Connected, by mParticle Episode 11: Turning brick and mortar digital with Søstrene Grene
In this episode, we sit down with René of Søstrene Grene and Kasper of Vertica to discuss how they leveraged the wisdom of hindsight to bring a beloved brick and mortar retail experience into the digital world.
It turns out that there are advantages to being late in adopting a digital strategy. In this episode, we sit down with René of Søstrene Grene and Kasper of Vertica to discuss how they leveraged the wisdom of hindsight to bring a beloved brick and mortar retail experience into the digital world.
If you like this episode, you can visit our Connected by mParticle episode hub to check episodes featuring companies like NBCUniversal, CKE Restaurants, and Ruby Tuesday.
[00:00:55] Abhi: For the audience, you know, maybe would you mind introducing yourself, and telling the, you know, the audience, what you do, and maybe Casper, I'll go with you first. Oh, thank
[00:01:04] Kasper: you. Thank you for having me.
it's a pleasure. So, so yeah, my name is Casper Christensen. I'm in, based in Denmark at a company called Vertica. And, uh, I simply just love data and, uh, being a UX appliances rate, I, I just find it, magical to be able to, to build and optimize experiences based on data and also to get to know, know, get to know the value of, uh, of what you hope create.
That's also quite magical. And, and, and in my book, a great use experience start by having clear goals and that about what success looked like and how to measure it. And that is also why I work with the, with data and. And, uh, in this context I've been helping system crane with the investigating what kind of CPP that they should have and, and help them get it, uh, implemented as as well.
Just a note on, on, on the company, I work with the vaca, which helped [00:01:55] build the eCommerce solution for, for system, again, we design, develop, and improve the eCommerce omnichannel solutions for larger business to consumer and business to business companies. So that's just a bit about me.
Well you, you'll have to hold that thought on, on ui ux and designing experiences and how that ties the data. There's a, a big topic there, but, Renee, I'll turn it over to you.
[00:02:16] René: Fantastic. Thanks Abby, and thanks for having me. If I should introduce myself, I'm actually fairly new to System Grain. I've been working at System Gran for about a year now. and my position at System Grain is that I'm a media and market manager.
At System Grain. We have insourced all specialist areas connected to media buying, and, and I, I'm actually the manager of, of this team. On top of the whole media buying, I also have the responsibility, uh, some responsibility at least with regards to our MarTech stack, meaning which technologies we should invest in from a marketing [00:02:55] standpoint.
And before, I started working at Susan Gain, I actually, had six years, at a big international media agency called Venture. Which you might know. Here I had my last position at Densu was head of digital in, in Denmark. Meaning that I had the responsibility for our digital execution and partly our, our data set up in a marketing context.
At Densu we invested quite heavily in, in a dmp. But I'm sure we'll gonna cover
[00:03:24] Abhi: that later on. Definitely . I wouldn't had to take the opportunity. Yeah, for sure. Um,
[00:03:31] René: um, uh, I don't know, should I put some words into, uh, who's system again? Uh, what kind of
[00:03:35] Abhi: company we are? Yeah. I mean, I think this segue is really nicely, Renee.
Would love sort of, you know, a little intro to
[00:03:41] René: Yeah, sure. Because I'm not sure that, uh, any, uh, us uh, based customers know who, uh,
[00:03:48] Abhi: who just in Gay and Apologi, I will, you know, I, I I have to work on my pronunciations.
Right. But [00:03:55] sore. I will, I will. I'm trying to get that and I, I apologize if I bush it, but Yes, I would love to
[00:04:00] René: hear, We have a, we have a letter in the Danish language that is called, and I know that is, uh, really difficult for any foreigners to
[00:04:07] Abhi: actually pronounce. I'm gonna work on it, I promise. This is, uh, yeah, ,
[00:04:11] René: if you want the English translation.
I think it's, it's so, so. Still
[00:04:16] Abhi: strong rain.
[00:04:18] René: Okay. Yeah, I think that's what, what comes the closest, at least .
[00:04:21] Abhi: Well, awesome. But yes, I mean, I, I agree with you. I don't think many, you know, although, you know, and correct me if I'm wrong, I think you might have a presence, you know, here in the US and, you know, you guys clearly operate in a lot, you know, globally.
Uh, but yeah. What the heck is, uh, so Australian? Exactly.
[00:04:39] René: Well, so again, is actually a retail company, that started to operate out in Denmark back in 1973. And the focus already at that time was actually that we wanted to, to try to create a very different store [00:04:55] experience with focus on experiences with our.
And the products that we sell. So what we did was actually, we, we tried to build a store experience that was very atypical of the time. So we wanted to be, everything should be embraced around that it should be an experience when study into a systemic in store. So what we, if, if you had the chance to go into a system again, you'll, you'll be able to recognize what I'm saying now.
So we always play classic music because one of, uh, one of the founders was actually Ballet Master or what's, I don't know, is that what it is called? In, in English actually. But, uh, he was, uh, he was in the ballet world. Okay. And the store is actually built almost like a maze. So you, and it's very carefully ma, so that you get the experience that we actually intend, uh, you to have.
The smell is, is very different from other, retailers. And we have a very certain light setting which is almost [00:05:55] like a theater, theater. Mm. And also all prizes and signs in the store. Actually very old fashioned because we want, actually, what we want is it to be, it is what we want it to be is actually that you're stepping into some sort of, of time capsule so that you actually can step away from your everyday busy life and, and just have a really calm and relaxed experience.
With systemic a what we try to embrace is that, the experience should actually build the brand. And that's, that's also what sets us aside from other retailers, I would say, because everybody can sell painting furniture or candles, right? Uh, but what we try to do is actually to sell the experience that follows.
So how, how can I use, uh, my furniture in a new and creative way? How can I use my, uh, candles in, for instance, a new, DIY setting or something like that. So the experience is really what, what sets us aside.
[00:06:51] Abhi: I really like the way you're laying this out and it's, it's clear to me, right? [00:06:55] Sure. It, it's retail and you know, we can argue to your point, like a lot of, you know, maybe some individual products are, are very commoditized, right? Yeah. I mean, consumers have a lot of choices.
But what I love, and this is gonna translate into the digital world, almost you know, like a, like a blueprint is everything about this physical experience right, is different. It's, it's unique and it's purposely built and designed to take a customer from the time they walk through the door you know, through a very curated experience.
Right, Exactly. And, um,
[00:07:28] René: and this is all the things we want the customer to think about when they think about system training. And again, this is what really sets us aside. But this has also been a very, very big, challenge when looking into making system grain into a digital experience as well.
Because how do you take this very physical experience and make it digital? That is very challenging. And that's maybe also why it took us so long before we actually made [00:07:55] sustain again work in, in, in digital platforms. It, it was actually, um, not that long ago. I think it was back in 2020, when Corona was here and we had to close all the stores due to Corona, right.
Uh, and we needed to have a sales channel because we couldn't sell any products with our physical stores closed. And we didn't have a web shop at that time. So that is actually when we accelerated the whole process. And we, we had a really good collaboration with, uh, with Casper and his team at Verge. Setting up a workshop for the very first time.
And we actually added an onlay to, uh, to the whole business. Uh, since customers can now find us both in a digital presence, but also in a physical presence. And what we've actually, actually seen is that, uh, it is actually added a layer to the physical presence as well, because now we can get more scale, we can reach more customers, and we can actually show them who are and then they can visit the stores and of course buy or they can buy online.
So it's, it's been such an amazing and fantastic journey. Also seeing that [00:08:55] who might have been a late starter, but , but, uh, now we are actually able to not do all the mistakes that we have seen everybody else do. So we can actually do it the very best way.
[00:09:07] Kasper: And I think also, if I can chip in here, of course it was extremely well received, uh, when it, uh, when it launched.
So the excitement was just really great from, from the customers. And I think one of the, the things that I really think, uh, is sitting Susan Grain aside is, is the, is the sense of exploration you get when you enter one of the stores. You, you find all the, the quirky areas and then, uh, oh, there's a find here.
I found this product. That's a huge sense of that. And that's what we are hoping also to, uh, to get to the customers. Uh, when they go digital, I'll find it, find.
[00:09:46] Abhi: It is such an amazing, I mean, I love the way you guys painted this picture because, you know, I think any organization, right, whatever stage they [00:09:55] are, whether you're digital native or in this case, you know, you have, uh, such a beloved brand that's, uh, sort of, you know, clearly has, you know, global, international brand recognition.
And again, I think through those experiences you build a level of, of love and, and joy and I, and you know, uh, uh, just ultimately like, just inherent loyalty, right? Because, you know, when you're going into, you know, so grain a store, you're getting a particular type of experience.
And I think, let's hold that thought guys, because I think a big part of what I want to geek out and ask you guys is, you know, you guys, I, I, I gotta, you know, pump you guys up a little bit, give you a little credit. That is no easy task, I think to come in as, you know, somebody leading, uh, a digital marketing initiative you know, Casper's, somebody coming in and literally building the experience of, I think, such a strong brand, right?
It's like you, you really can't screw it up. I mean, that same level of loyalty and experience and quality has to transfer, uh, to the [00:10:55] digital world. So I say
[00:10:55] René: that we were actually quite afraid at that time, or I, I was not working at back then, but I, I heard, uh, from my colleagues that, uh, we were actually quite afraid of what the whole digital part of would actually do to the, to the business as a whole.
Because it is such a physical experience when you go into and, uh, as you say, we had really loyal customers and what would they actually think about us being digital and maybe not satisfying, um, the idea of how systemic should be in a digital world. So, so that was actually, that was actually, uh, a bit terrifying for us.
But as Casper mentioned, It was extremely well received. I'm not sure if I'm allowed to share this, but I, What the heck.
[00:11:41] Abhi: Um, yeah, we can always cut it out. . Yeah,
[00:11:45] René: On the first, on the opening day, we actually got a new order. I think it was every five seconds. Wow. So, yeah, it was, it was it [00:11:55] was amazing. We didn't, we hadn't hoped for, for, for something like that.
So yeah, it was, it was really, really well received and, and just a token of appreciation from our customers also for us to see that this was actually a step in the right direction. Yeah.
[00:12:11] Abhi: You guys have clearly worked in this ecosystem and this space now for many, many years. And I think as we know what online experiences look like and the underlying technologies to enable some of these experiences has probably changed.
Well, not probably, I think we all know has changed like very dramatically. Uh, I think in the last, um, you know, say 10 years. Given both your backgrounds and sort of data consumer experience space what are some of the biggest changes you've seen in the way organizations leverage data for marketing and customer experience as maybe say compared five to 10 years ago?
[00:12:51] Kasper: Well, well, I think it's interesting that you have us both because, uh, [00:12:55] you, I think in some, on some level, you will get some different answers from Renee and me because we have different, uh, ways into this. Renee's much, much stronger than me on the marketing side of it. Uh, that's his, uh, bread and butter where I'm more on the, on the website and the app and all that, all those aspects of it.
And, and really for me, so, so the, the cus customer experience, at least for somebody like me, is, is very much about data. And all our customers at vaca know that a great experience is, is key for success. At least they do that now. And there's been a transition the last 20 years where I've been as a UX of course, Understanding this is the case, you need to do this.
I really think there's a, there's very much an understanding of this at the moment that great experiences is, uh, is a key to success, but a great experience is not universal. You also need to understand it. And some customers think that we should just do as the, as the, as the [00:13:55] next, uh, company is doing, but that, that's really not the case.
And there was that worry for system GA as well. Asist talked about, uh, just a moment ago, where we going to be just another brand when we were online. What, what would set us apart when we were also a, an eCommerce company? So every brand has a unique relationship with their customers. And also in a B2B context, it's even more important.
We also work with B2B customers, uh, because an eCommerce solution is really their customers tool for creating commercial. It's, it's their way of, of doing business together and understanding that that relationship between the company and the customers and the context is, is really key to creating great, uh, customers experiences.
And, and in that context, really data is the foundation for the decisions small and large.
[00:14:46] René: I wouldn't say that I disagree with you Casper on that. Um, but , it's very hard to actually, I think, um, but from [00:14:55] a perspective, as I mentioned before we might have been some slow start seeing that we didn't have a digital presence until 2020.
But since then we've really turned the page and we are, we are really investing heavily in, in the digital landscape. And of course user data as well. Because we know that data is of course the, the way to build an effective infrastructure today, but also in, just in the way we need to make the right decisions, we need to look at data and what, what our customers are telling us in order to, to move in the right direction.
In general we've actually put the digital business on the very top of system, again, is a transformation strategy. So it's actually something that is being discussed top level at system again and so on C level. Uh, and it's something that is really prioritized by, by the whole C level.
And we are actually trying our very best to, to make as many decisions outside in looking at the data we have from customers and use it. As many departments as [00:15:55] as possible also in, in the buying department. So seeing what kind of products do our customers demand what kind of content are our users, uh, actually engaging with on the website and on on different platforms that you, you meet system grain.
The shift from us has probably been that data up until now has lived in various different systems. So it's, it's been living in Google Analytics for status. It's, it's been living in Salesforce. We are quite heavily, heavily, uh, uh, Salesforce client as well of, of course, it's also been living in Google ads.
It's been living in Facebook, It's been living at our meter. So barriers, different places. Yep. And, and what we needed to do was actually to, to take control of that data if we wanted to have a true 360 view of our customers and truly be customer driven, customer data driven. We knew that we had to do something.
So, and that's of course, uh, also part of the reason why we are here today. We, we, we invested in, [00:16:55] in the cdp we invested in, in in particle. And that has, uh, been a game changer for us because now we have, we are able to look at standardized data from all the platforms because now we are actually, we, we, of course we standardizing it to fit into and particle, but that, that also means that if we see a customer on, on our app or on our web platform or on Salesforce, on Facebook, we actually have a combined view of that audience or that user and that that is just a game changer, uh, to, to all customer data that we are we in contact with?
[00:17:30] Abhi: It starts with good data, right?
Yeah. Because to your point, you know, there's something like no personalization, then there's a generic, hey, everyone's gonna get the same Yeah. Experience. And then there's sort of, I think what you guys are hinting at, which is, you know, how do I go from generic to talking to people individually to conveying Exactly.
You know, [00:17:55] And, and, and I think what I've heard here is like, that's maybe the biggest shift from how organizations, how digital worked maybe 10 years ago, 15 years ago, to maybe it's evolution now. It's this idea that it's, it's not just data. Like we had data for a while, but then it's, you know, it's how do we organize and I guess, construct data in this way that tells us something about.
These individual people that we do business with.
[00:18:24] René: Totally. Right. I, I would say that it's all about building the right foundation.
[00:18:29] Abhi: Yeah. Yep. So having
[00:18:30] René: the right foundation, if you, if you don't have a right foundation, how should build, how, how can you build on top of that?
[00:18:35] Abhi: Yep.
[00:18:36] René: So, so, and, and the CDP is just a great tool for us to, to have that foundation and to, to have, um, what, what we like to call one source of truth.
[00:18:46] Abhi: Yeah. I mean, I do think it brings up an interesting topic, right?
Like we're talking about structuring data. In this way [00:18:55] that allows us to better personalize experiences for customers we clearly have a relationship with. And so, Strand, Andre never had a problem with that, right? Loyalty was always just a, it was just an expected, you know, outcome of the thought and care that the brand had always put into their experience.
But now it's, you know, how can we, how can we listen to some of those signals and, and tailor that to users? But, but it brings another interesting question. I want to go back to sort of, it's something that I think is always, you know, like there's a lot of like buzzwords I think thrown around in just technology, right?
Crm, cdp, dmp, like, there's just so many head spinning technologies, you know, first party cookie versus third party cookie. On that topic of data management, data organization, there are two technologies I wanted to ask you guys about. DMP versus ccep. P. From your perspective guys, what do you think, like, you know, even if it's not a particular [00:19:55] philosophically, right, what do you think a DMP is and what needs, you know, did, does it still serve?
And then sort of how is that different than CDP in your, in your view?
[00:20:05] René: So when, back then, uh, back in the days when I worked at the Aden, uh, D DMP was, uh, was really hot. And it was, it was actually, I would say that as a CDP and a DMP are basically the same, the technology technologies to handle best amount of, uh, of.
And actually also a way to, to take control of data. They actually both do that. But what, what sets them apart, I would say is, is the way the data they process. A dmp I would say is more, uh, quantity based. So it's, it's more about the amount of data you put into to the platform.
Back in my agency days, we, we had, um, we, we bought data from, uh, from various media partners in order to get scale into our media bind. And it actually, it worked really, really well.[00:20:55] I think back then it was actually the right way to go. But, uh, then came, uh, gdpr and then came at tracking transparency and all those things.
Or in general, just, uh, privacy became, became a thing, uh, and that, uh, actually for me at least, uh, faced out the need for a dmp and instead, uh, a CDP emerged. I know that CDPs has been, been out there for, for quite some time, but it, it became more a need because now cookies, we know that cookies at some point are, are going to, going to go away.
Of course, there's gonna be other IDs you can tap into. But you never know what Google or Apple or systems like that can actually, um, do or Sure. Or what they'll be doing tomorrow. So from our standpoint, it was more. How can I take control of data? How can we take control and, and and actually decide what is going to happen?
And, and [00:21:55] that brought about, uh, first party data and, and us actually, uh, trying to get more first party data from our customers because that's a relation that we control. And I would say, uh, first party ID is, is much more unique.
So you have a much better idea of who, who your customer are, uh, how they actually interact with you on different platforms. That's much more quality into working in CDPs and working with, uh, first party data.
[00:22:22] Kasper: Yeah, I think it's a good thing that, uh, Renee came first because he's been working in the marketing world and, uh, having that focus. And I think in that world, the DMP makes perfect sense.
I have been making sense for back in the days, my, my focus is, I've been hindered at is it's more continuing the, the owned conversation on, on on own medias. So being relevant all the time. And when you, when you reach out to a customer, uh, when the customer reach out to you, you continue that conversation that you have been having so you don't start from scratch.
Bringing that level [00:22:55] of relevance to the customer creates a more intimate, uh, relationship, uh, which can only benefit both the customer and, and, and the brand. So that's really been my focus. So I don't know that much about dmp. So well done.
[00:23:10] René: I think, I think you're, I think you're onto something here as well, uh, that I forgot.
The other cool thing about going, going from third party data or cookies, uh, to first party data is also the activation layer of it, right? Because, uh, cookies are very difficult to activate on various different platforms. You need some sort, you need another sort of id. And for instance, uh, an email could be an example of, uh, first party data that's much easier for us to actually activate on various platforms.
And also given that we now have, have an app and we have a website and we have different media outlets we need, we want to be personalized. Every time you meet systemic gaming, we need that. We need it to be a personal experience to you. And that's also [00:23:55] something that we can actually build into to the whole cdp activation
[00:23:59] Abhi: layer of it at least.
It's almost like there's two analogies, right? Like I feel like it's, it's aggregate versus, you know, one to one or personalized.
Yeah. It's third party versus first party. It's, you know, I'm going to let sort of the ecosystem of, you know, data onboarders and third party, uh, data stores dictate my strategy versus me saying, I'm gonna control and curate my own direct relationships with my customers. And I, I think there's so many parallels that I think those two, at least to me personally, like in working with clients that.
That to me is the biggest difference. Right? To your point, Renee, there's like, I think two fundamental convergent, like things that happen that made this shift happen. One to your point is yeah, what are the big, you know, the, the, the owners of the web [00:24:55] browsers, the owners of the app stores, what do they have to say about, you know, this wonderful technology at a point in time from an ad tech perspective, which is a third party cookie, right?
I mean, it was retargeting and third party cookies. , from a technology perspective was absolutely amazing. Fantastic. It created, you know, whole industries, multi, multi-billion dollar companies and you know, gave us a lot in sort of like the agency, client facing digital world. A lot of work to do, right? A lot of exciting things to work on, but I think the, the combination of the deprecation of third party tracking combined with.
The governmental laws. And it seems like, you know, this is just sort of more of a global thing. I know GDPR in Europe's leading the way, but you know, we are seeing privacy become sort of a fundamental component of, of this. And, and I think for those two reasons, right? Um, if you don't [00:25:55] have a direct relationship with your customer, you outsource that.
I think, I think this,
[00:25:59] René: this is, this is actually, uh, uh, another thing that the CDP has introduced which is really important, and that's the whole, uh, aspect of data hygiene. So with a, a DMP where you're collecting cookies, that's not much hygiene to that, you're actually, uh, you're trying to build.
Whereas with a, with a, with a cdp, well of course there is some hygiene shit, but sure, with the cdp you need, you need some, you need some more because you need to be actually be able to tell the customer why, why are you tracking me on this and this and this platform? So we need, we need to again, take control, uh, of, uh, of our own data and we need to, to have that layer of hygiene, uh, to it.
And, and the whole permission side of, of, of CDPs is, is just, it's really, really important to, uh, to us at Just Grain, always being aware of what we are able, what, what do we [00:26:55] have permission to do with this and this user. And that's something, uh, we've, we've gotten with, with the cdp. Yep.
[00:27:03] Kasper: Yeah. Well, I think there's also something there that, uh, affects the relationship.
Based on those two technologies. So for, for dmp, you could buy data about the customers, right? And that would somehow influence the conversation you have. So you suddenly know about their children or their income and something like that that's not been introduced naturally in that conversation. And that can somehow shift that level of conversation you have.
And for some brands that can be more than other brands, but I'll see, I'm guessing that you'll see more and more down the road. Yeah. Some people being estranged by that, uh, knowledge that, uh, a company would present about that, that customer.
[00:27:41] René: Yeah, exactly. And also that's, that's the whole thing about third party data as well.
Uh, you don't always know that a cookie is being said. Of course, you may, you might give consent when you actually enter a website to marketing, but you don't really know what you're actually maybe consenting to. So [00:27:55] when the next time when you enter Facebook, you'll suddenly see, uh, an ad, an ad that is very personalized for you.
But you, you have no idea of how you actually ended up in that, uh, in that target group. And that's also something that we want to, uh, we want to make even more transparent system. Again, we want it to be an even transaction. So that we want, we want of course, our customers to know, uh, that we want to give them relevant information.
And, and in order to do that, we want, uh, we would like to have some data in return in order to actually make that personalized experience. But us actually telling the customers what we are doing and, and how we are doing it, uh, is, uh, is to us at least, uh, something that gives us more quality in the, in the relation.
[00:28:40] Abhi: You know, this goes back to ultimately, right? Like we can talk about the human experience of relationships, right? Trust. Mm. Uh, you know, it, it, it's a mi to your point, when you're buying data, and this is my understanding of it, it's also not deterministic, right?
To your [00:28:55] point, you are taking a chance. That you are getting some information and making your decisions on how you're communicating with your customer based on information that may or may not be true, right? Yeah. So, um, and I think that really segues nicely to your point as well, Renee, about trust, right?
Because it is, trust is very hard to earn and it's extremely easy to break, right? So many customers, especially in a very competitive market dynamic, right? Something like retail, it is so, gosh, on hard to acquire that user or get somebody from a top of the funnel, uh, toward of sort of campaign or initiative to actually become, you know, what, what you would consider a customer.
It sort of behooves a brand or an organization to really, really be sensitive and invest in the retention mechanism of that. Right. And I think critical to that no matter how good I think your product is or you know how [00:29:55] great your experience is, if the underlying feeling I think a consumer doesn't get is I can trust this brand.
I can provide them, you know, potentially sensitive information about me. And I know they're not gonna sell my email to 20 other companies. I know they're not going to, if I tell them I don't wanna get, you know, certain marketing communications, they'll listen to me. Exactly. And, you know, the technology ultimately is just a tool that enables these kinds of, of interactions.
[00:30:23] Kasper: I think nowadays an expectation from the customers that there's a certain level of transparency, so you can really violate that trust.
If you don't meet it, that can be real danger, and I think it's going to be, uh, stronger and stronger going forward.
[00:30:38] René: Yeah. To, to us when actually choosing at DMP was actually really important, that the technology had gave us the opportunity to actually control these kinds of permissions. So being able to actually, uh, sort out all the, all the customers we had that didn't want to receive an email, [00:30:55] uh, from us, or we didn't have a permission for email and stuff like that, because as you said, uh, Abby, it's, it's, it's all about customer trust and transparency for the customer in order for them to be loyal to us again.
[00:31:08] Abhi: Yeah, it just makes me think and I, I know, Yeah, Renee, you said, I think you mentioned this in, in our brainstorming session, but you know, you mentioned, you know, uh, sore being sort of a late bloomer, but in some ways, um, you know, it's just amazing that one, you both got to work on this project together and just sort of have the background and experience and learnings from all your previous, uh, you know, experiences.
You know, both on the agency side where the market's headed. And I think, you know, the fact that you guys are from the day one building a, uh, a sustainable digital experience that's sort of built on trust, that has the, um, technologies, underlying technologies that allow you to be able to have these types of interactions with your customers.
I think that's a huge leg up that a lot of [00:31:55] legacy brands that maybe. I still work with a lot of clients that are still heavily dependent on third parties to run all aspects of their business. Yeah. I would say
[00:32:02] René: it's, it's, it's too soon to rule out third party data because you're still need third party data for scale.
Of course. So, so it's, it's, We are still also, of course, we're also dependent on it. We are just, we made a decision at Just Grain, uh, that our digital strategies should not be focused primarily on third party data, that we should do everything in our power to build up, uh, a foundation of first party data in order to take control and also be more resilient towards, uh, Google and Apple when they make all sorts of decisions that we don't have any, uh, saying, uh, uh, around or, or, and so, so that the whole control aspect was, was really important for us.
But also we, we actually able to see that when we, in, when we invest in first party data and loyal customers, it's, it actually drives really good business results. So we actually, [00:32:55] we, we've made some quite extensive studies of course, before we, we made this decision to focus on, on first party data just to see if, if there was a business case.
And, and there really was. So, so what we saw is that when, when we have a person for instance, we have, we have permission for, and, uh, and we have their email they are just more valuable to, to the whole, uh, to the whole business. They have a bigger basket when checking out and we see them much, much more often on our workshop making more purchase, uh, because we actually, we are able to send them relevant information. We are able to actually, uh, affect them in a, in a really good way, uh, marketing wise, and we can just see that it, it just makes really good sense. So from this year we actually decided that 30 to 40% of our whole digital marketing budget should actually be used on driving, uh, first party, uh, data leads initiatives.
Yeah. Oh yeah. So, of, of course it's, the CDP was a huge investment to us. But let's be honest, , the [00:33:55] CDP is only an empty technology. Right. So need some fuel in order for it to, to actually drive. And that fuel for us is a first party data. Of course, the CDP can also process third party data and all ID types, but the first party data is, is the primary thing for us.
[00:34:11] Kasper: And you also need to take action on that data. Otherwise it's also, uh,
[00:34:15] Abhi: useless. Yes. Just another database. Yeah. Yeah. Um, guys, I, you know, and, and I, I mean it, at some point we will have to do a part two, because I'll be honest, there's probably 20 other questions I wanna ask. And even as you're talking, there's probably 10 other things I wanted to talk about.
But for the sake of this episode, and I know we're, you know, I wanna be, uh, respectful of time. Um, we talked a lot about data and we talked a lot about shifts, major shifts in, in technology. But one thing that I think is just amazing and, and it's so clear, I think, on this recording, um, You know, the [00:34:55] relationship.
I think Casper, Renee, you both have, you know, sort of personally working together, but also sort of, you know, agency and brand working together. Right. And I would be remiss if I didn't, you know, on the connected podcast, talk about how people connect to make great things happen. I would love to hear from both of you, um, you know, what, what goes into and what advice would you have for a, you know, a brand agency relationship.
And, and why do you think both of you, uh, have found so much success in that sort of partnership between Verica and Sutra? Andre?
[00:35:32] Kasper: So I think one, one of the things that really important for us as a, as a company at VCA is, is, uh, is the partnership part of.
So we go into relationships thinking that we need to create a partnership. So we want everybody to feel like one big team where we solve problems together. And, and that of course require trust. [00:35:55] So we try to be, we try to be open and transparent and honest about what we know and what we don't know. And we speak openly about issues but we also try and bring our knowledge to the table and speak our minds and take responsibility for creating the right products, not just being a tool for some other company to use, but we bring ourselves into it and try to be human beings in, in it.
And we also expect the company, so we, we make the mask. So you can say, we expect the company to also go in with that, uh, with that approach. And if we both do that, we just see it's, it's just a joy working together and we usually, we create really great products
[00:36:32] René: by doing that. For us, it's, it's, it's basically the same actually. It's, it's all about transparency be and being open. So if there is something, uh, if we made a mistake, we made a mistake, let's be, let's be open and honest about that. Uh, because it, it, it just, it gives us the best, uh, options to, to move ahead.
So [00:36:55] that's, that's actually what I would say is it's the most important part. And of course, also also trust. We are also a customer for Verica, uh, and to us, uh, for us to, to actually invest so heavily in, in Verica of course, also demands this portion, uh, a portion of trust. And, and of course we've, we've actually all.
Pretty much all our digital investments has actually been with, uh, Verica. So that's al That also proves I hope to verica that we, we really, we really trust in, in them and we really appreciate this open and honest, uh, partnership that, uh, that we have. Because to us that's, that's also the, the foundation of a, of a really good partnership.
[00:37:39] Abhi: I couldn't agree more, right? I think, um, when you start to worry about, I think transactional elements, you know, like, Hey, how can I get, you know, so and so to buy so much or something breaks and, you know, it's not my fault, [00:37:55] right? Like, I didn't do it. I mean, those are the types of things that I think are, are very shortsighted.
I think you very much so know, like, and I think this is true with, you know, agency, but also technology partners you know, vendors of all sorts. It's, you know, there, there's this very. Different mindset in that, hey, this is a transaction and this is a relationship. And I think what you guys are both saying is, and, and there's a time and place for both.
There's certain instances where, you know, maybe everything doesn't have to be a partnership, but, you know, you talk about something like bringing to life a beloved brand into the digital world. Uh, this can't be a transactional, uh, type of partnership. Exactly,
[00:38:33] René: exactly. That need, we need, we need to be humans and we need also be able to talk about things.
So that's also what we like about Verica. You can always call them
[00:38:41] Abhi: Yeah. and, and have a, and have a nice conversation. No, no chat bots at VER anytime.
[00:38:47] René: I actually, we really enjoyed the partnership with the ver.
[00:38:52] Abhi: Awesome. Awesome. So then, guys, I know [00:38:55] we're, we're, we're close to time, but I, I gotta get into the fun part of this chat, right?
There's, uh, mm-hmm. There's far fun to come. Oh yeah. There, there's two questions. I mean, these are gonna be quick, but the first one I have to ask you guys, um, and I'm already gonna say you have to eliminate, So, Serena, granted that can't be your answer to this question, , but, uh, which I know we all, we all love.
But for both of you, and I'll start with Renee as a consumer. So as an individual citizen of the world, what is your favorite brander experience and why? I have to
[00:39:28] René: say Apple. Uh, I just, I just, I think next level to the experience you can bring into a brand the whole way they present new products, I just think is, uh, is amazing.
Steve Jobs was amazing. I'm a huge Apple fan myself. Uh, I have basically all the gear they have out there, so , so I would, I would have to say, uh, say Apple. Uh, also, um, [00:39:55] us being , we, I would say that's something we as
[00:39:58] Abhi: aspire. Yeah. Yep. Yeah, that's, uh, no disagreements from, from me there. And, and Casper.
What, what about, about yourself?
[00:40:06] René: Yeah.
[00:40:07] Kasper: Well, is a great, uh, product, but, uh, yeah. Well, I, I, I feel actually the needs, and I'm not biased here, I promise you that to, to bring interest in again, because I think they really, really do something that is remarkable that I hadn't seen anywhere else in the world. In the world actually.
Cause they, what they do about their content and the tone of voice they're setting, they have a relationship that's, uh, I've been working with many comp companies, and what I see is whenever you have content, That's secondary to the actual products. But for sustain landing, they are basically equal. So what you do with the product, how you explore it and the stories you tell about the product, they set a tone that's unprecedented and I think anywhere in the world.
So that's, uh, really an awesome, uh, achievement there that the team have been, been [00:40:55] doing that. But of course you said I couldn't bring that up. So setting that aside. So the one thing I thought about was, uh, uh, adds, ah, uh, they do well as a D TOC brand, they have really a lot of pictures. And pictures are just essential for, for a lot of customers, for me as well as a, as a consumer.
And, uh, they have so smooth processes for delivery and. And also they have sustainable alternatives to many of their products, and they have some of the lightest packaging I've ever seen. So there's just, uh, around the, the, the original prep packages, but not compromising that in, in, in, in any way. So there's so many things that they really do well.
So it's just a smooth experience.
[00:41:38] Abhi: Wow. Listen, this is coming from experts of the industry, but look, shout out to Apple, Adidas, and of course, uh, so, and I am, guys, I'm telling you, you've pumped me up now. I think when we get off this call, I gotta know where the, the US location is, or the closest location to me.
I really can't wait to [00:41:55] actually check out a store. I am, I just, I just need,
[00:41:57] René: I just need to say this, Abby. I did not pay a Casper to say that .
[00:42:00] Abhi: Yeah, no, no, I know that. I know that. No, no. That was, that was very genuine and from the heart, but I am, I'm genuinely excited. Um, okay guys, the next set of questions are rapid fire.
So this is just, they're typically yes or no. Uh, you know, you sort of have two choices, but I'll go, um, Renee, I'll start with you. Pineapple on pizza, Yes or no? No. Yeah. Okay. Casper.
[00:42:24] René: I, I just, I, it, it's okay when it's fresh, but not if you put the pineapples on the pizza before it goes into the oven. That's a definitely no.
[00:42:33] Abhi: Okay. Fair enough. Yep. , Casper, how about you? Would you, would you do pineapple or did you prefer like pineapple and pizza?
[00:42:42] René: I'll
[00:42:42] Kasper: say, uh, bring it on. I'm all about exploring, so, uh, whatever you throw at me, I'll
[00:42:47] Abhi: try it out. Okay. All right. So, So no maybes and very conditionally. Conditionally, Yes, but [00:42:55] you know, Juita.
Okay guys. Winter or summer sports? Uh, Casper, I'll start with you this time.
[00:43:04] Kasper: Uh, winter sports.
[00:43:06] René: Yeah. Uh, so no explanation's, just,
[00:43:09] Abhi: uh, yes or no? Oh, you can, No, no. It's totally up to you. You could, you could explain if you'd like, but, uh, I, I don't, um, you know, being in Denmark, I, I, I couldn't, I don't know. It, it, I've interest, I don't wanna bias your, your thinking,
[00:43:23] Kasper: but I think it's because it, it, it's exotic for me.
There are no mountains in
[00:43:27] René: Denmark,
[00:43:27] Abhi: so Ah, fair enough, fair enough. Uh, I'm
[00:43:30] René: not much new. I would have, I would have to go with the summer sports. Also, seeing that, uh, the summer time in Denmark is, uh, is very scarce. So you really need to enjoy the summer once it's here. .
[00:43:43] Abhi: Okay, So purely from a scarcity perspective.
[00:43:47] René: Yes. That's also, I know, I know, um, I don't know what you call it, but foosball in, in, in, in, in Europe [00:43:55] is really big. And there's just something about, um, foosball in the summer. Uh, on the, on the green lawn, uh, where it's, it's, it's sunny and it's just, it's lovely. Awesome.
[00:44:08] Abhi: Awesome. Okay, so then we'll get into sort of, you could call this a summers.
It's definitely a summer sport, but, uh, uh, better footballer, messier Ronaldo. Oh, and yeah, Renee with you first this time. .
[00:44:24] René: Um, I know I mentioned football before, but I'm actually not a really big football fan, so , I would have to go with Ronaldo because he just has a really extraordinary appearance. Yeah.
[00:44:38] Kasper: Well, I'm not a football fan neither. I, I only watch the, the World Cup when that's uh, on, but, uh, uh, when I see them play, I don't like, uh, Portugal because, uh, they play too defensive. So I would go for, was
[00:44:51] René: it messy? The other one?
[00:44:52] Abhi: Yeah, yeah, yeah. Mass . [00:44:55] This is, believe me, I, I've, I've had my last guess on it was it was a, something like this.
Three, three folks and we, we couldn't agree on messy and, and Ronaldo, but those are, you can't go wrong either way. Um, okay guys, and Casper, you first this time. Frozen yogurt or ice cream.
[00:45:12] René: Ice cream day. Yeah.
[00:45:14] Kasper: love ice cream. Yeah. Don't try to mess around with ice cream and frozen yogurt.
[00:45:20] René: That's strange.
[00:45:22] Abhi: Listen, we're, Yeah, Renee,
[00:45:24] René: how about, how about you? I, I have to, I have to respectfully disagree. I,
[00:45:28] Abhi: I,
[00:45:30] René: I went abroad for my third semester on, on my bachelor degree and went to, uh, San Diego. Where I actually tried, uh, frozen yogurt stores for the first time. And where you actually have all the different kind of, of the, what it's called, things you put on top.
[00:45:46] Abhi: Yeah, yeah, yeah. The toppings. Yeah. It's, it's
[00:45:49] René: fantastic. . That's what you need to try
[00:45:52] Abhi: that . I'll try anything. [00:45:55] Yeah. Or maybe we combine the two ideas. We'll make an ice cream store soft serve and then have all the, all the frozen yogurt toppings. Exactly.
You know, I feel like there's a saying, right? You either live to eat or you eat to live.
And, uh, I definitely live to eat. Uh, so I'm a big foodie. I have to ask you guys, um, you know, favorite restaurant in, or hosts or even, you know, Denmark, if you wanna expand it further, But I'd, I'd be interested to hear, uh, maybe Renee will go, we'll go with you first.
[00:46:25] René: We have something that's called, restaurant one, that it's, it's, uh, it's a French bistro and it's just, it's really, really nice.
Uh, I wasn't sure that I like, I like s. Because it's just very different from what you normally eat. But I tried it at that restaurant just for, for just to name an example, and it was just, uh, fantastic. It was, uh, some of the best food I've ever had. So it was, uh, they, they just make [00:46:55] exceptional food and they have great wine, uh, also, which is also important to me.
[00:47:01] Abhi: Amazing. Uh, how about, how about you,
[00:47:05] René: Casper? Yeah,
[00:47:06] Kasper: I can second that. It's a great restaurant, uh, for sure. Great experience every time you go. But I think my, my favorite restaurant in, in s i probably one of two, and that depends on what kind of mentality going with. So Michelin leveled restaurants, I would go for domestic.
Which is, uh, in my book, the best In, in, in Almost. But if you scale it down a couple of levels, something that you can do every second week or something like, I don't think I can take on a, a mission and restaurant every, I need to digest that experience somehow. But, but the, the other one is close to where I'm, I'm, my house is, So my apartment is, is, is a, uh, a restaurant called Haak.
[00:47:48] Abhi: Haak, Okay.
[00:47:49] René: Yeah.
[00:47:50] Kasper: It's based on the book, an old Danish book about, uh, a man who decides to go, [00:47:55] uh, just, uh, let him so fall apart.
[00:47:59] Abhi: This is amazing guys. Okay, so
[00:48:01] René: it's Tesla ke be honest. Did you buy the apartment just to be close to havoc?
[00:48:06] Kasper: No, uh, no havoc. Uh, was Lisa
[00:48:10] René: Okay.
[00:48:11] Abhi: All right. Listen, guys, it, I, I, at some point, you know, everything will align.
It's a date. It's gonna be beer and ice cream, and then we'll play rock, paper, scissors to figure out, uh, you know, which restaurants we go to. But, um, man, this is what a treat, guys. I mean, just thank you so much. I mean, I, I genuinely feel like it was three friends sitting on a couch, uh, you know, having a conversation, which I think are the best, uh, conversations.
Um, yeah, just can Thank you.
[00:48:41] René: Thank you for inviting us.