Help to shape the digital future of one of the world’s best-loved brands.
Shaping the digital future of the trusted and iconic global brand Miele, with e-commerce sites in 50 countries on three different platforms, has presented some challenges for our team at Miele X! One such challenge is the difference in buyer behaviour across markets. We talked to Freek De Jong, Performance Marketing Manager at Miele X about how a full funnel marketing mix is building highly personalised customer journeys for the Miele brand.
Life before Miele X saw Freek qualifying as a PE Teacher before deciding to focus his energy on all things digital marketing. He started as an agency digital strategist before first joining Miele Netherlands business as an digital marketeer and later transferring to Miele X, Miele’s Global Digital Sales & Marketing Hub.
Brand touchpoints through the customer journey
With so many different platforms - including Google, social media, shopping sites like Amazon, Miele’s country websites and Miele’s own retail Experience Centres, the customer has many brand touchpoints wherever they are in the discovery and buying process. Many people search and look at digital and video content, not just searching for brands but also looking to solve problems or understand how to achieve results - for example create their dream kitchen with the best performing appliances.
Freek recognises this and defines what he means by full funnel marketing. “It’s more important than ever to realise that’s there’s no single customer journey. Each journey differs per customer, especially nowadays where we have information overload – you read, you watch, you listen. It’s our responsibility as a brand to make sure that we are as relevant as possible, to make sure that no matter where they are in the customer journey we are always there with the right message at the right time, on the right device with the right advice.”
Defining the funnel
Although there are many different versions of a marketing funnel, Freek refers to the Google ‘see, think, do, care model’. So, what do these stages look like for Miele’s customers? Freek gives a snapshot of each.
“The ‘see’ level is all about brand awareness, demonstrating the innovations we have, and also the quality of our brand. The main goal is to reach the audience and get them interested. It’s about priming the audience so when they are in a position to think about a washing machine, they think about Miele”. However, it is a gradual process and differs per product category. For example, it can take 6-12 months for the consumer journey of those who want to buy a kitchen. Once familiar with the brand, customers will typically want to know more. “This is the ‘think’ stage. When our customers are in the market for a washing machine, we want them to consider our brand and also distinguish ourselves from other brands by focusing on our German quality, products that last, innovation, and also the sustainability of our products. We need to establish why they’d choose Miele ahead of other options”.
The final two stages in the funnel see customers deciding to buy - but it doesn’t stop there. We want our customers to become advocates, ambassadors for Miele. “The ‘do' phase of the funnel is where the consumer buys. This is where a mix of channels but also retailer locations is important. We want to reach customers on their platform of choice. The final phase is advocacy - the ‘care’ phase. After purchase we maintain premium communication so, for example, customers might get specific product emails or join our newsletter with tips and tricks on how to get the best out of their device. We want it to become a premium experience, not just a purchase” Freek explains.
“We take a data-driven approach to defining the funnel and target customers and understand intent, based on behavioural data. This helps us ensure that messages are relevant. For example, we utilize sequential targeting, which means that based on a customer’s interaction with one piece of content, we define what they will see next.
We take an Immer Besser philosophy to all of our work, we always want to improve and provide the customer with enhanced experiences of the Miele brand, making sure that wherever you step into the journey we always have the relevant information for you. It is a continuous improvement approach to this full funnel approach” explains Freek.
Countries and customisation
Establishing a full funnel marketing strategy requires customisation across Miele’s individual customer markets. Freek explains “Our biggest challenge is that the full funnel differs by country, based on the channels, platforms, and way of communicating”. We continuously have to adapt to the market situations. For example, Amazon is very big in the UK and Germany, but just starting in the Netherlands, so it’s not a go-to platform yet for buying a washing machine there, but in Germany it’s one of the biggest channels. The same goes for WeChat which is the number 1 ecommerce platform in China. So the challenge is adjusting the funnel to local country situations. And, having offline visibility through our Experience Centers in this very digital world is still very valuable, as here customers can see, touch and have demonstrations of the products. For example we have implemented Google radius targeting if someone has visited an Experience Centre, enabling a higher ROI”. Also important is collaboration within the Miele X team Freek explains. “We all have to be aligned on the value of our touchpoints in the overall customer journey, so good cross-functional collaboration is key, fortunately this is a strength in our team”.
Freek sees more of a seamless integration between channels within the full funnel marketing mix. The team wants to create more dynamic content which changes based on behaviour. “For example, if you want kitchen appliances and I only want a washing machine the contents of the home page of our website can change based on what we know about you. So, changing and customising content to be dynamic means that customers will get a more personal experience which is more relevant to their needs.”
Overall we always want to deliver the best customer experience possible, to ensure that Miele maintains its trusted, iconic global status.
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