Digital transformation in 12 weeks: How Proximus and Digipolitans made it happen

February 2018

Serving both the residential and the enterprise market, Proximus is the largest telecom company in Belgium. It offers fixed phone, mobile, internet and TV as well as digital solutions for businesses. Proximus partnered with boutique consultancy Digipolitans in tackling their challenge of eliminating silos to leverage revenue and cost efficiency in a digitising world.

Proximus had the ambition of really changing the way they were approaching marketing, aiming to make their digital marketing data-driven, automated, always-on and end-to-end. They foresaw that a challenge in achieving an enterprise-wide transformation can be visualising the end result. To make it tangible, the team decided to choose one strategic product – Netflix – and build a test case around it.

Think with Google: Digital transformation in 12 weeks, Proximus and Digipolitans made it happen

Digipolitans put together a “squad” of people from different Proximus departments who traditionally would have worked in silos. The squad also included experts from Digipolitans, Google and other partners. This very small team worked outside of existing company processes to facilitate fast testing and learning. The squad’s target was to use substantially less budget than traditionally planned to double sales within just 12 weeks.

The approach followed several steps. First, the team detected the needs of potential customers and figured out how to guide them through a journey leading to a sale. Then they identified how to connect with those customers in the most efficient and valuable way. And finally, they provided consumers with seamless digital experiences to convert those needs into sales. Every step in the process was data-driven, based on real behaviour, rather than declared behaviour. Google Search played an important role in this throughout the project.

For instance, based on searches about Netflix series, the squad generated new content on the Proximus website, including “New Netflix Series” and “10 Best Netflix Series”. In all, they created about 40 new landing pages to provide the most relevant answers to people who reached the site. In another example, they found that most people who were looking for Netflix content on YouTube were looking for kids’ content in the same session. Based on this insight, the squad was able to alter the marketing strategy to cater to this clear user need.

With the activity spanning search engine advertising, search engine optimisation, YouTube pre-rolls, banners and dynamic remarketing, Google Marketing Platform1 acted as the project’s “engine”. Campaign Manager was chosen as the ad server and cross-channel reporting tool, enabling the squad to obtain a holistic view of results across all digital channels. Google Marketing Platform served as the central buying tool, making it possible to consolidate buying efforts across multiple publishers and achieve optimal frequency capping. Search Ads 3604 was used as the search management tool, allowing the squad to not only optimise and automate search advertising efficiently, but also leverage search data for search-to-display remarketing.

The results were enormously convincing: sales leads (measured by clicks to order on the Proximus website) increased by six-fold over the previous campaign – but at a substantially reduced budget. The acquisition potential also increased dramatically: 72% of visitors were new versus a 40% benchmark. Finally, the conversion ratio improved from 4% to 14%2.

The test case went on to play a crucial role in structural change within Proximus. The results were used to convince the executive committee to approve important improvements, including the creation of new jobs and design of new processes. In effect, the resounding success of the project provided a tangible outcome so that people could have a vision of what transformation would mean to the organisation and its future.

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