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Heineken x relevanC Brazil

Success story

HEINEKEN and relevanC combine segmentation data to boost customer engagement


A Retail Media campaign combined data from Heineken’s engagement database with GPA’s loyalty scheme data, bringing in 20% in conversions from one of the segments: customers who hadn't purchased the brand's products for at least a year and and benefiting both the retailer and the brewer.

Is it possible to re-engage an audience that used to be a fan but stopped consuming their products for about a year? The Heineken Group, one of the world's largest alcoholic beverage groups, has shown that it is indeed possible. In 2023, they achieved a significant uplift in their products by cross-referencing their engaged fan base with the loyalty customer base of GPA (Grupo Pão de Açúcar), through their partner relevanC. The brand discovered that the matched audience demonstrated a 22% increase in product purchasing frequency, a 19% increase in the average purchase amount, and consequently, a 45% growth in the average spend of buyers.

The data indicates that the cross-segmentation between HEINEKEN's 1st party data and GPA's customers brought a valuable target audience for both brands. This audience already liked and engaged with the beer brand but had not purchased the product from GPA for some time. They may have been buying the product from other sources, but that changed due to the specific segmentation used in the campaign. The matching of buyer data sets is valuable for brands because it brought back an audience that had stopped consuming HEINEKEN products at GPA.

"One of the remarkable characteristics of this project is our ability to deeply understand the customer's purchasing profile: through strategically planned media campaigns, we can activate a highly qualified audience, accurately measuring results in terms of sales," 

Rafael Schettini, Head of Data and Ops at relevanC

Campaign creation

The campaign for World Hamburger Day, with a focus on selling the combo of beer and a hamburger, utilised the combined datasets of two companies. It targeted two segments: the Buyers, who had purchased Eisenbahn beer at least once in the last 6 months, and the Shoppers segment, which included other customers from the GPA loyalty base and the engaged HEINEKEN base.

The analysis of the campaign results has revealed several significant highlights and market differentiators when using these cross-referenced datasets:

  • Approximately 20% of the conversions from the Shoppers group were from customers who hadn't purchased beer from GPA for at least a year. This indicates a successful return of this audience to the retailer for the targeted product.
  • When comparing the Buyers segment (those who purchased beer in the last 6 months) with the Shoppers segment (other customers from the GPA loyalty base and the HEINEKEN base), the following results were observed:
    • The Buyers audience experienced a 17% increase in email open rate.
    • There was a 13% growth in click-through rate among Buyers.
    • The average ticket size increased by 57% for the audience that made purchases in the past period.
    • The conversion rate was almost 7.7 times higher compared to the audience who hadn't consumed the products in the last few months.

In practice, cross-referencing the datasets improved conversions, confirming the hypothesis that targeting the Buyers audience from the previous year would result in better email engagement and conversion metrics. This is because the offer is customised to match the consumer's interests and purchase history.

However, it is important to note that without access to HEINEKEN's engagement base data, relevanC would not have selected the Shoppers segment to target. As a result, we would have missed the opportunity to convert this specific audience and achieve a 20% conversion rate among customers who had not made a purchase in the past year. The combined data analysis enabled GPA and HEINEKEN to identify and seize a significant sales opportunity.

Insights and segmentation

Brands can utilize these insights to perform hyper-personalized segmentation and target specific campaigns towards these audiences. This not only leads to a higher overall engagement rate compared to a standard buyer base but also has the potential to convert a previously disengaged audience who stopped purchasing their products for various reasons.

"The project involves analyzing the insights obtained to create specific actions and highly-targeted campaigns by combining the GPA 1st party database (which includes the purchase history of 21 million customers in the past 12 months) with the Heineken customer base," explains Isabela Fagundes, Digital Commerce Coordinator at the Heineken Group. "We realized that by segmenting customers who appear in both of these purchase bases, we have the opportunity to reach an audience that is much more engaged with our brand and therefore more likely to purchase our products."

In practice, analysing these purchase histories and feedback helps identify new opportunities and gain a deep understanding of the behaviour of customers who are already familiar with and consume the HEINEKEN product line. This enables targeted communication and yields promising results in campaigns specifically tailored to this audience. This strategy ensures a better customer experience and allows the retailer and the brand to forecast and estimate the impact on sales of any promotion.

"One of the remarkable characteristics of this project is our ability to deeply understand the customer's purchasing profile: through strategically planned media campaigns, we can activate a highly qualified audience, accurately measuring results in terms of sales," says Rafael Schettini, Head of Data and Ops at relevanC.

"In addition, we adopt a customised approach for each brand objective. For instance, for World Hamburger Day, we distributed our message to an audience with a high probability of purchasing beer along with hamburgers in the same basket. This communication was tailored to meet the specific preferences of this group of customers, making it more effective and impactful."
According to Fagundes and Schettini, segmentation and data analysis play a crucial role in obtaining valuable insights into the purchasing behaviour of loyal customers. This is essential for optimising and improving campaign performance, as well as measuring key performance indicators (KPIs) like ROI to evaluate the effectiveness of brand investments. With these insights and market knowledge, companies like the Heineken Group can adjust their strategies to create highly personalised and engaging campaigns that generate even better returns on investment.

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