SBS Belgium is the parent company of Flemish television channels Play4, Play5, Play6, and Play7 (formerly VIER, VIJF, and ZES). These channels are dominant in the current media landscape, operating in a very challenging sector, with demanding customers and companies like Netflix setting the pace for viewer experiences.
In 2019, SBS’ channels closed the year with a 20.7% market share for the commercial target group (VVA 18-54), offering advertisers a reliable, stable reach, while keeping other Belgian players, DPG Media and VRT, alert. SBS Belgium also directs the channels Discovery, TLC, njam!, and Play Sports. The company seeks to ensure that television, whether analogue or digital, remains an exciting medium, by offering strong, fresh content to a wide audience.
“De Mol” is a hit TV show airing since 2016 on SBS’ VIER (Play4), Belgium’s second-largest commercial channel. As one of the most-watched reality game shows in Flanders, and one of the region’s most popular TV shows in decades, it reaches more than 1.2 million viewers with its yearly finale. Contestants on the show must work together to earn money for a pot, with one of them secretly trying to sabotage the game as “the Mole.” One contestant is eliminated every week, culminating in a dramatic grand finale when the ‘mole’ is revealed.
De Mol” has added a more interactive element in recent seasons, with viewers votingon a second screen for who they think is the mole. For the 2020 series, SBS wanted to revamp the online voting platform, to provide a better, more seamless, and personalized user experience including:
SBS also wanted to encourage participation and build loyalty through a personalized email flow including invitations and confirmations; and easily track votes in real time, to make results available to participants.
To meet this challenge, SBS worked with digital agency Emakina and relied on Selligent’s innovative marketing automation platform. Selligent’s key functionalities were used to set up the voting system, ensuring that all users, known and unknown (existing and new customers), were authenticated and fully integrated within marketing flows in the platform, to receive the right emails.
The new voting system was built within Selligent using dynamic pages, with different landing pages created and seen based on when a viewer would visit (before, during, or after an episode). Automated emails were sent throughout the seven voting weeks, personalized with profile data and different dynamic blocks, depending on the moments and the user flow each viewer was in. Emailsweresent right after the show aired on Sundays,to those who voted in the previous week(s). Confirmation emails were also sent immediately after a participant voted. These were set up as journeys in Selligent.
A real-time dashboard was also created, loaded with data from Selligent and displayed during the popular Mol after-show, “Café De Mol,” allowing viewers to track results in real time.
Emakina is a digital agency with headquarters in Belgium, founded in 2001. As a member of an independent group of communication agencies in Europe, Emakina crafts user experiences, with a team of professionals who are experts at reaching and appealing to users and activating communities. As user advocates, their experts work tirelessly on their behalf, knowing that every interaction a user has with a brand impacts the value they attach to it. It is the timing, relevance and quality of the experience that gives it a competitive advantage.
Thanks to Emakina and Selligent, SBS was able to set up a new, more seamless voting platform and provide a highly improved experience for customers. Personalized journeys were perfectly integrated with existing VIER/Play4 tech architecture, making it easy for viewers to log in with existing credentials, while new users could simply create a new account in the moment.
Selligent handled massive amounts of data calls per minute, varying between 16,200–20,500 votes per episode (2,000 data calls per minute). SBS exceeded expectations for this campaign across all metrics.
“The collaboration with Emakina was intensive and also exciting,” said Jelle D’Hondt, Online Editor for GoPlay.be (formerly VIER.be). “Registering and voting for ‘De Mol’ had to go smoothly and without errors. The results also had to be available immediately, with the dropout being adjusted on all pages directly, making it even more challenging. In addition, the team made excellent use of the possibilities of Selligent as a tool.”
Maarten De Neve, Marketing Automation Practice Lead at Emakina, echoed those sentiments, adding, “We strongly believe the set-up of this voting system can easily be reused next year, as well as for other campaigns for other SBS brands. We strongly advise them to reuse this platform!”
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