Ralf Brüser, Viessmann Digital: “There are massive benefits for a company to own its digital channels and to leverage its own data”

Ralf Brüser, Head of Insights & Media at Viessmann Digital, explains why data driven-driven advertising is an invaluable investment.

Viessmann is one of the world’s leading manufacturers of efficient, reliable and affordable heating and solar products. With over 12K employees worldwide and an annual revenue of 2.2 billion EUR, the Viessmann Group is indeed a global player. In this exclusive interview mobile-first data exchange adsquare catches up with Ralf Brüser, Head of Insights & Media at Viessmann Digital, to talk about digitalization and the role of mobile and data.

Can you describe your role within the company and the goals of your team?

In my role as a Head of Media & Insights together with my team I am responsible for the media planning within the Viessmann Group. Our goal is to follow a user-centric approach that tailors all our communication activities to the behaviour and needs of our clients.

My team follows the market carefully and generates insights, which we leverages to optimize messages, channels and target groups to boost our digital marketing in the most effective way. The balanced mix between insights and media planning is in the DNA of our strategy. Our operations includes design thinking, user and marketing research, creation and content for the digital marketing and other marketing units. All of our marketing activities are extremely data-driven and we are constantly tracking the success of our campaign to learn from it and optimize the process.

With the technology and skills in-house, do you envision that Viessmann will stop working with media agencies in the near future?

This is out of question, on the contrary we will continue to work with media agencies. But from our point of view, there are massive benefits for a company to own its digital channels and to leverage its own data. Now it is more than ever needed to work with great talents who are experts in their respective fields. It is important that they entirely control the full-stack but also deeply understand products, target groups and data. My experience shows that it is difficult to realize this with external agencies. Nevertheless, for non-programmatic campaigns and traditional media business, media agencies still offer some fundamental benefits.

The Viessmann Group is a relevant spender for digital advertising. What role does Mobile play in your media strategy?

In our strategy, Mobile plays an increasingly fundamental role, but our approach is always device-agnostic and user-centric. Without question, Mobile offers some major benefits compared to Desktop. But it also has some unfulfilled potential e.g. when it comes to formats and standards. There is still no solution for non-intrusive ads, for example. But with formats such as interstitials or in-feed video the industry is showing some progress in the right direction.

From your point of view, what makes programmatic and data such a game-changer?

The more fragmented your target group is, the more powerful are programmatic and data. Take gas heating as an example: a pre-requirement for purchasing a gas heating system is the availability of gas in your home. Looking at existing targeting methods, there are quite limited options for pinpointed campaigns. But the usage of 1st, 2nd and 3rd party data via programmatic platforms can be a big improvement here to minimize waste. In this case, socio-demographic targeting becomes less important. From my standpoint data driven-driven advertising is an invaluable investment for companies like Viessmann.

Editor’s note: This interview originally appeared in a recent edition of AIM (Audiences In Motion) and you can find it here.