Workplace solutions retailer creates compelling customer experience via data-driven marketing
Save money and reduce complexity with an end-to-end marketing platform.
Increased response rates and sales
Viking Europe drives change by putting SAS® Customer Intelligence 360 at the center of its digital transformation
In the past, retail marketing was little more than a swirl of mailers, emails and in-store promos. Today, the market is radically transforming, as digital technologies have brought about countless new ways for retailers to connect with customers.
But with new opportunities comes added complexity. While technology has made it easier for marketers to use customer data to improve campaigns, the digitization of commerce has changed how people interact with businesses. Shoppers are now accustomed to fast, intuitive and personalized shopping experiences. If they don’t get it from one retailer, they’ll seek it from another.
Headquartered in the Netherlands, Viking Europe – formerly known as Office Depot Europe – is a leading provider of office supplies and workplace solutions throughout Europe. In addition to changing customer demands, the retailer must contend with a growing number of online and offline campaigns, multiple currencies and languages, and dispersed marketing teams. It needed a way to consolidate its marketing operations.
We believe that data is the new lifeblood to steer our service offerings to customers in the most effective and efficient way. Matt Steell Director of of Data Analytics Viking Europe
The search for simplicity
In the past, Viking Europe relied on push marketing, sending around 100 million mailers to individual customers and businesses each year. Seeing a market shift toward personalization, the company sought to increase focus on life cycle marketing based on ordering behavior and individual preferences.
“We looked at how to structure our data, make it widely available and use it for marketing purposes,” says Sandy Kirchhoff, Senior Manager of Marketing Planning and Customer Marketing for Viking Europe.
But the company’s IT architecture made enterprise-level changes challenging. It had many point solutions that were not fully integrated and not easy to maintain. The company looked for a better way to manage its data and enhance the customer experience.
The search began for an end-to-end marketing platform – one that would provide consistency, scalability and clarity to help marketers plan and manage activities across all regions and channels. A more simplified stack, the company ascertained, would give it the agility to create change a lot faster.
For this, Viking Europe turned to longtime analytics partner SAS.
Becoming a more data-driven organization
With SAS Customer Intelligence 360, data is now the cornerstone of Viking Europe’s marketing activities.
The retailer has infused more data into the customer experience, making it easier to deploy personalized campaigns based on different factors, like a customer’s preferred channel or their position in the sales life cycle.
“Since implementing SAS, we’re a lot more data-driven as an organization,” Kirchhoff says. “The data is pretty much telling us what to do instead of individual beliefs and personal opinions.”
With SAS, Viking Europe has reduced print costs by 20% while keeping sales stable – freeing up money to invest in other areas. In addition, standard KPIs like response rates and customer sales have improved, as well as less tangible measures such as how quickly data is available to act on and the time needed to turn analytics into insight.
IT complexity has dropped as well. By consolidating marketing operations into one platform, Viking Europe expects to earn additional sales revenue and see significant savings on the IT side, as the company phases out several point solutions.
Viking Europe – Facts & Figures
Office Depot Europe united with Viking Europe and became acquired by RAJA Group
customers served by RAJA Group, which Viking Europe is a part of
A true partnership
Working alongside SAS, Viking Europe has implemented a cost-efficient and data-driven solution to meet its marketing goals, encourage collaboration among teams and become more personalized in its marketing efforts.
The relationship has evolved from the early years where SAS worked diligently to understand the organization and business processes, to where it is today – with SAS at the retailer’s side, helping it drive change and optimize its business.
“SAS has been instrumental in helping us evolve into a more data-driven mindset,” says Matt Steell, Director of of Data Analytics at Viking Europe. “We believe that data is the new lifeblood to steer our service offerings to customers in the most effective and efficient way.”
Steell encourages other companies to make data and analytics a companywide initiative. “I would advise them to not declare this an IT project; instead, declare it a companywide initiative that requires support from more people than just IT,” he says. “Celebrate the small successes and scale up in a natural way at a pace that is right for your organization.”