Customer Empowered Marketing: The Strategy Behind Sydbank ‘Favorit’
One of the great challenges in customer retention is to make your customers valued for their loyalty, without breaking the delicate equilibrium a new reward system may threaten.
To optimise its customer retention programme, Sydbank worked with Customer Empowered Marketing on its new customer loyalty programme ’Sydbank Favorit’, which rewarded customers depending on their level of financial engagement with the bank.
In order to make sure that the system would be well received and easy to use, Sydbank understood that gaining precious customer insights before launch would have been fundamental for the success of the programme.
We helped Sydbank define the objective of its study – to discover if its customers understood the loyalty programme, were interested in using it, and appreciated how important it was for Sydbank to include them throughout the development phase.
Sydbank tested its initiative several times, using the “Loyalty concept validation” study from our Marketplace. Every time, the bank got clear insights from its customers on video within a few days, which it then used to make minor adjustments to its ‘Favorit’ initiative before launch.
Thanks to real customer insights, Sydbank has had great success in launching its new customer loyalty programme. Almost half of the bank’s customers went through ’Sydbank Favorit’ – and almost 90% of those agreed to be contacted by the bank. Eventually, the programme would be nominated for the Danish Digital Award.
Walk the Talk: How Ecco Crafted a Winning Marketing Strategy
In an effort to align its brand values with its customers’ awareness, the company wanted to leverage its strive for innovation as one of its selling points and to communicate it to them effectively.
To achieve this ambitious goal, the Consumer Innovation team at Ecco decided to involve its customers in the production of its upcoming campaigns and refine its communication strategy based on their insights.
“Our work is to try to take all of those beautiful innovations that Ecco has come up with and try to describe them in a way where people know how it’s gonna make their daily lives better”
Gabby Henriksen, Senior Consumer Innovation Analyst at Ecco
Intuition is great… but customer insight is better
To learn more about how to communicate with its customers, Ecco required insights into its customers’ opinions. This was a stark contrast to Ecco’s old marketing model, which traditionally relied on “gut feelings” and hard metrics, without much integration of qualitative data. This had to change.
Therefore, the Consumer Innovation team at Ecco partnered with Sonar to radically disrupt the way it created and developed its marketing campaigns. The company conducted over 30 interviews with men and women in America and Germany, testing multiple marketing assets from its latest campaign.
What Ecco learnt from its customers
Customer insights taught Ecco how it could emphasise its innovation in marketing efforts to resonate with the company’s consumers:
“We found out [that] communicating innovation really has to do with just communicating the end result. What consumers want to know is what that specific technology is going to do for them. It’s really going to shape our strategy going forward on how we talk about our innovation.”
“Numbers can only tell you so much…”
The interviews Ecco and Sonar made with Ecco’s customers helped the company connect with its customers and, subsequently, know what to do to make its communication and marketing efforts more successful.
That’s because these interviews helped provide the “whys” of a customer’s choice or action. And that was precisely what the company needed, according to Gabby:
She further exemplifies how the video interviews helped the company to see how its customers struggled with their technical descriptions:
“The company could see real people reading out loud the Ecco facts and benefits and the Ecco descriptions, and they could see them struggle“
This prompted the company to change its communication style.
First of all, it taught Ecco that customers valued certain aspects of its shoes, like comfort or innovation, over others. Next, it showed them that although innovation was something customers valued, it was also hard to understand in written words:
“People are not gonna take the time to read long descriptions.”
Conversely, videos or visual-rich content was reviewed more favourably by Ecco’s audience. These insights helped the people at Ecco learn how to best communicate certain aspects of their products in their campaigns or on their website:
“The result is to show our product descriptions and show how we talk about innovations in a visual format.”
Experiencing innovation through the eyes of the customer
Customer insights also showed that “you can have a great product, but it’s all about how you communicate it and talk about it“. First, Ecco learned that the brands renowned for innovation are those that use technology for enhanced comfort:
“Consumers don’t really care about any innovative footwear that has nothing to do outside of comfort and quality. So comfort was a big one, and that was great news for Ecco because that is something that we thrive on.”
Knowing this, the company shifted its perspective of innovation from a stand-alone value proposition to an interwoven communication component of its shoes’ comfort. This allowed the company to capitalise on its innovation efforts while contextualising them in a way that was digestible and resonating with its audience.
Bringing the customers to the heart of decision-making
By listening to its customers, Ecco” has changed the way it writes descriptions of shoes and communicates how the shoes can make peoples’ lives better”. In addition, the feedback made it easier to communicate the benefits of the shoes to align with what the consumers deem essential.
These actionable insights helped the company connect with its customers by bringing them to the centre of its decision-making.
By knowing how to showcase its innovations in its campaigns, the marketing team can now create campaigns guaranteed to resonate with its customers’ needs.
Further research and additional customer insights
Learning that consumers care most about comfort and quality, Ecco wanted to research what those qualities mean to the consumers. Then, to help the company address its most significant selling points: comfort and quality through innovation.
Ecco’s findings showed that customizability and a shoe’s ability to mould to the individual foot signify innovation to the customer. The company also found that consumers want to know what value a product has for them specifically:
“The shoe did signify innovation to the consumer which will transpire into how we communicate all our shoes”
A company-wide impact
Ecco learned how best to communicate its innovations from the consumers’ perspective and what type of communication material effectively conveys the benefits of the company’s products. The company gained insights into what its customers prefer in footwear, making it easier to address those preferences in their marketing campaigns.
Moreover, these insights can also be used by other teams in the company, generating a company-wide effect greater than initially expected:
“We’re working with the entire business to try to plug in consumer insights where we can.”
The gathered customer insights will have a more significant effect, as the findings will transpire into other business units.
A Window to Success: How VELUX Boosted Conversions with Customer-Optimised Webshops
Although VELUX’s products are best experienced in person, many customers first interact with them online. Indeed, VELUX offers a variety of digital products including their website, apps, and other digital tools, to help their customers explore their product catalogue and make a purchase. Therefore, delivering a high-quality user experience is a fundamental need for the company.
To bolster online sales and improve the online shopping experience, VELUX renovated 2 of its webshops. The company set as a usability benchmark that at least 80% of its customers should be able to find what they were looking for on the two webshops within no more than 3 steps.
VELUX tested the two online stores with its customers, using a customised version of the ‘E-commerce flow’ study from the Sonar marketplace. By aggregating VELUX customers’ impressions, suggestions and reactions on video, Sonar compiled these results into actionable insights and recommendations.
VELUX received all full videos, an executive summary and access to our insights dashboard, containing 3 key takeaways, suggestions for next steps and 10 concrete optimization points that described potential initiatives for our client to increase customer satisfaction.
By implementing these recommendations and taking action on its customer insights, VELUX reached its KPI and increased customer satisfaction and usability, which resulted in quicker customer purchase journeys and higher offline sales.
Breaking the Bank: How Santander Created a Money-Spinning Loan Application Flow
As a leading financial service provider, Santander Finland was transitioning its service offering on its online portfolio. But there was a problem: large amounts of customers were dropping out during their online loan application process.
The challenge was clear: to improve the online application flow to reduce the drop-off rate and create a best-in-class online application process.
Santander first probed its customers to get feedback on its existing flow with a flow optimisation test. After it collected insights from the first testing round, the bank went back to the drawing table, editing its flow and presenting it to a sample of non-Santander clients.
During each testing round, Santander received usability scores, which it used to benchmark the two flows.
Through iterative testing, Santander identified all highly critical issues in its flow and learned how to address them with precision and speed. Furthermore, by presenting it to a new audience, the bank discovered its new flow outperformed the old one in every single benchmark.
“Your process made usability testing quite easy for us. Before, there was a lot of hassle in conducting user research, but your process and approach were much more useful and easier for us”
Usko Manninen, Digital Marketing Leader (Nordics) at Santander Consumer Bank – Nordics.
Santander launched a customer-inspired flow that made online loan applications much smoother. As a result, online transactions grew markedly. More than that, the bank has now integrated customer insights into its production cycle, helping it make customer-inspired, more successful business decisions in a fraction of the time.
How Novozymes Leveraged Customer Insights to Create a Human-Centric Health Brand
But how can you, as a company, bring biological answers and find solutions for your consumers in an increasingly demanding marketplace?
You ask them about their needs and aspirations, of course.
Rethinking how to address health and solve challenges
Novozymes has been dedicated to enzymes and microbes for more than 70 years, working to solve biological problems and make a difference in the world.
But with the appearance of new health paradigms such as stress-related diseases, the company needed to rethink how to address health and solve society’s modern challenges. As a first step to tackle these new paradigms, Novozymes wanted to uncover more about its customers and their brand perception by combining customer insights with technology, to take those insights to adapt the brand.
But, according to Ulrich Irgens, General Manager of Novozymes OneHealth, the conclusion was not what they were anticipating…
Understanding the surroundings in the market landscape
Before Novozymes could figure out a way to grow, it was essential to know the competition, whichmeant scanning the market landscape and their brand’s perception: “We started with lots of insights on the perception of Novozymes in the health industry,” Ulrich Irgens explains.
The research revealed that while the company was up against some very established players in a competitive entry:
“It was pretty clear that Novozymes was a market leader in biotechnology, [but] in health, we were a completely unknown entity“
Consequently, it prompted the company to consider how it could increase its brand awareness. And so, OneHealth was born: a brand business unit used to market solutions within human health under one singular umbrella.
Novozymes sought to uncover consumer needs and develop tailored solutions to their issues. Therefore, the company needed a means of understanding its consumers on a deeper level.
Enter customer insights.
“How do you make a leap at the very beginning of your innovation or development project into the unknown? It’s scary [but it] can be triggered by consumer insights. We had to take insights as a way of working and embed it as a cultural way of thinking in everything we do.”
With insights into its customers, the company wrote a core story to leverage the value of the company while creating a strong and dedicated health brand: “[It was] us saying ‘what do we need to do, who do we need to do it for and why are we doing it?’” Irgens explains.
According to Irgens, helping consumers live better and healthier lives is not just achieved through scientific expertise, but with empathy as well: “We realised that we needed to build something quite specific” in order to stand out and solve the needs of the consumers of tomorrow – and this requires empathy and the ability to set oneself in someone else’s shoes.
Putting empathy and human understanding at the forefront
Novozymes OneHealth aims to create clinically proven probiotics and enzymes tailored to meet end-user needs. And to meet the specific needs, the company has to put empathy and human understanding at the forefront of everything they do:
For instance, all the visuals Novozymes use show actual employees and team members, “there to communicate that we are here to understand and here as human beings, not just as technology providers,” Irgens says.
Additionally, this is the company’s way of putting empathy at the fore of their work, which he states is a “supercritical [element]“, just as it is to ensure “that customers and consumers are at the front of everything“.
According to Irgens, the goal was to ensure that the consumer hasn’t moved on: “We must make sure that we check in at every point along the way to make sure that we have the consumers with us,” he concludes. And this was ensured by actually using the insights they gathered.
As a result, the company improved in both positioning and branding
Novozymes validated extensively with its consumers, needing the human side of things: “We pivoted and adapted our story and we tested again and got some really, really interesting insights out of it,” Irgens explains.
For instance, the company concluded that some concepts stood out more than others in the core story. Words such as “trillion” and “cutting-edge technology” were the most noticeable ones because of being the strongest claim of the core story. Additionally, the visual identity gave the impression of a human-centric and scientifically sound company, which was the aim.
Both examples enabled Novozymes to develop a tone of voice and a visual concept that resonates with its audience.
Ulrich Irgens explains that using the gathered insights has helped the company grow. However, he notes that:
“If you don’t listen and use these insights along each of these steps to either pivot or adapt or change, […] the market [can] move on and the value proposition [will] no longer [be] relevant.”
As a result, the company landed with a brand personality that translates its philosophy, culture and beliefs: the One-in-a-trillion brand idea.
Thus, empathy helped Novozymes amplify data development
Irgens explains that consumer insights show consumers are becoming more activist-oriented regarding health. “They are looking for a prevention more than a cure; they are looking for health care, not sick care,” he states.
This conclusion helped the company in its task of figuring out how to address health to resonate with consumers’ needs. Additionally, it helped establish the OneHealth brand as well as the ‘One-in-a-trillion’ vision and culture: “We want health to be an aspiration, not a need,” Irgen reveals, which correlates well with what the customers are looking for.
Novozymes validated the final concept with consumers by creating and testing several idea propositions. Ultimately, this ensured that the company offered its customers solutions verified by end-consumers. As Irgens states, it’s “not just [about] driving insights, but [about] understanding them” as well.
Using insights has been an excellent way for the company to ensure that the value proposition and innovation remain relevant. Combining trustworthy technology with actionable insights has enabled the company to build a business from the ground up, going from six people to hundreds of employees. In addition, it has helped deliver real breakthrough innovation to happy customers.
But, as Irgens explains, “Insights are not a single source for us”. Instead, it is used to amplify other data, such as scientific insights.”
Novozymes managed to create a vision and a culture with the OneHealth brand that resonates with the customers. Moreover, the brand’s goal to be “purely driven by insights” has enabled a considerable commitment to the customers, which is what “stood out in insights [into] what customers like,” Ulrich Irgens concludes.
How Saxo Bank’s Customer-Centricity Led Digital Innovation in Private Investing
As a platform provider for multi-asset trading and investment, Saxo Bank strives to empower people with a user-friendly and personal platform experience, no matter if they want to actively trade global markets or invest in their future.
Therefore, Saxo Bank wanted to understand the use and satisfaction with the current solution, as well as apply an iterative process to optimise and further develop their solution.
“The investor platform is the core of the offering to our customers and a key differentiator. Staying ahead of our competitors by exceeding market expectations to the customer experience is a constant strategic priority.”
Martin Christiansen, Head of Platform at Saxo Bank
To get the best overview, the bank ran iterative tests using the Sonar platform with several investors, from evaluating the existing platform to prototyping until launch.
By helping assess elements across the platform, the bank gained insights into their customers’ opinions: what drove them to use the platform, as well as what they could improve. This helped speed up development while optimising new functionality, features and content.
With easy-to-access customer insights from both the mobile and desktop versions, Saxo Bank was able to place its platform to be one of the most responsive on the market.
Through Sonar, Saxo Bank was able to gain the right insights and involve its customers in assessing and optimising its platform. Thus, it managed to steer digital development in a way that was actually useful to its target audience. It was an instant success for the bank, as it went on to win the 2019 Active Trader Award for Best Platform.
ReSound: Empowering Tinnitus Sufferers with a User-Centered Design
As one of the leading apps for relieving and managing tinnitus, maintaining and improving the Relief app is a priority for ReSound. Since the app was launched, it has gained popularity in the app store, and ReSound wanted to explore its potential for further growth.
While their current user base was solid, ReSound wanted to better understand the app’s perceived value as well as the user experience of first discovering and exploring the app after the initial download.
Working with the Relief team, we designed an app customer research study that would target people with varying degrees of tinnitus in the USA, who were not current users of the Relief app.
The study focused on different features within the app and asked participants to explore the app while giving feedback on what they found valuable and most useful.
The results helped validate many of the Relief product development team’s original hypotheses. They also highlighted some areas of concern for them to focus on and address before re-launching the app.
The Relief team at ReSound gained a much clearer understanding of the daily lives of people living with tinnitus. With rich qualitative insights, the company work was able to integrate the voice of its customers into its development process, making customer-inspired decisions with no delay.
How Maersk Used Insights to Create Compelling Marketing Campaigns
“Our audience is exposed to huge amounts of content. Each day they typically scroll around 90 metres on their phones and see two and half thousand advertisements. So we need to create something that’s going to stand out, that tells our story”
Dominic Pope, Senior Brand Marketing Manager at Maersk.
Dominic has been with the company for four and a half years. During that time, one of the main marketing focuses has been the repositioning of the global brand of Maersk. In that transition, Sonar played a significant role.
The transition started in 2019 when Maersk decided to not only focus on ocean shipping but become an end-to-end logistic partner for their B2B customers.
“We needed some insight into our customers’ views on what logistics is and what it means within their organisation. We wanted to validate what they like and engage with and if they understood the core message of our communications. We did that in order to create these large brand campaigns that could tap in and really form an emotional connection with them.”
Essential insights from different markets
It has been a challenge for the marketing team at Maersk to cut through to their audience in a competitive media landscape. Their approach was to push boundaries and create content that intrigues and interests people. But they needed to validate their content, and they needed validation from a global audience.
“We are a global company, and Sonar allows us to test globally. This gives us the ability to target specific people from our customer segments and show them our creative output and use their reactions to understand them”
With the help of Sonar, Maersk has received customer insights from different markets and industries around the globe. These tests have informed them that although some things might work in one market, they may not produce the expected reactions in another.
“The understanding and feedback we get are really rich data for us. We use it to tweak the creative and make changes or even go back to the drawing board entirely. It gives us the assurance that we are developing something that will really connect”
Validation is critical when investing in large campaigns
When Maersk is creating a global marketing campaign, they invest large budgets and want to get an indication of the reception. So in 2020, they released a campaign film called “Disconnected”.
However, as they were developing it they were balancing between making it mysterious and compelling but also more complex.
“The story is quite complicated. It is about these people in a different world of logistics and how they are all connected. Would it really stand out or not? We used Sonar to validate that. Our segment really understood and appreciated it taking away our message,” says Dominic Pope.
“The work with Sonar really helped us in achieving these fantastic results ” Pope emphasises.
The insights deliver a more profound understanding
Maersk is highly focused on being a customer-centric organisation. To improve the delivery of their customer’s needs, Sonar has been a vital partner in providing in-depth insights.
“There is a very fast turnaround, which is vitally important to us because we need to be able to understand whether something is ready, needs a rewrite or isn’t going to work at all”
For Dominic and his team, Sonar delivers analysed and organised data from their target audience, for example, whilst testing a film for a campaign. He highlights the quantitative amount as a useful barometer. But it is not the most critical part.
“Those insights present us with a really deep dive into the data. The level of understanding we receive tells us how people feel about certain things. So it is the qualitative that gives an important understanding of whether a project is going to present a challenge.”
Sonar’s understanding of their business and what Maersk is trying to achieve has Dominic Pope describing their relationship as “so much more than a service provider relationship.”
For Dominic, these insights are the cornerstone of their work.