Danone: "in the use of data, you must first go through the business box"

Danone: "in the use of data, you must first go through the business box"

Improving business performance through data is a constant challenge in a large group. Multiple transformation actions must be carried out over time.

Chief Digital Officer of Danone for 3 years

This is what Domitille Doat, Chief Digital Officer for 3 years of Danone, a French food giant, is realizing. Danone markets dairy products, plant-based products, medical products, children's food and water.

For the CDO, its actions go through "disintegrating" the data, reassuring the various divisions of the company, training people, going through the business case before embarking on the technique, equipping itself to listen to customers, measuring the return on investment, plan system maintenance, ultra-personalize the relationship when possible and necessary, segment customers, etc. The Chief Digital Officer spoke on the occasion of the day organized by the American publisher Adobe on November 13 in Paris.

“Various types of data flow into Danone. We have First Party Data, since moms obviously register on our platforms,” says the CDO. “We also have transactional data that comes from our online sales sites which are little known but which proliferate abroad because we distribute water directly to homes in many countries and in Paris with Evian at home” she says. There is therefore data on the customer experience coming from mothers who have registered with Danone clubs, or purely transactional data. The challenge for Danone was to "disintegrate" this data while respecting the GDPR (General Data Protection Regulation).

The reflex to keep your data in front of the other divisions of the company

To forge the link with the consumer, the first impact is really to free up the data. "De-siloing is probably the biggest challenge, the biggest opportunity" underlines the manager. Each division of the company fears that its data will be misused by others. “Obviously First Party Data, we don't want other divisions to use it. We are afraid that our consumers will be harassed,” acknowledges the CDO. Quite a challenge in a group like Danone which manages no less than 180 brands in 90 countries.

“There is still a little bit of apprehension on the subject. So there is a work of reassurance,” she says. There is also equipment work while not doing anything. “The first thing is not to mess around with data,” smiles Domitille Doat. At Danone, data is used for performance. “In the consumer goods sector, we are no longer extremely expensive in terms of investment. We want each investment to be made in a relevant and justified manner,” confirms the CDO.

She advises spending a lot of time on use cases and business interest, before going into large deployments. “If the business cases are well defined, and there is excitement or even great desire for the results, deployments are done more quickly and agilely,” observes Domitille Doat. “But if the deployment prevails over the business interest, we sometimes end up with Ferraris that no one knows how to use. You have to go through the business box first. It's very important,” she insists.

Danone : « dans l’usage de la donnée, il faut passer d’abord par la case business »

Everyone must be convinced of the financial interest

The acceleration of the use of data internally only comes when the economic and financial advantage is obvious to everyone, she underlines. “We've done it with cases that are really business-related,” she says. For example, “a television advertising campaign when it is effective automatically increases by 4 or 5 the level of Search on the keywords and not only on your brand, but on the words that you must have. It is the immediate data indicator of the effectiveness of a campaign,” she describes.

It is therefore necessary to have sealed these keywords and taken the customer to an ecosystem behind where the experience is up to what people have been looking for. “Otherwise, you have missed the customer journey, you create a break in the journey” she warns. It is also the way to accelerate growth, because it is the acquisition of consumers that is of interest on this subject.

"The big chance is that in food, people spend a lot of time looking on Google, Amazon and other platforms, what they can cook, if this ingredient is good, if they have to stop sugar, and mobile applications now make it possible to immediately scan the ingredients” presents Domitille Doat. More than 40% of Seach in the world are more or less food-related, she adds.

Different tactics according to consumers

This involves actions on the Danone side. “We need to understand and scale our responses to what people are looking for. This is not only done with listening all day long, you have to equip yourself with customer journeys and analysis of customer journeys. We are now significantly segmenting our response approaches. We have the same data strategy with tactics that are deployed according to consumers,” she summarizes.

“In the case of food for children, we are in the ultra personalization since it is First Party Data. And we have a DMP on First Party Data, but we only do it for infant food, because that's where we have the wealth of data,” she says.

Moms for their part were a subject considered until then as something very monolithic at Danone, called “The Mum”. "From the moment you have a child, you turn into something very generic which is The Mum" she presents. The CDO defends a finer vision of the subject. “Everything we read on the courses, all the signals that we can interpret, show us an almost supernumerary diversity to manage for us. This is why we must equip ourselves to address ourselves in a very relevant way on subjects as emotional as births,” she notes.

Measuring the effectiveness of a 2 second format

On all digital advertising operations, return on investment is a key issue. “As we do not sell everything directly, there is the subject of what is the return on investment of each of my investments, in particular digital, with the paradox that the shorter the formats, the shorter the content, the more it is effective, in any case that is what is said and repeated" she declares.

She notices that he is told that he must pitch in 3 seconds and that the 30 seconds is over. “And why not, that's probably true. On the other hand, how can I know that a 2 seconds is effective? “She asks. The manager notes that there is a real subject on content and content performance which is currently a bit of a stopgap. "They say that the important thing is the Reach, the Reach, but it's not just that, there are also signs of interest that people give and that you have to know how to interpret" he thinks -she. Another challenge is speed. “It's a subject that is both technical and content. It requires us to go a little faster than what we are used to doing,” she acknowledges.

Danone's transformation also required a major training program. “There is a real subject of people. We are in great transformation by training on 'Data Savyness' [Editor's note: lucidity about data] that is to say that we use data to solve business problems, and not just to collect it she remarks.

Formations that show adherence

These great training programs gave him a lot of optimism. "There is a real change and a real appetite, once the training is over, although the company is quite old, and is present in 90 countries through 180 brands" she rejoices.

It will be necessary to maintain what has been built over time. “The biggest challenge ahead of us is probably maintenance. Because people become very qualified and they must continue to evolve in the company. But there is also system maintenance. These are systems that require vigilance and a lot of collaboration with the technical teams. Which is a huge challenge in a company of this size. There are opportunities to automate a lot of things, to make certain systems more intelligent and less manual, and there we are moving on to a more advanced generation of data use, in companies that are still evolving,” she concludes. .

Domitille Doat: a data culture stemming from video games

Domitille Doat has been Chief Digital Officer of the Danone group for two years. She has spent more than 15 years in video games, a world far removed from the sale of consumer food products (FMCG or Fast-Moving Consumer Goods or PGC or consumer products). Much of his career has been spent in China. She was also responsible for technologies, "Head of Tech", for 3 years at Fred and Farid, a digital agency. "Data is at the heart of the way we design video games, and there is never a debate about data versus creativity," she notes. "It's a constant stream of real-time player-generated insights, and how games are otherwise made," she says. "This dichotomy does not exist in video games, I am working to ensure that it no longer exists at Danone" she concludes.

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