AB InBev is the world’s first truly global brewer, responsible for such brands as Stella Artois, Budweiser, Corona, among others. In Belgium, Jupiler, Hoegaarden and Leffe are among the most popular brands.
AB InBev is very passionate about brewing and is keen on sharing that passion with the world. Hence the reason why they always share stories about their brands and their way of doing business.
But according to Korneel Warlop, AB InBev’s External Communication Manager BeLux, telling stories isn’t just a privilege of the external communication team. Many other departments communicate with a wide range of target groups: marketing talks to customers, digital interacts with people online and on social media, and the corporate affairs department communicates with stakeholders.
That’s exactly where AB InBev’s challenge arose: they needed a system that could harmonize all communication from and between all departments and people.
Collaboration Across Departments
For Korneel, getting departments to work better together has always been a priority. The external communication team is not the only one that has stories to tell about AB InBev. Employees, for example, should also be empowered to tell the AB InBev story as they are the first ambassadors of the company.
We have very engaged employees who love to tell stories. In order to do so, we needed a good platform.
Managing contacts and campaigns in Excel: a tough job
Nicolas Robeet is the Digital Manager at AB InBev for Western Europe. For him, it’s important to represent AB InBev brands online and on social media.
However, managing contacts and outreach campaigns has always been a real struggle. Contacts have always been kept in an Excel file, and working with online influencers was very much a non- structural process.
It was very hard to keep track of all of our influencers and how they responded to our campaigns.
Impersonal and irrelevant communication
In AB InBev’s corporate affairs department, Cybelle Buyck is all about communicating with interest groups, the political field, neighbors, and NGO’s.
The sectors that Cybelle, as Corporate Affairs Manager, deals with, are, however, characterized by a large turnover. So, just like in the case with Nicolas, maintaining an up-to-date contact database has been a struggle.
On top of that, Cybelle could only send out one message to all stakeholders. Creating customizable campaigns with relevant information to specific groups of stakeholders was out of the question due to the difficulty in using and segmenting contact lists.
Stronger results through structure and collaboration with Prezly
For AB InBev, Prezly has had practical, as well as higher level advantages. It has brought more structure and insight to the different communication departments’ workflows. Not only that, it has also paved the way for other AB InBev departments to become more vocal.
Efficient contact management
On a practical level, Prezly has helped Nicolas keep a better overview of his contacts. He has now traded in his Excel file for Prezly’s powerful CRM.
We now have one hub with all of our influencer data, where we can easily segment by brand and interest.
For Nicolas, Prezly has brought back structure and insight to online influencer outreach. He can track all his influencer interactions, and see how his email campaigns have performed with open rates, click rates, as well as reply rates.
Customized and personalized messaging
Prezly has helped Cybelle with public affairs to get more out of AB InBev’s communications. Where could send one and the same message to all stakeholders, she can now easily create campaigns that are tailored to specific sub groups.
Thanks to Prezly I can adapt and customize my message in function of specific interests and stakeholder groups.
On top of that, with Prezly, Cybelle is now able to quickly reuse content from other departments. Since all content is centralized in one system, she can, for example, use content that Nicolas has used for a social campaign for her own stakeholder outreach.
Using Prezly with different departments makes it easy to reuse each other’s messages while keeping them customized in function of the target group.
A more vocal organization
For Korneel, on a higher level, the switch to Prezly has brought along new opportunities. The platform is paving the way for a more transversal approach where different departments can start to work closely together, including those that aren’t used to communicating externally.
Marketing, public relations, and public affairs departments are already coming full circle, but Korneel wants to take it a couple of steps further. He wants to bring other departments, such as sales and internal communication, into the mix, to make them more vocal as well.
The opportunities to optimize communication efforts are enormous.