Catering to the taste of every customer
For Mike Hayes, Ben & Jerry’s global head of digital and technology, the move to digital photography opened up new realms of possibility for customer experience. Working alongside Cummings, he addressed the operational changes and challenges required to deliver the same high-quality digital experiences Ben & Jerry’s customers had come to expect. Picking up where Cummings left off, Hayes needed to work out a way to keep the business growing mid-pandemic — all while staying true to the brand.
“Over the last few years we've gone from producing a couple thousand assets annually to now needing to produce over 25,000 in a given year. We had to figure out how to increase our scale — simply — but also keep the quality up. It was an immense, complex challenge,” said Hayes.
Before the pandemic, Ben & Jerry’s was already adept at delivering personalized experiences. But Dimension opened a new set of opportunities. With a fully stocked library of image assets, Ben & Jerry’s was now able to run their Food Pairings campaign with a higher level of personalization than ever before. And now, they could extend this higher level of personalization across all their digital marketing.
Because in the food industry, marketers need to be able to cater to customers’ tastes — literally. One of the ways Ben & Jerry’s does this is through Adobe Audience Manager. Used as a data management platform (DMP), Audience Manager gathers information about flavor preferences from customers who visit the Ben & Jerry’s website. This makes it simple to remarket to customers using assets that reflect favorite flavors. The more targeted Ben & Jerry’s can be with their experiences, the more meaningful customer relationships they can build. As Hayes said, “We think it's important to use technology, digital channels, and content to provide value to our fans — not post things customers would find annoying to their newsfeed for the sake of being seen.”
But the value Ben & Jerry’s provides goes far beyond ice cream and ice cream delivery services. As a brand with a powerful social mission, it’s critical that they deliver messages that really resonate with their audience. To help with this, Ben & Jerry’s uses Adobe Target to test and optimize customer experiences. Target helps Ben & Jerry’s communicate the right messages to the right customer so their important ideas can reach the greatest number of people — and hopefully help change the world for the better. As Hayes says, “We want to make an impact with everything we do, whether it’s on the creative or technology side."
To make their biggest impact, Ben & Jerry’s measures customer experiences with Adobe Analytics. In addition to its typical use cases, the company has started to use Analytics to inform a strategy they call “data-driven creativity” — in other words, letting insights from Analytics inform the type of content they produce. While it might sound like a paradox, data-driven creativity has helped the company be more creative and effective in their communications. By putting their time and energy into experiences that they know will be effective, Ben & Jerry’s can make even better progress towards protecting their market share during the pandemic — as well as achieving their social mission goals and targets.
As Cummings says, "It's helpful from a creative perspective to have information from Analytics so we know the decisions we’re making aren’t arbitrary. We know what fonts and colors are performing best, and we can see the results in real time. It's not based on opinion. It's based on facts.”