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Group Management Report


9. Marketing and Communications

Chatting while on the move, liking and sharing content day and night, phoning with headphones and shopping both online and at the store around the corner: welcome to the world of the connected consumer! Over the past financial year, this connected consumer was at the core of our global communication and marketing measures, as the guiding theme of 2016.

This was the responsibility of GfK’s Marketing and Communications team, which manages all of GfK’s marketing and communications activities throughout the world. The team coordinates the content and organization of these activities in accordance with regional particularities and requirements. The department is organized according to target groups, themes and communication channels. The Marketing and Communications team encompasses teams for Branding, Communications, Digital Marketing, Global Events and Industry as well as Product Marketing.

Customer-focused communication

Recognizing the needs of customers and understanding what really counts lies at the heart of our business activities. In order to meet these needs in a more targeted manner, we have been steadily expanding our Customer Relationship Management (CRM) portal since 2015. With our integrated approach to communications, we interconnect the activities of the Marketing department with those of our local Accounts teams and the global sales force. One area of focus was the development of campaigns that are specifically aimed at our potential clients. In this way, we intend to generate an increasing number of leads, for promising potential sales contacts. At the same time, our marketing staff provided assistance to sales and pitch support in tender processes and sales activities, thereby intensifying collaboration between these areas. In the core markets Germany, the UK and the USA alone, we supported more than 50 tenders for strategic clients and projects as well as coordinating around 40 global and 300 local campaigns around the world.

Continued focus on digital GfK channels

The task of the Brand team is to strengthen the internal and external GfK brand presence. For this reason, the team is involved in all brand-related activities and offers day-to-day support to staff in Marketing and Communications as well as other business areas. As the GfK brand is one of the most important assets of our company and therefore crucial to the company’s success, we relaunched the whole online presence of the Group with a new and target group-focused design in the 2015 reporting year. The GfK Blog has also become more interactive, dynamic and faster since spring 2016. Each day, we publish new and relevant content on the blog and via our social media channels, with contributions increasingly addressing the topic of the connected consumer and the question of how important this target group and its behavior will be for companies and markets today and tomorrow.

New design and structure for internal communication channels

It was not just the GfK Blog that was revamped in financial year 2016, with our gNet intranet also being adapted to the intuitive and interactive design of our external channels. The gNet system is used as a centralized collaboration platform for the exchange of information within the GfK organization worldwide. Through this portal, all GfK employees also receive regular information about changes in the organization, our successes and challenges in the market.

The Communications team holds dialog with the public through interviews and press conferences with the top management, meetings with media representatives and contributions by GfK experts in specialist media that are relevant to target groups, among other methods. In addition, we strengthened our expertise in crisis communication and installed a global platform to ensure communications always function smoothly in the event of a crisis.