Cases 31.10.2022

Kesko takes advantage of data-driven growth marketing

Data-driven leadership Expertise growth Marketing development Marketing effectiveness Digital marketing Growth marketing Strategic consulting Marketing optimization Strategic consulting

Kesko, together with Dagmar, built an agile operating model to make data utilization and data-driven methods accessible to all the specialists in their marketing organization. The pilot sparked a cultural shift throughout the whole Kesko retail organization towards a brand-new, experimental type of marketing.


The business environment is quickly becoming unpredictable, which has increased the need to react quickly and to identify new growth opportunities. Marketers want to move away from traditional marketing campaigns in favor of a more accurate understanding of customer needs and circumstances. And, instead of relying on intuition, they want to move towards data-driven decision making. Kesko recognized the same challenge: how could they persuade all the specialists in the company – not just data analysts – to integrate data into their daily activities and use it to guide their decisions and marketing?


Together, Kesko and Dagmar took on the task of creating a data-driven growth marketing model for Kesko’s specialists. The goal was to enable every Kesko marketing specialist to analyze the data easily and make decisions based on it, while developing their skills at the same time. The large amount of data involved meant that it had to be structured in a user-friendly way, to enable independent use in everyday work.


A data-driven management and testing culture was implemented into the everyday routine of Kesko’s specialists in three stages.

  1. Construction stage We designed and built an operating model that met Kesko’s needs, which included a structured test process and accurate documentation, as well as test monitoring. An essential part of the construction phase was to create a common culture based on trust and courage, as well as clear responsibilities and obligations. One of the cornerstones of a data-driven operating model is data and its democratization: data has to be made available to all specialists in a form that is easy to interpret.
  2. Testing in sprints The trials of the new operating model started with three-week growth sprints, run together with the pilot growth team. The most important thing was to get the testing started. At the same time, we made sure that the testing was truly meaningful. Before this, only data that had been handled by data analysts and, when necessary, marketing specialists was distributed to everyone in an easy-to-use format. Statistical testing methods and constant mirroring of the data helped to keep the testing focus correct.
  3. Implementation The new marketing operating model was adapted based on the experiences of the pilot team. In the next phase, the testing culture will be implemented as part of existing operating models, and the lessons learned from the pilot team’s process will be distributed more widely to the entire organization during phased implementation.

“Managing with data increasingly means that each specialist can find their own ways to influence the company’s most important business metrics. In this pilot, together with Dagmar, we succeeded in finding metrics that guide our work well, and which let each of our specialists use data to guide their actions.”

Caroline Nykter, Director, Digital Marketing & Marketing Development, Kesko


A journey towards agile, experimental marketing

The most important learnings from our project are:

  1. Culture and operating models have a huge importance because all operations are based on data and the insight generated from it – without forgetting goals and continuous growth.
  2. Implementing a new operating model takes time – more than we would like to think. Change is always difficult and challenging, resources are always tight.
  3. It is important to involve your specialists in the development of an operating model to maintain motivation and to ensure that new routines find their place in everyday working life.
  4. A big change in process does not offer measurable short-term results. However, the invested capital pays for itself through learning outcomes and the development of operating models. Persistence pays off!