Companies today face pressure from a constrained economy and a customer base that demands relevant, personal and engaging marketing communications at every step of the customer journey. For Massbuild, one of South Africa’s leading building materials and DIY goods providers, rising to these challenges meant a transformation of how they engage with customers at scale using the latest SAP technologies.
Massbuild is a subsidiary of Massmart and operates four complementary brands: Builders Warehouse, Builders Superstore, Builders Trade Depot and Builders Express. The company employs more than 8 000 people and generates annual turnover of R13.8-billion.
Massbuild chose SAP Marketing Cloud to enable its marketing team of five users to reach and engage up to 224 000 customers per day via measurable, trackable email campaigns. “We wanted to improve the way we manage our customer communication and become more efficient, professional and reliable in our marketing engagements,” said Massbuild. “In light of regulatory requirements, we also wanted to make sure we were compliant to the Protection of Personal Information Act (POPIA) by accurately tracking marketing permissions, especially the opt-out functionality that is required by law.”
A strong business case for the project was developed upfront to ensure maximum return on investment. Buy-in was secured from key stakeholders, and a project sponsor drove the process from an executive management team to all levels of the organisation.
The project team’s change management process and strong link to business value ensured that end-users recognised the value the project would bring. The team also utilised simple engagement and communication channels, such as demos and show-and-tell sessions, to engage important internal stakeholders ahead of the implementation.
Organisational readiness was a key priority. Massbuild conducted stress-testing weeks prior to the go-live by uploading more than 70 000 customer records. The company also worked closely with implementation partner Consnet to ensure the team was properly skilled, and provided the marketing team with access to the test environment so they could familiarise themselves with how to navigate the solution ahead of time.
Considering the constrained economic conditions, cost containment was a key focus for Massbuild. The company had a well-defined business case with a clear return on investment model, and kept things simple by using standard SAP functionality to avoid costly custom development. The implementation team also focused on getting the basics in place before adding richer functionality.
Simplifying things paid off. The project was delivered within 90 days, with five users going live just ahead of Black Friday. Go-live was achieved two weeks earlier than initially planned, allowing Massbuild to conduct proper segmentation of its customer databases and send out targeted campaigns ahead of the major shopping period. With advanced tracking of campaign performance, the teams also have full visibility of how its campaigns are performing in real-time, which can inform its customer experience strategies and improve how Massbuild engages with its customers.
As part of cost containment measures, Massbuild also wanted to in-source campaign management functions that were previously managed by a third-party vendor. In one campaign period stretching from November to May, Massbuild sent out more than 24 million emails via SAP Marketing Cloud. With its previous provider this would have cost the business well over a million rand, but in-sourcing the work and using the SAP Marketing Cloud enabled Massbuild to save nearly 90% of that cost without reducing the quality of its customer engagements.
Massbuild is planning further integrations to support the marketing team, and are currently exploring the implementation of customer insights and integrating Facebook and Google Analytics to ensure its teams have the intelligence and insight to adjust marketing activities based on real-time customer feedback. A future product roadmap also includes the integration of mobile payment functionality through a partnership with Zapper.
Cameron Beveridge, Regional Director: Southern Africa at SAP Africa, says Massbuild has rapidly elevated its customer engagement capabilities with this latest implementation. “By building its customer experience strategy on the latest technology, Massbuild has enabled smarter decision-making for its marketing teams while unlocking welcome cost-efficiencies despite difficult macro-economic conditions. With the correct technology in place to deliver intelligence to marketing teams and with the support of a capable technology partner in Consnet, Massbuild is well-placed to build on its reputation as a market-leading brand in its industry.”