Pieter Kop – DAS
Pieter Kop is Head of Marketing Communications & Branding at DAS, a legal services provider and clear market leader in this area in the Netherlands. DAS is focused on its mission: ‘legal aid for everyone’. Making justice accessible to everyone, whether they have insurance or not, also means that DAS wants to keep its services affordable to everyone. Pieter is responsible for the brand in the Netherlands and has a pivotal role in how DAS is being perceived in its branding and marketing activities. From the DAS identity to the DAS brand strategy and campaigns, from content marketing to all branding activities, both paid and owned, all marketing communication campaigns to realise set objectives, different content marketing programmes and partnerships, and all branding through their owned, earned and paid media.
Main KPIs for brand growth
Pieter outlines DAS’ main KPIs to grow the brand and to build DAS’ brand equity: “The goal of our branding campaigns is to develop brand awareness in our target groups. In late 2020 we focused on the internal and external communication of our new positioning: Masters in legal aid. Because without our people, there would be no DAS. Their expertise – regardless of their role – enables us to make legal aid accessible to everyone. Online and radio campaigns boosted our name recognition as well as awareness of our expanded range of services. In our campaigns, we highlight our expertise ánd human approach. Our colleagues know that behind every question, there is a questioner with his/her doubts, feelings, uncertainties etc. They know that and are very skilled to connect on a personal level with our customers. That makes our approach unique.”
And there is more to the campaigns Pieter develops. Pieter: “We want to make clear that we are the partner of choice for legal services; either through our insurance solutions or through our on-demand legal aid, in which case you, for example, pay per solution or project. Changing customer behaviour calls for increasing flexibility in the legal services we provide. Not only does our service need to be faster, more personal and more digital, it also must be available on demand. As the largest provider of legal services in the Netherlands, our ambition is to continue to play a leading role in the digitalisation of legal services. Our smart use of digital channels means that legal aid is always close at hand for our customers. In broadening our range of services we will focus not only on solving problems but also on preventing them, for example, by providing online self-help tools.”
Each year, DAS determines the most relevant themes for their campaigns based on data from their own operation and public data. Pieter adds “Think of themes concerning dismissal, rent or purchase of a house, starting a business, a client who doesn’t pay, a delivery that you haven’t received, but also mediation in case of neighbourhood disputes, divorce, or help with personal injury. We want people to think of DAS to prevent something from becoming a legal problem, when they want to be well informed about their rights, or to find the best solution for their legal questions.”
DAS frequently measures their brand awareness, consideration, and preference to track the success of their activities. Pieter shares: “We combine these metrics in a competitive framework so we have clear insight into our performance, and against competitors. After each campaign, we look at the impact and contribution of our efforts to the development of the brand. Based on these insights we adjust the form and content of our creatives and optimise the media mix.” Pieter shares an example: “We are currently working on an interactive and real-time dashboard in which we combine all our content pillars. This way, we can use the available data and analyses to gain insight into which pillars lead to the best results. We want to make the smartest choices with the budget we have so the DAS brand continues to develop positively and remains relevant to both existing and new target groups.”
Pieter is a strong believer in curiosity: “As a marketer, I am actively trying to make our target group curious about our brand, our products, and our services. Curiosity boosts our motivation, we want to know more and do more, so we take action. Part of the craftsmanship of a marketer is to impact the target group at the right time from a clear insight. In order to do that, it has to be very easy to gain access to that information. To appeal to new target groups, it is essential to understand that access is more important than ownership. Take the success of services such as Spotify and Netflix, but also Felyx (scooter sharing) or car-sharing through the likes of ConnectCar, Greenwheels, and Share Now. Entertainment or transport is available whenever you need it, providing consumers with flexibility and convenience. We still have some steps to take before we are mentioned among those names, but our most recent research into our brand campaign is promising. People find our on-demand services very fitting, and also indicate that they would consider DAS first in a relevant situation.”
When it comes to data, Pieter thinks the marketing profession needs a healthy balance between reason and emotion: “You need both. Although passion and enthusiasm are very helpful in bringing your plans to the board’s attention, decision-making is mainly done based on the facts. However, boring figures without the necessary ‘magic’, or creative context is difficult to translate into a unified decision. I don’t find data in itself very interesting; from data comes information and from information comes insight(s). I believe that good insight is the foundation for the best decisions.” From a brand perspective, Pieter highlights the importance of carrying out measurements over a longer period: “Only by comparing your own measurements (within a certain methodology) can you gain insight into the development of the brand. Adding relevant market information and benchmarks provides context and direction and grants added value for brand strategy and business planning.”
Pieter’s recipe for success includes a mix of qualitative and quantitative data, creative and analytical translation skills, trial and error testing, and just plain guts and confidence to do it. He values working with a – preferably small – but talented and specialised team. People who join forces from both inside and outside the organisation, depending on the type of project. He finds diversity in knowledge and skills an inexhaustible ingredient for success.
A powerful combination
In response to which companies have implemented a strong data-driven approach, Pieter tells us: “I don’t know how companies such as Spotify or Netflix engage in data-driven decision making, but as a satisfied customer of both services, it is great to see how suggestions are made based on your viewing and listening behaviour. You discover new things, curiosity, and rediscover what has fallen into oblivion. It makes your day a little more fun, and the customer a little more loyal. It is a powerful combination of smart technology, ease of use and customer insight. It seems that these companies must invest continuously in this combination to remain leading, and that undoubtedly requires data-driven decision making.”