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Customer Success Stories


Customer Success Stories


Gaining actionable consumer insight

ZapFi deploys consumer analytics to boost mobile marketing

ZapFi is a mobile marketing company that helps organizations with sophisticated personalized marketing through its free Wi-Fi hotspots ('Zapfi Zones'). It chose SAS as a partner to develop a technical solution for analyzing consumer surfing behavior and intent. ZapFi uses this information to send personalized advertisements to the mobile devices of consumers. The concept is currently being implemented in a number of European countries, and several major multinational organizations are already convinced of the benefits of ZapFi's approach.


Mobile communication is gaining in importance on several fronts. It is expected that the number of mobile devices will increase from 1.5 billion in 2013 to 5 billion by 2020 (KPCB, Mary Meeker Internet Trends, 2013). Mobile influence will rise from 689 billion dollars in 2016 to more than 3 trillion dollars in 2020 (Deloitte, The dawn of mobile influence, 2012). In addition, mobile marketing will gain importance from 9 billion dollars in 2013 to 60 billion dollars in 2020 (KPCB, Mary Meeker Internet Trends, May 2013). Mobile marketing has a great advantage in that it can lead to rapid, directly attributable results. And mobile consumers can be reached at the point of purchase. This gives mobile advertising the power to lead to direct selling as opposed to the far slower traditional marketing channels.

Being on the forefront of mobile marketing trends

The Luxembourg-based company ZapFi intends to make use of the rising potential of mobile marketing by building a one-to-one mobile marketing community in Europe. ZapFi currently employs 40 people and develops business in Belgium, France, Germany, The Netherlands, and the United Kingdom, with more countries to come. "We use Zapfi Zones, that is, zones around free Wi-Fi hotspots that are sponsored by organizations such as retail businesses or insurance and banking institutions. The hotspots are typically located in a shop or customer service area of a sponsoring organization. Consumers surfing a ZapFi Zone with their mobile device receive personalized marketing messages sent by the sponsoring organization of that particular ZapFi Zone," explains Gery Pollet, founder and CEO at ZapFi.

Finding a match between consumers and shops

ZapFi collects various consumer-specific data using the ZapFi Zone platform. "We collect personal data such as name, age, gender, and address as well as browsing behavior. This includes time spent online and categories of interest such as fashion, art, mobility, music, sports, finance, et cetera. We gather data every time a user logs in to a ZapFi Zone, so the browsing behavior information gradually becomes richer and at the same time more specific. This comprehensive approach enables us to build a detailed profile of each ZapFi-registered consumer. In addition, we also have comprehensive information on each shop containing a ZapFi hotspot, including products on offer and any promotional activities in effect. We try to find a real time match between the consumer profiles and the ads by shop owners or brands in the shop, enabling us to send specific marketing messages and offers," explains Pollet. "This personalized mobile marketing can provide the organization with a distinct competitive advantage. Since, the landing page of a ZapFi Zone is personalized for each organization, the tool also leads to a more comprehensive brand experience, both for the organization and the consumer. Meanwhile, consumers can profit from personalized special offers," adds Claudia Nieuwland, Chief Commercial Officer at ZapFi.

Building consumer profiles

Technically, ZapFi's main challenges were the development of a consumer profile builder and a reliable system that identifies promising matches between shop and consumer. "We knew that we needed a powerful analytical software system for this,' says Pollet. 'SAS has put just such a system in place for us. An essential component is SAS Text Analytics, which analyzes the content of web pages visited in order to uncover the consumer's interest domains. A second component is SAS Decision Manager, which is used for its profiling and segmentation capabilities as well as for its real time predictive modeling capabilities," explains Michel De Coster, Executive chairman at ZapFi.

Offering a complete solution

It is only a year ago that ZapFi sent out a request for proposal to six companies for an analytical solution for its mobile marketing. Michel De Coster explains why they subsequently chose SAS as a partner. "SAS offered the most complete solution for our needs and is the number one when it comes to dealing with huge amounts of data. SAS already possessed the required technology. They also provided us with a straightforward match between shop and consumer. Their SAS Intelligent Advertising includes a comprehensive advertising model that has proven to be successful in numerous projects. ZapFi's advertising model excels in that it not only gathers a great deal of information about the consumers who use Zapfi Zones, but can also contact them in real time during the buying process when they are inside the store." "An added benefit of SAS—especially for a start-up company—is its capability of letting their SAS tools grow together with ZapFi's changing needs. SAS immediately adapted to working together with a start-up company and understood that it needed to provide a robust yet flexible platform to support Zapfi with their current and future needs. Over the past year, the platform has gradually evolved into an ever more sophisticated one-to-one mobile marketing tool that helps grow the business of participating organizations. Among the major organizations currently working together with ZapFi are Belfius in Belgium, Total in The Netherlands, and AB InBev in Germany", says Michel De Coster"

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Business Issue:
Developing a technical solution for analyzing mobile browsing behavior, discovering consumer intent, and sending appropriate personalized marketing messages
SAS® Visual Analytics
SAS® Intelligent Advertising
SAS® Decision Manager
SAS® Text Analytics
  • Detailed consumer profiling based on web browsing behavior
  • Reliable advertising strategies thanks to built-in modeling tools with a proven track-record
  • A personalized marketing tool with real-time capabilities
About ZapFi
ZapFi analyses consumer-browsing behavior to enable shop owners to send real time consumer-specific marketing messages while they are in the store.
Lessons Learned
  1. Choose a ready-to-use solution
    For your analytics, team up with a 'go-to-market' partner. ZapFi called upon SAS because of the completeness of their solution and the ready-to-use built-in models.
  2. Continue to fine-tune
    You must be able to continuously adjust and fine-tune the system to take advantage of growing insights and to meet changing requirements.

"We needed a powerful analytical tool that could analyze all the data we collect regarding online surfing behavior. SAS created a technical solution that is continuously evolving towards an ever more sophisticated one-to-one mobile marketing tool."

Gery Pollet

founder and CEO of ZapFi

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