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Group Management Report


9. Marketing and Communications

“One GfK” is GfK’s strategic maxim, which is embodied on a daily basis in GfK’s marketing and communications. With our integrated approach to communications, we interconnect the activities of the Marketing and Communications department with those of the local Accounts teams and the global sales force. In 2015, we strengthened the cooperation within the team and intensified the sharing of knowledge and information. 

GfK’s Marketing and Communications team is responsible for all of GfK’s marketing and communications activities throughout the world. It coordinates the content and organization of these activities in accordance with regional particularities and requirements. The Marketing and Communications department is organized according to target groups, themes and communication channels. Its work encompasses Branding, Communications, Digital Marketing, and Industry and Product Marketing.

CRM and sales support: Important elements of the marketing strategy

The core and target of our work are our customers and their needs. In order to analyze them more precisely and serve them in a more targeted manner, we built the Customer Relationship Management portal (CRM) in 2015. This portal helps the operations staff to reach new customer groups and make the relationship with existing customer groups more profitable and sustainable. We also use the CRM system to control the return on investment (ROI) of our marketing activities, identify existing as well as future customer needs, and target our marketing activities more precisely. In this way, we were again able to support our sales more efficiently in 2015.  

The new values of GfK: Basis for internal and external communications

The GfK brand is one of the most important assets of our company and crucial to its success. The task of the Brand team founded in 2014 was to strengthen the GfK brand and its presence. Among its other activities in 2015, it supported the Mergers and Acquisitions team, Corporate Identity activities as well as GfK’s events with multimedia and graphics services. In order to give all employees the same understanding of the brand, the Brand team, together with the Management Board and Human Resources, defined and distributed a set of brand values. Since then, the values “smart, relevant, trusted” have constituted the basis of all our communications.

Integrated industry and product portfolio offers added value for our customers

In order to present GfK’s portfolio of services to its customers in a more convincing way, the Marketing team launched a strategic campaign management initiative in 2014. In 2015, focus was placed on creating stronger connections between the industry and product portfolios. A key issue was the marketing of our entire services portfolio. The Marketing team therefore implemented a platform that provides all of GfK’s employees with access to the entire product and industry portfolio and that displays the possible points of connection. Using this integrated approach, we can adjust our products and solutions to suit the desires and needs of our customers even better and create added value for both them and us.

A consistent brand presence, including online

The consumers of today are “always on”. Therefore, they encounter the GfK brand on ever more highly diverse digital channels and on an increasingly frequent basis. In order to establish a consistent market presence in this regard, the Digital Marketing team has combined all of GfK’s existing websites into one international site. Since December 2015, the Group’s entire online presence has had a new, customer-friendly “look and feel”: interactive, dynamic and faster. For our social media marketing, we developed a strategy and reinforced the structure of our existing social media channels.

Closer collaboration in Marketing and Communications

The success of GfK’s transformation process depends on clear and stringent communications on an international level. Thus, in the past year, we revised the content of our internal communications media outlets (newsletter, letters to the Management Board, videos, internal meetings and town hall events) to be more specific. The Internal Communications team kept GfK’s employees regularly informed on changes in the organization as well as our successes and challenges in the market. An essential tool in this regard is “gNet”, an intranet through which employees and the Management team can communicate. The “gNet” system is also used as a centralized collaboration platform for the exchange of information within the GfK organization worldwide.

The Marketing and Communications team communicates the company’s successes to the public through, for example, 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. In order to further reinforce cooperation and the exchange of information, the Communications team has launched an ongoing PR campaign on a global scale, the content of which is also used for marketing purposes.