Data-driven customer-centricity: the key to business performance improvement

Data-driven customer-centricity: the key to business performance improvement

GfK is a Business Reporter client.

Business Reporter – GFK

In today’s challenging and competitive world, driving improved business performance means guaranteeing an excellent customer experience at every touchpoint. At GfK, we believe the secret to success is embracing a data-driven, customer-centric approach where customer value and the data that measures it go hand-in-hand.

In times of uncertainty, it is even more critical that companies strive to create a culture where every planning and operational decision is taken with a customer-first approach. This means ensuring the right data is available to all relevant stakeholders and that everyone involved in decision-making understands the implications of this data in the same way. Let’s take a closer look.

Data and customer-centricity: the yin and yang of sustainable growth

It’s essential to understand that data- and customer-centricity are inextricably linked. Where yin is customer-centricity – the sustaining force of your organisation – yang is data-centricity, its indispensable counterpart. Taken together and implemented correctly, they enable the seamless delivery of product and service excellence at every stage of the customer journey.

At GfK we have embedded a data-led approach in all our customer-centric efforts and goals, organisation-wide, by focusing on three questions:

? What drives customer value?

? What is the overall customer journey?

? How do we create a frictionless customer experience?

This strategy enables us to keep pace with rapid changes in the market, keep our teams aligned, and deliver relevant products and services to our clients that add value and keep them coming back.

The four pillars of customer success management (CSM)

While data serves as a solid foundation for strategic and tactical decision-making, it doesn’t create actionable insights on its own. Organisations must leverage the power of human knowledge and skill to transform data into actionable, customer-focused insights so they can outpace the competition by reacting quickly and confidently to consumer and market trends.

At GfK we were super-fast in implementing value-driven CSM in our own organisation. Whilst we adopt and use generally recognised best practices, we also quickly evolve and adapt these to meet the needs of individual clients and their industries. We believe data combined with human expertise and collaboration is the magic formula for our clients to drive business success.

To help us retain this focus and drive customer-centricity within GfK, we’ve built our customer success management approach around four pillars:

Organisations must leverage the power of human knowledge and skill to transform data into actionable, customer-focused insights (Courtesy of GFK)

Through this approach, we’ve ensured organisation-wide clarity on our own CSM value proposition to clients, secured our teams’ and clients’ access to market and industry expertise, and guaranteed that both have the support they need to learn and leverage new tools and offerings.

At GfK, we start by integrating our proprietary gfknewron data analytics platform into the organisation’s DNA. This serves as a collaborative tool for more than 1,300 clients who use it today, promoting common understanding between global, regional and local teams. Not only that, but the platform also serves as a collaboration opportunity between our customers and their partners and suppliers.

GfK then provides clients with access to our specialist customer success team, comprising industry and data experts. This means our clients not only find it easier to make sense of the data being provided but also collaborate with this expert team to build and validate their hypothesis. This approach has helped clients unleash their focus on driving customer-centricity and make informed, value-driven decisions that get tangible results.

Results reported by enterprise clients after engaging with GfK CSM*

Client benefits in specific value themes acknowledged by three different clients (Courtesy of GFK)

The following examples demonstrate how GfK has managed to create tangible outcomes for clients using the four pillars of CSM described above:

? In Europe, our customer success team helped a leading producer of small domestic appliances deepen its relationship with a key retailer, thereby getting better support for the launch of a new product.

? In the Middle East, we helped a client (after multiple unsuccessful internal attempts) to successfully convince its HQ to launch a new product variant in a specific price tier that was being totally overlooked, but aggressively pursued by the competition.

? In one of the big European markets, we used a data-centric approach to demonstrate to the general manager of a domestic appliance company that they need not respond to an aggressive price war from their competitors, as this mostly involved share gain from smaller brands. This helped our client avoid a costly discount battle.

And there are many more examples like the above where our customers have benefited from taking a data-led approach to their business to make better, more informed decisions.

Driving customer-focused change management

Shifting an organisation’s approach and attitude towards democratised data access and decision making isn’t always straightforward. At GfK, we believe the right way to do this is by driving customer-centricity through a data-centric approach, led from the top down.

As Walmart founder Sam Walton once said, “There is only one boss: the customer.” So it is in the best interests of every organisation to pursue decisions that will ultimately be in the best interests of their customers. With the right mix of data and human expertise and the right level of transparency across the organisation, our clients can drive that customer-centricity in their business.

Create a winning customer-centricity strategy with GfK

To find out more about data- and customer-centricity and GfK’s client certification and change management workshop, please visit or email Vishal Bali at to arrange a no-obligation consultation with a gfknewron expert.

Please read our full article here.