538 and The Sound of Data

August 18, 2017

The nature of media consumption is changing rapidly, and the choice today is huge. Something (Dutch) music entertainment brand 538 is also very aware of. We flit from source to source in search of our music and entertainment fix: radio, TV, Spotify, Soundcloud, YouTube, internet radio. The moment determines what you log into for your beats.

Becoming data minded

Radio is at the core of 538. 538 is active on air, online and on TV 538. 538 organizes multiple big events, like 538Koningsdag (Kingsday) and owns several digital music stations, like 538Dance Radio and 538Ibiza. Dozens of touchpoints that enrich the lives of many people every day. How can you get these people to connect with the brand and stay connected amid the tsunami of screens and entertainment that surround them?

When 538 posed the question, there really was only one answer: data.

Data determines what is relevant to you and what isn’t. Data must therefore provide the connection between all those moments, channels and devices.

Everything is data

It is hard to imagine how much data we produce every day. For organisations, this data is easy to get... if you offer something in return. And that’s the challenge. Data may be abundant, but brands that use data effectively to increase their value are not.

Data has the potential to unlock the door to providing new experiences and generating new business. First though, it needs to be put into a context, transformed, analysed and segmented. Making that link, the link between bytes and emotions, is exactly where most organisations fire wide of the mark, to greater or lesser degrees.

Data driven, therefore, is not just about storing terrabytes of data; it is a mix between process, internal awareness, technology and culture. In addition, 538 was already fairly data drive through, for example, panel surveys and monitoring stream data. After all, they know what music appeals to their audience.

But there was a challenge for 538. How do you become a data driven organisation in which everything revolves around the member?

Based on the collected input by Born05 and 538 for the journey and the communication, Valtech started the data path.

From data to experience

The first ideas seemed simple. More registered members. Link systems. Throw in some interfaces. A data management platform. But it soon became apparent that the impact would be minimal if the mindset wasn’t adopted by the organisation, and if the users didn’t receive valuable experiences in return.

The interaction between the growth in data and tooling on the one hand, and the growth of the organisation and processes on the other, is of great importance in this. It's essential to start small but scale up fast – all while continuously sharing the results of the various activities with the organisation.

538 and Valtech appointed ‘owners’, created a customer experience circle, made results shareable with live dashboarding, and created a visual roadmap with a clear goal on the horizon.

An important step was the creation of a customer experience studio. With staff from Sales, Digital and Content all involved. This resulted in a large number of useable ideas and a backlog, with epics, to realise those ideas. Based on this shared backlog, stories were picked up one by one.

The result

And then it was show time. The efforts of weeks of work finally fell into place early in the morning of 31 March 2017, when the members of the customer experience circle, from developers to editorial, came together in a war room. Their eyes were fixed on the live dashboard. The topic: ticket sales for the 538 King’s Day event.

For the first time, the 538 membership would be able to play a major role in and around an event. For example, it would be easier for members to buy cards, and they would enjoy exclusive benefits. They could win meet-and-greets, or a spot on the VIP deck. But could the platform handle it? Would the extra steps prove a barrier? How would the email campaign unfold?

It turned out to be a success. 538Kings Day sold out, just like every year, but this time 538 had thousands of new profiles. Members of 538 enjoyed a mega experience with VIP upgrades, meets-and-greets and priority access to exclusive content. Thanks to the experience and everything we learned, we’re now ready for our next customer journey: DJ hotel.

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