LAS VEGAS, NEVADA—Today’s razor-thin margins keep pushing CEOs to cut costs and increase market share.

Oracle CEO Mark Hurd, during a keynote address at Oracle’s Modern Customer Experience conference here, noted that although cutting costs is a fundamental goal for any CEO, increasing market share is the key to survival.

“There are three ways to do that, but the path with the most room for differentiation is customer service,” he said.

And companies that use customer data to strengthen relationships with existing customers will be able to differentiate themselves.

Customer-centric sales and marketing has of course been a cornerstone of business for decades.

But as we find ourselves in the middle of a generational shift, characterized by increasingly savvy, digitally connected consumers, the only way marketers, sales, and service people can meet new expectations is by surrounding themselves with actionable data.

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