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Finding the right balance is the key to publishing

A lot has changed since Sanoma began using analytics to inform its marketing campaigns. Before analytics, every magazine, publication and product had its own marketer. Today, the customer is the focus and that has made all the difference.

“We aim to enhance customer satisfaction and loyalty - and our return on investment - by offering our customers the right proposition at the right time,” explains Remy Kluizenaar, Consumer and Trade Marketing Manager.

Kluizenaar says that in the past they targeted customers through a particular publication - a very product-centric approach. Now, they use a centralized subscriptions marketing approach.

“Now it’s about the customer’s wishes, interests and consumption patterns,” says Kluizenaar. “Where possible, we use their channel of preference to communicate with them.”

We are able to make our customers relevant offers during various stages of their life cycle and, as a result, they remain demonstrably more loyal to us.

Remy Kluizenaar
Manager, Consumer and Trade Marketing

Millions of transactions a week

Hubert Grim, IT and Projects Director at Sanoma, explains: “Our database contains data from various sources, from our magazines to our digital activities. The database contains information on household size, and our customers’ purchases and payment details. Websites are also a source of information, as are the traces (leads) that people leave behind when they visit an event or site.”

Consumers increasingly mix and match media to fit their information needs. They are no longer passive consumers; they are active suppliers of information, says Kluizenaar.

“At least once a week a large percentage of our active customers will perform a transaction that has the potential to change their next-best offer,” Kluizenaar adds “For instance, they might get or cancel a subscription, ask a question, change their address or switch to another communication channel, such as email, texting or social media. This type of notification (trigger) won’t always result in a new offer, but it is still a possibility.”

“Using SAS software’s analytic models, we can predict customer behavior to give them the most relevant offers,” says Kluizenaar. “We also use the system to gain greater insight into the profile and interests of our readers, so that the editorial board can be more effective.”

Being proactive

The media market is under pressure. So Grim says that Sanoma is looking for a balance between customer satisfaction and reduced expenses. “SAS plays a crucial role here,” says Grim. “SAS also helps us get a greater return on cross-selling and up-selling campaigns.”

“Initially, our main focus was on providing our decentralized marketers with insight into the effectiveness of their campaigns,” Grim says. “The focus now is on expanding the sales channel. Previously, analysts were required to answer questions from the marketers. We have now included the answers to the most frequently asked questions in our default reporting, so that each analyst has become more of a specialist and is intelligently deployed to provide proactive advice and develop new services.”

From the past to the future

According to Grim, marketers used to decide on their own to set up a mailing targeted to subscribers of another magazine. Today, the marketers use analytical models to decide on relevant offer for the right customer – and at the right moment, using the ideal channel. He says that the IT and business groups now work in a very collaborative environment.

“Before, some people were unconvinced that data might be the driver for our business processes,” Grim says. “Our entire organization is now very much aware that our data drives our commercial process.”

Kluizenaar still has quite a few wishes left: “Ideally, I would like to use more resources to sharpen our insight into customers. I also want to further improve the quality of my models. In the future, our collaboration with SBS Netherlands TV may also cause a few changes in our customer approach. Another question is how legislation will evolve. There are a lot of possibilities, but not everything is wise or desirable.”



Serve customers in such a way that their satisfaction increases, they remain customers for a longer period, and they purchase more products and services.


SAS® Campaign Management


  • Campaigns are targeted more optimally to customers - resulting in a high response rate, an increase in revenue per customer and enhanced customer value.
  • One third of Sanoma’s revenue from new subscriptions now stems from database-driven campaigns.

About Sanoma

Sanoma is a multimedia company, or rather a cross-media company, that integrates magazine and digital publishing and television for optimal customer service. Sanoma’s database contains more than 11 million customers and relationships. And its portfolio includes over 60 magazines, more than 200 websites and apps, and the SBS Netherlands television channels.

The results illustrated in this article are specific to the particular situations, business models, data input, and computing environments described herein. Each SAS customer’s experience is unique based on business and technical variables and all statements must be considered non-typical. Actual savings, results, and performance characteristics will vary depending on individual customer configurations and conditions. SAS does not guarantee or represent that every customer will achieve similar results. The only warranties for SAS products and services are those that are set forth in the express warranty statements in the written agreement for such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. Customers have shared their successes with SAS as part of an agreed-upon contractual exchange or project success summarization following a successful implementation of SAS software. Brand and product names are trademarks of their respective companies.