insights to all participants into the business of successful US retailers, who managed to benefit from the progressive digitalisation.
IWD in the land of a thousand lakes - market research in Finland
In the beginning of 2015 IWD started the first customer surveys and catchment area analysis in Finland, one of Europe’s most northern regions. Besides Sweden and Denmark IWD could start its expansion in the third Scandinavian country as well. The Finnish project team is based in Helsinki. Together with Finland, IWD is now present in 19 European countries.
Sponsor of the DHIK & Stores of the Year
IWD is again sponsor of the German Trade Property Conference in Berlin. The industry meeting at the beginning of the year is a source of inspiration, because the trade industry needs new concepts and not only more areas.
This is exactly what the congress is about, where leading representatives of the trade sector discuss with property experts and meet with top-class politicians such as the Federal Minister Dr. Barbara Hendricks. The congress motto “new retail – formats for all cases – trade properties prepare for the future” highlights current topics such as the future of the stationary retail industry in times of an online boom and the influences on investigations in new areas. IWD supports as a sponsor the congress and the annual innovation prize “Stores of the Year”, which is awarded in the following categories: food, fashion, home and out of line.
Expansion - IWD with 2 new project teams in Southern Europe
Being focussed on retail research, IWD pushes forward its expansion strategy. From November 2014 on, the company offers its services POS customer surveys as well as mystery shopping also in Portugal and Spain.
The project teams are managed by Judith Hurtos and Jose Munoz in Spain as well as Joao Coelho in Portugal.
IWD on the Trade Congress 2014 in Berlin - Review
The leading industry event did focus on the theme “Handel neu denken” (Rethinking Retail). By means of successful projects and bold concepts, more than 100 national as well as international speakers did show up the potential of digitalising stationary retail on the basis of changing customer patterns and alternative life plans. Being a long-year partner of the industry, IWD had been again on-site with an own exhibition of its service portfolio.
Supporting girls´ living group
The therapeutic intense living group for girls “Ars Vivendi” opened a house and offers a secured and peaceful environment for girls with traumatic backgrounds. A pedagogical team, exclusively female specialists, provides room for living and development to these girls and supports and strengthens them on their way.
The IWD team is impressed by the idea and the commitment of the pedagogical team and supports the project with financial aids.
Market research in the mobile World – MRMW in Berlin
About 12 years ago the IWD developed a technologically tool to use smartphones for customer surveys. Back then it was brand new and highly innovative in the market, while today it is known as “mobile research” and became a huge trend in the field of international market research.
Representatives of the sector met from 23th - 26th of September in Berlin in order to discuss the newest trends. Besides Africa, North America and Asia there is also a European part of the event with the slogan “market research in the mobile world”.
We went through great conversations, presentations and discussions about our “favourite device“ – the smartphone.
Experience trade in a new way! - IWD on the trade congress 2014
On November 19th and 20th 2014 the elite of the German trade sector is meeting in Berlin.
Innovative thinking in trade is the slogan of the German trade congress 2014, where about 80 national and international experts will present the newest trends. The changes in technology and society are modifying the structures of trade and require the creation of innovative strategies and extraordinary concepts. Among the referees will be Olaf Gens from the REWE Group, Guido Jaenisch from SportScheck and many more well-known managers from the trade sector such as GALERIA Kaufhof, Swarovski and Douglas.
As a close partner of trade IWD will be present as well. Visit our congress stand in the retail world and learn more about our tools: distribution area optimization, catchment area analysis, location research as well as everything related to the topic of customer surveys at the POS.
Preview - IWD at 25th and 26th of June at CO–REACH 2014
CO – REACH 2014 interactive, online, mobile and print. IWD will be present as an exhibitor at the fair for cross media marketing CO – REACH taking place from June 25th to 26th in Nuremberg. No sector is changing as fast as the marketing sector. At the CO – REACH leading heads from marketing from B2C, B2B and service get updated on the newest developments, which will be presented by hundreds of exhibitors and a comprehensive programme. The future is integrated and cross media communication strategies combining various smartphone and tablet features. Learn more about efficient market research tools to optimize your advertising campaigns from classical in-house advertising up to cross media campaigns.
Visit us at our fair stand 4A-407 and play the exciting JENGA GAME and save your chance to win your very own World Cup experience 2014. Every day you can win 25 World Cup Balls!
IWD was silver sponsor at the trade property congress
Some of the most influential people of the trade property industry met in the end of January. About 300 guests, including board members, executive directors and leading employees from the retail, real estate and finance sector as well as relevant service companies, were expected for the biggest branch meeting. Topics such as modern urban quarters, urban development, expansion strategies and sustainability concepts were in the focus of presentations and discussions. One of the highlights was the awarding of the innovation price „Shop of the Year“ in the following categories: food, fashion, home and out of line. IWD supported this congress as a sponsor, was present as exhibitor and presented innovative tools for conducting location analysis.
in January 2014
Expansion - IWD expands to Greece
The IWD starts the new year with expanding its business activities further in Southern Europe by forming a project team in Greece. „The IWD will continue to constantly improve its competitiveness and performance through international expansion. Besides Italy and Croatia, Greece is an important expansion location for us“ says IWD founder and managing director Marcus Körner. „The IWD provides a variety of tools for the retail sector with a high return on invest, which are of special interest with regard to cost reduction and revenue optimization.“ Specifically designed products for the optimization of marketing strategies and location analysis are implemented on the basis of personal customer surveys at the point of sale. You can book the IWD nationwide on the Greek mainland as well as on the islands.
IWD market research GmbH supports your European expansion with highly specialized tools to develop regionally optimized marketing and distribution strategies. Through the analysis of detailed catchment areas and the exact presentation of household data on store level the IWD provides one of the most efficient tools to optimize in-home advertisement. The IWD is one of Europe’s leading RETAIL-market research institutes by operating in currently 16 countries and with more than 3 million customer surveys per year.
IWD supports family assistance in Magdeburg
The Familienhaus Magdeburg, with its well-trained and committed team, supports families in difficult situations such as the hazard of children welfare, poverty and insolvency, isolation, psychical stress as well as insufficient parenting skills in a professional way. Along with various offers in family education all generations from the infant and pregnant woman over the teenager and parents as well as the retired should be strengthened in their role in the family and supported by offering continuous help and assistance. The IWD team is overwhelmed by the commitment of the employees, the effect of their work and consolation of the needy. A great project, which needs to be supported. The IWD is in!
Website Familienhaus Magdeburg
IWD – Partner at Handelskongress 2013 in Berlin
IWD was represented at the trade conference in Berlin again this year. The most important event for the trade industry focused on important questions about the future of the retail stores this time. The ever- growing online retail, mobile shopping, emancipation and rise of the consumer, digitization and multi-channel-strategies as well as innovations in customer retention and bigdata were presented and discussed by leading trade decision-makers.
The main question here was: Is the German trade ready for changes towards innovative companies? Top speakers from companies such as IKEA, ebay, Porsche, payback, REWE, Iglo, Otto and many more showed their approach to achieve innovative modern consumer-friendly trading companies. German Chancellor Angela Merkel provided a glance behind the scenes of the coalition negotiations and tried to get the branches into the right mood for the upcoming minimum wage.
Research & Result in Munich - IWD is looking for
As usually in October the annual market research sector meeting „Research and Result“ took place in Munich. As expected, the main focus was on social media research and mobile research. Reasons enough for the IWD, as one of the leading European mobile research institutes, to be present.
the supermarketresearcher 2013
As in previous years the IWD employees were looking for the supermarketresearcher. The participants had to answer six challenging questions from various fields of market research in order to have a chance of becoming „supermarketresearcher 2013“.
All in all, on both days of the trade fair 134 market and social researchers participated in the quiz and thus applied for the title. This year 7 participants made it to the top
and answered all questions without any mistakes. Never before we had such an impressive result.
We are happy to announce the winners and award hereby the title „supermarketresearcher 2013“. Congratulations to:
Mr. Erik Akkerdijk - The Cubeman
Ms. Ann Katrin Nentwig
Ms. Carolin Pohlmann - Produkt und Markt
Mr. Torben Tietz - MSR Consulting
Mr. Dr. Olaf Wenzel - Skopos
A great achievement of this year´s supermarketresearcher! A big thank you goes to all 134 participants, the organizer Research & Result and our IWD employees, who conducted the survey at the trade fair. 5 SuperMarketresearchers gave us the permisson to publish the names (list).
IWD is silver sponsor at the trade property congress
10. German trade property congress 2014 - January 28th and 29th 2014, swissôtel Berlin „Am Kurfürstendamm“
in January 2014
About 300 guests, including board members, executive directors and leading employees from the retail, real estate and finance sector as well as relevant service companies, are expected for the biggest branch meeting. A highlight of the congress 2014 will be again the awarding of the price „Stores of the Year“ for the most successful store concepts in Germany. The IWD presents innovative tools to analyze catchment areas, expansion factors as well as tools for optimizing market process strategies.
The focus of the trade property congress 2014 will be on the following topics:
Strategical Partners - IWD at ECR Tag 2013
On two congress days, more than 100 top-class speakers from companies like Globus, Coca Cola, Edeka, dm, Rossmann, Beiersdorf met in plenary sessions and expert forums and gave answers on practice-oriented questions, insights to future megatrends and presented successful implementations of ECR strategies under this year´s motto “products. processes. profiles. The new power of information“.
Many presentations and discussions dealt with the topic of Big Data. The central question was how to analyse the huge amount of existing data, which is available from client data and social networks, most efficiently in order to use it for own decisions later on. There is consensus that an efficient usage of the data can significantly improve the quality as well as the pace of business decisions. However, data protection issues remain the central challenge that all involved parties have to deal with. Big Data in itself is not a universal key to success, it only works well in combination with exploring customer`s views and moods through surveys. The stationary trade and hence trade research directly at the POS are enhanced through the analysis of social networks. Additional analysis of social media is important and necessary for an extensive analysis of customers and is suitable for trend analysis as well as for supporting strategic and tactical business decisions.
The ECR congress was completed by an impressive plenary presentation held by the former federal minister Dr. Heiner Geißler. He argued that the acceptance of large projects such as Stuttgart 21 is not only based on using and mobilising elected representatives, but also on the citizens that are well informed and interested through the internet. Therefore, he believes that the communication of transparent and valid facts and data between all involved parties is essential. This also includes the possibility of a fact-check which is available to public. According to Dr. Heiner Geißler the future of the modern industrial nations is based on a representative, parliamentary democracy completed by direct citizen surveys.
IWD sets up a subsidiary in London
IWD, one of the leading market researchers in the field of POS, in 2013 decided to expand its country portfolio to the United Kingdom, thus reaching a total of 15 countries where to operate its business. IWD strengthened its activity by means of expanding business and project management in Great Britain.
With 2.5 mil POS surveys conducted so far by operating in 15 countries, IWD is currently taking a leading role in the area of smartphone-based customer surveys. The company’s board believed the opening of a London office was the logical strategy in order to further expand its market position and get to use the enormous potential of the British market.
On the one hand, the UK market offers attractive growth potential within the field of market research and, on the other hand, it gives the opportunity to intensify one’s activity with regards to national and international trade business. IWD market research Ltd, by creating new business and enhancing personnel expansion, will be able to coordinate and ensure a better customer service, more intense local sales and a more professional market strategy, together with a wider geographical structure. At present, our on-the-field organization includes 250 Face-to-Face interviewers that mostly cover metropolitan areas, but this is just not enough for us. We strongly believe there are still more areas to be covered.
The reason for this is that a POS surveys specialist, such as IWD, requires a wider country coverage which does not only focuses on city centres, especially considering that both the German and the European retail industry are now calling for higher growth rates in the retail sector, a further internationalization and a strong systematization of business.
In the words of Mr. Markus Körner, managing director of IWD: „Availability of qualified staff and the right technology to be applied in both small and medium towns are highly relevant elements to our existing and target clients”.
Our business in Great Britain as well as Germany, Italy and Austria is being strategically managed with the help of national sales activities.
IWD supports „Nature in Motion” -
„Learning, experiencing, having fun, getting to know and accepting one’s own limits”: this is the motto of the sport project „Nature in Motion” organized by the Ecumenical Dom-gymnasium Magdeburg. „Nature in Motion” offers a sporting challenge in which participants test their physical limits.
students are crossing alpine passes
During the 5 days of the project the participants, mostly students from the 8th grade, will cross the high alpine terrain – three Alpine passes in the region around Ischgl/Galtur in the Austrian Paznaun Valley – either by bike or on foot in order to experience nature and to challenge their physical abilities. The breath-taking mountain panorama or the overwhelming sight of a glacier, are not the only sources of pure enjoyment of nature, but they might also be inspirations for a nature-based learning. „Nature in Motion” deliberately connects sporting challenges, nature experiencing and the use of modern technology. To recognize and accept personal physical boundaries or abilities is another educational goal of the project. Students need to understand the role of nature in our modern society and, moreover, the assumption that human beings are able to control nature will be critically questioned during this experience.
The main requisition is that all participating students must be in a great physical shape. For this reason, they have been trained for this project throughout the entire school year. Health orientation, nutrition and improvement of physical conditions were the main focus. On the 6th of July the preparations will be complete and the adventure shall begin in Ischgl. IWD is proud to provide support for this extraordinary school project and wishes all participants good luck, together with discipline and perseverance, but most importantly lots of fun!
IWD at discounter congress 2013
On 16 April 2013, the Discount Summit 2013 was held in Mannheim. IWD did not miss that event and was on site, as participants and as exhibitor.
This year, insiders as well as renowned industry experts discussed the question of who will have the best cards in the „war of formats”, discount vs. full-range, and what strategies the discounters need to choose to convince their customers in the future. Top-class representatives of companies such as REWE, Cavendish & Harvey, Roller, McFit as well as online trading companies gave interesting insights and outlooks on this.
The participants of the conference agreed that “cheap” as the only argument will no longer convince the customers. Besides affordable prices, they increasingly ask for quality as well as local products. At the same time the full-range provider offer their customers private brands of affordable quality, and thus force the discounters, to follow that strategy. Related to the company's image this tendency is reflected in the trials of discounters like Aldi, Lidl and Penny to get rid of the cheap image by renovating their stores. With the adjustment of both retail formats, the question on how discounters can also be successful in the future gets into focus.
IWD concludes that the adjustment of both formats requires a closer interaction with the customers in order to evaluate their expectations and needs. This will be the only way how discounters can optimally react on the changing and growing demands of their customer. IWD will of course support its clients in line with this task as fieldwork and research partner with a long-year international expertise in the field of POS retail research.
IWD supports saxony-anhalt´s first children´s hospice
On Wednesday, 06. March, the Pfeiffer´s Foundations opened its first children´s hospice in the presence of the patron, Prime Minister Dr. Reiner Haseloff, as well as numerous donors and guests from the political and public scene of Saxony-Anhalt. Dr Reiner Haseloff declared: „I am grateful to Pfeiffer´s Foundations that this Children’s Hospice has been created in the Christian spirit, making it possible to provide extensive care to terminally ill people. With the generous donations that supported the construction and service of the hospice, an impressive and lasting sign of fellowship has emerged in our country.“ IWD made a donation to the hospice instead of giving Christmas gifts to its clients and was therefore able to contribute to the building of the hospice. The children’s hospice is to be a place where dying children and children with life-limiting illnesses will be cared for.
IWD at the retail convention 2012 in Berlin
For years now, participating at the retail convention in Berlin has a fixed place in the IWD´s schedule. As a partner of the German and European trade, each year we look forward to the presentations, discussions and many personal conversations on currently relevant topics in the industry. Among other things, an exhibitor like IWD market research GmbH supports the fair, which is being held under the leadership of HDE (German Retail Federation). This year, on the 20 and 21 November 2012, we were in Berlin again, of course. We want to say thank you to all visitors for the exciting discussions about the German retail. We are looking forward to see again next year!
Expansion - IWD with a new location in Budapest/Hungary
Budapest - In addition to 13 European country operations, IWD opened a new institution location in Budapest a few days ago. This is the third expansion of the IWD Market Research Institute this year. The project management team, moved into its new location at the best address in the Citibank Center. The six-person team, comprising project management, field control for face-to-face surveys and data analysis, will focus predominantly on point-of-sale (POS) surveys and mystery shopping in the upcoming months. IWD, which has been active in Hungary for more than one year, already has a countrywide interviewer organization for mobile surveys.
Like other European locations, Hungary is also technologically linked to the IWD headquarters in Magdeburg and focuses its range of services on the area of smartphone-supported POS surveys. „We will continue to expand at fast pace. Today, we are already represented by field organisations in almost all regions in East Europe. The next growth steps will be made predominantly in the Scandinavian region“, says Managing Director Marcus Körner.
Market research day at IWD market research in Magdeburg
On Saturday the IWD Market Research Institute in Magdeburg finally opened its doors to the public for the first time as part of its Open Day. More than 100 visitors took the opportunity to get to know the working methods and process sequences of a survey institute from up close, playing the role of the interviewer for once, simulating a telephone survey, operating a smartphone with survey software or questioning the principles of data protection. With culinary delights being served, discussions were held on the significance of market research and how this improves the quality of products and services – focussing on the topic of how merchandise and services would look if their optimisation and further development were not influenced by the consumers´own opinions. Marcus Körner, IWD´s managing director, presented to the interested public and media representative´s results of the German nationwide study „Feel-Good Factors of Your Place of Residence“. The above-average positive performance of the city of Magdeburg, shown by this study was greeted with enthusiasm by the audience since it revealed that 92% of those questioned would recommend the city of Magdeburg as a good place to live in.
Presentation by Prof. Julian Nida-Rümelin at the
It is obvious that the economic practice is facing a crisis. This crisis is not only the result of an exaggerated economic situation, but also of the loss of cultural and moral considerations.
ethics, finances and politics conference – 2012
Video on Youtube
Interview with Marcus Körner, Managing Director of IWD, for „planung & analyse - magazine for marketresearch and marketing“
Mr. Körner, with IWD, a rather small German-based full service institute, you have a very broad grasp on your own operations in Russia, East Europe and the Baltic countries. What was the trigger of this internationalisation with special emphasis on East Europe?
„In 2000, it was certain that a series of East European countries would join the European Union in the near future and would become part of the world´s biggest single market. We could expect German brands and business companies to become active in the East. In particular, Poland and the Czech Republic had suitable potential. In the first years, we built a multimethod interdisciplinary research network, which enabled us in 2002 to provide high-quality market research services as far as the Ural Mountains in the entire East European region, up to the Asian borders. Business enterprises that had built up an almost countrywide network of branches in these countries motivated us to build our own field structures, as there was a lack of market research service providers on-site in almost all of these countries. In 2005, we began building our own field organizations for face-to-face surveys, first in the Baltic countries and Scandinavia, and in the following years in Poland, Bulgaria, Romania, the Czech Republic, Slovakia and Croatia. At the moment, intensive processes are underway for further expansion in Ukraine and in Moscow.“
With a big on-site field structure you are close to consumers in East Europe. How did you build your own field structure in East Europe, and what are the supervision and quality-control processes like?
„Thats´s correct, we´re now speaking of several thousand interviewers in nine countries. Since we do not only conduct surveys at point-of-sale (POS) locations, but also ascertain the delivery of leaflets through personal interviews, you´ll find an IWD interviewer nearly in every village. Our clients expect us to provide nationwide solutions at affordable prices, which means that the interviewer should not travel 100 km to conduct the survey. For us, this means not only finding and motivating interviewers, but also training and controlling them.
We also structured our country operations based on our German organisation model. The expansion always includes project management and assistants, as well as supervisors who organise and monitor the deployment in POS branches. There is effectively a separate field organisation in each country.
Surveys usually take several days, so we always have a supervisor on-site. If we conduct surveys where only an interviewer is used, we don’t control on-site, but use a series of subsequent quality checks, such as, e.g., checks by phone. It is really wonderful, around 70% of those personally surveyed in East Europe give their phone number for a follow-up call.
The expansion at the management level and the interviewer field was and still is a big effort. Along with the expansion to other countries, we are currently expanding some of the country operations. An office was opened in Krakow - Poland, representative offices in Prague, Bucharest and Sofia are currently underway.“
In the meantime, about 80% of your turnover is outside Germany, so internationalisation is really worth it for you. What markets are most in demand, and what branches and countries do the clients predominantly come from?
„The large share of international studies is simply based on the fact that we´ve become specialists in the past few years. Along with our own field organisations in East Europe, we offer market research services in more than 100 countries. Our network of institutions, built up for over 10 years, is spectacular for this. This week we are delivering B2B interviews from seven countries in North Africa, who does something like that! At www.iwdglobal.com we operate a unique platform for international field services with more than 10.000 member institutes. Our range of international services is a reflection of the economic reality of European companies. Our customers clients also come from all the five continents, but most of them are from Europe. We do lots of business with our POS field expertise, but the internationalisation efforts can be found in all the industries: energy, telecommunications, food, etc.“
For face-to-face surveys, you increasingly focus on the use of BlackBerrys. How should one envision this and what advantages does this offer?
„By now, we have a very substantial BlackBerry fleet in use, which we use widely for our face-to-face surveys. Survey and analysis software, developed especially for us, turns these little smartphones into a real market research wonder. Each country has its own BlackBerry pool, so we are able to start a project in each location in East Europe within 24 hours if necessary. The questionnaires are programmed in the country language and played on the devices wirelessly. Even if a client wants to make a change after a field start, we just play the new version on the devices. The data is received by our server in real-time during the survey, so we have immense transparency and control over the project, even if we are more than 1.000 km away. Data delivery within hours is also not a problem. To us, there is no better solution for POS surveys, this is small, handy, perfectly functional and inexpensive. Who wants to run after customers around the cash registers with a pentop computer around their neck.“
What kind of studies are especially challenging for the interviewers in some of the East European countries? Do you maybe have a story of a particularly exotic survey?
„Recently, an IWD mystery shopper who was conducting a competition observation at a bank was taken away by police in handcuffs. The bank employees saw him with a photo camera. Taking photos is not allowed in banks. I think he was too mysterious. We called him after one hour and set him free.“
IWD market research wins the Work-Life-Balance Award
„IWD Market Research GmbH is recognized as the winner for its performance in improving the balance between family, career and health“, states the winner´s certificate awarded to the company. Under the motto „Work-Life-Balance“, the city of Magdeburg, IKK gesund plus and Stadtsparkasse held a competition again this year, in which IWD was able to achieve recognition among 45 competitors due to its diverse commitment.
of the city of Magdeburg
„We were recommended for this award by business associates and public authorities of the city, which was actually the biggest recognition for us. In the end, it was a combination of measures in the areas of health and sports, family and child care that secured this award for us. With the company´s success, more and more has been done in the past few years that has become a matter of course today. For us as a market research institute, our employees are our top asset, and their satisfaction at the workplace is our central goal“, says Marcus Körner, Managing Director of IWD.
The awarding panel especially praised the work hours model based on needs with respect to organization of child care. Employed mothers are able to flexibly combine working in the office with working at home. Moreover, the company offers part-time 50% and 60% jobs for young mothers. Also, when children are sick, the company guarantees flexibility and continues to pay a full salary.
„I´m the father of three children myself and I know that your head is only clear enough to work when you know that the children are well taken care of“, adds Marcus Körner.
The company also shows employee-friendly ideas in the areas of health and sports. Daily fresh fruit, healthy drinks free of charge, and employee sports, such as the participation in the Berlin half marathon in April make it clear why this year´s Work-Life-Balance award went to IWD.
The company is member of the Family Success Factor corporate network, an initiative of the Federal Ministry of Family, and makes its experience available to other companies.
Background on the Work-Life-Balance Award
The Work-Life-Balance Competition seeks out ideas and projects that support the balance between work and family, promote the work satisfaction of employees, or stimulate a healthy lifestyle. The best ideas are given awards.
Work-Life-Balance means a new, intelligent interlinking of work and private life against the backdrop of a dynamically changing world at work and at home. Companies with up to 250 employees that are based in Magdeburg can participate in this competition.
The economic success of companies always depends greatly on innovation abilities, creativity, qualification and flexibility of employees. This necessitates improved coordination of employment with private life. Work-Life-Balance is primarily an economic issue. The goal of company Work-Life-Balance measures is to enable successful careers in consideration of private, social, cultural and health needs.