Sunweb is aiming to be the leading customer centric digital tour operator in Europe. By centralizing and refining their online marketing processes, I was able to aid in their ambition.


Rich Media Designer

Rich Media Design • Online Marketing • Asset management

2017 - 2020

Defining the problems

When I joined Sunweb, the online marketing departments were decentralized. Each country organized their own social media, advertising and website visuals. This resulted in an unbalanced brand identity and message.

No central library existed for media such as campaign materials, photography and video, resulting in many country branches resorting to using stock photography.

BBecause of the lack of centralized strategic vision and cooperation, all media assets had to be created manually for each market. This was extremely time consuming with no room for iteration and testing.

Creating a centralized strategy

Our first task was to centralize the marketing efforts and create an international approach. This meant a lot of research in figuring out the differences in each market. I analyzed each country's customer groups and their needs, and compared them to the USP’s offered for each country.

We decided on a “Hero Destination” model where each country brought forth their most popular holiday destinations that would be featured each seasonal campaign. This way we could reuse marketing material and assets, but customize them with the USP’s and destinations relevant to that country.

Sunweb team meeting

Defining our audiences

Our research showed several large key audiences that we could target with our online campaigns. By utilizing Sunweb’s internal media production team we were able to produce photography and video materiaal that matched the target audience, yet also stayed within the global campaign visual design.

Family Family
Young Couple Young Couple

Asset management

It quickly became apparent that the growth in content creation would require a modern, cloud based asset library that would help us manage files across licences and campaigns. I spearheaded this project, gathering all the system specs and materials. All our video and image materials were tagged with location, target audience, setting (beach, pool etc.) and other useful features (such as alcohol and romance). Licence information was also added, making it clear when and how assets could be used.

Soon after launch over, 100 employees were using the system to great success. This led to an increased consistency of the brand and to ensure high quality content.

The system was later expanded to include external partners such as photographers, PR and media partners.

Asset tagging

Customer Journey

We wanted to go even further, not just focussing on the audience, but also including the customer journey using Google’s See-Think-Do-Care Customer Journey model. To do this we had to find a way to scale our advertising so we could change our advertisements in several ways. We decided to use a feed-based set-up within Google DV360 and Smartly (social channels). This meant that we could easily swap out messages and images based on data triggers.

We were able to customize our advertisements based on:

  • User intent (See, Think, Do, Care)
  • User location
  • Audience data (such as target groups)
  • Weather conditions (local or on the holiday destination)
  • Time of day
  • Performance (A/B testing)
Phase See (Awareness) Think (Consideration) Do (Purchase)
Customer intent “Where is Ibiza located?” “What is the temperature on Ibiza in November?” “I want to go on a holiday to Ibiza!”
Generic message Book your holiday to Ibiza NOW! Book your holiday to Ibiza NOW! Book your holiday to Ibiza NOW!
Targeted message This blog tells you everything you need to know about Ibiza Curious about the best time of year to visit Ibiza? Book your holiday to Ibiza NOW!

I added a copy-doc feature where marketeers and copywriters could write specific copy for each channel. Combining this with the feeds meant we were able to convey targeted messages across all online channels and also quickly iterate based on results.

Results and takeaways

A full marketing transformation was realised within my 3 years of working at Sunweb. We started manually creating GIF banners in Photoshop using stock images and ended up with a powerful full-funnel, multi channel advertising system.

Some of my key takeaways during my time at Sunweb are:

  • Content is king
    Having great, quick, powerful content is tremendously valuable. But the trick is making that content available to your entire organisation in an efficient manner so every branch can use it to maximize its impact.
  • Scale up to save time
    As the saying goes, “work smarter, not harder”. By automating the process of animation using rich media assets, we were able to scale up, making it much easier to course-correct, iterate and test.
  • Focus on your users
    A single message across the entire customer journey is inefficient and wasteful. Keep the focus on your audience and change your creatives to match their needs to get the best results.