Synonymous with the world of social and market research, the source to beat all sources, the periscope that gives companies full visibility on consumer horizons. With more than 13 thousand research experts and 80 years of experience in collecting, treating and processing information, the GfK Group provides global investigations and strategic analysis linked to intelligence on local markets in over a hundred countries. «The company’s mission is to transform big data into knowledge, enabling clients to improve their competitive edge through more in-depth understanding of consumer choices and their experiences», explains Silvio Siliprandi, Chairman and Managing director of GfK Eurisko, the arm of GfK’s Consumer Experience business in Italy. «Thanks to a long-established kit bag of knowledge and methods, we can monitor consumer behaviour before, during and after the purchasing process, in terms of the quality of the experience, communication, finding purchases at points of sale, and the after-sales experience».
In Italy the group boasts a presence spanning more than forty years, which has strengthened over time until reaching the current organisational setup, which sees the three separate companies GfK Retail and technology, Ifr and GfK Eurisko operating under one GfK brand, with a total turnover of 86.2 million euro in 2014 and 450 employees who are committed to turning enormous volumes of data into added value for their 900 client companies at their ultramodern, environmentally-friendly base at Via Tortona in Milan. With the new global development phase that started in 2012, the Own the Future expansion plan identified two main areas of activity: Consumer Choices (controlled by GfK Retail and technology, GfK Product catalogue and Ifr), focusing on the objective measurement of sales and influencing factors, and Consumer Experiences (GfK Eurisko), focusing on consumer analysis. The operational integration of the two areas now enables GfK, the only company of its kind in Italy, to provide its clients with a complete evaluation of the purchasing process in all its phases, combining shop panels, consumer panels, audiences and ad hoc searches. «Consumer knowledge in particular is made possible with the analysis of attitudes, behaviour, motivation and buying methods, explored through the application of reliable methods that are updated on an ongoing basis», explains Siliprandi. «Some of the surveys created by GfK Italia, such as Sinottica, STP, Eurisko Media Monitor, Multifinanziaria, and New Media Internet, had significant innovative features over the years and gained credibility as official surveys, becoming popular with companies and anyone investing in communication, starting with in-depth knowledge of the end user».
Knowledge which is even more necessary nowadays, given how much web tools are quickly changing the use of services and goods, as well as purchasing processes and channels. «They are increasingly linear and more complex», states the Chairman. «With the acceleration of the internet, which helps in searching for information and comparing products, the journey towards choosing how to spend your money has now become a constant ping pong between offline and online. This is something to bear in mind when defining new research methods, which must be holistic and increasingly directed at the digital age, and also take people’s cultural and social development into account».