Sanoma — experience journeys building better customer experience

At the end of 2017, Sanoma was looking for assistance in capturing a holistic view of its current customer experience and ultimately strengthening its relationship with customers. By obtaining a better understanding of the customer experience, Sanoma intended to create a solid foundation for future growth. Marketing Clinic was selected as the best suited partner for this undertaking. A deep dive into the customer perspectives of four Sanoma brands was performed, revealing some priceless insights.

The Outcome

At its core, Marketing Clinic’s work was research based. Key objectives and questions for a customer study were created with Sanoma brand teams. Then, a broad group of potential, new, long-term and former Sanoma customers was selected. Participants of the study used an online tool to recount their experiences, building a rich record of their journeys. This allowed Sanoma to gain a better understanding of how bonds with its customers are formed and weakened, but also how customers view competition. The obtained information will be used to develop the brand’s customer experience measurement and strategy, thus securing its future success.


Co-operation with the Marketing Clinic team went really well. We have been very happy with this project. We appreciate their expertise and ability to find consumer insights and document the results in a way that is easy to use widely throughout the organisation.

Sanoma wanted to strengthen its relationship with its customers by capturing a deeper view of its current customer experience. To reach this goal the brand joined forces with Marketing Clinic to gain a full understanding of customers’ current experiences with its brands. This task involved engaging both Sanoma personnel and customers in the development work, which was carried out from the end of 2017 into the beginning of 2018.

The work resulted in mapping out customer experience journeys for four Sanoma brands: HS Digi, Ruutu, Kodin Kuvalehti and Aku Ankka. The deep dive into customers’ worlds revealed and explained their behaviour and experiences along the different phases of their journeys as well as the logic of how they consume media in their everyday lives.

Driving growth through customer experience

Sanoma’s goal was to increase both sales and the value of customer relationships by developing its customer experience. In order to create a solid foundation for growth, it was necessary to first understand the current customer experience. Building stronger and more valuable customer relationships requires recognizing the process of becoming a customer as well as the elements of nurturing customer loyalty.

In order to create value on both the strategic and tactical levels, the first task was to define key objectives and questions together with the cross-functional Sanoma brand teams.

A deep dive into the customer experience

Marketing Clinic utilized autoethnography to gather a profound qualitative understanding of customers’ experiences and emotions. Research participants were recruited according to their current stage in the customer journey (i.e. potential customers, new customers, long-term customers, former customers) and then asked to report their experiences in an online diary focusing on the relevant stages of their journey. This approach developed a rich story of the customer experience journey with its highs and lows.

Insights from the visual customer experience journey

The work highlighted critical findings for the four Sanoma brands’ customer journeys through visual insights. They showed different kinds of consideration processes and prerequisites for becoming a Sanoma customer. By uncovering people’s motives in content and media usage as was relevant to Sanoma, the project also provided an understanding of the competition from a customer perspective. In addition, it described the expectations for and elements of a strong customer relationship. The findings also revealed the pain points leading to a weakening customer relationship and the eventual loss of the customer.

The outcomes and their impact on both tactical and strategic development were analysed together with the cross-functional brand teams. The key findings for the brands were also combined in order to show a wider perspective beyond the individual brand streams. This approach was used to explain the differences and the logics of various kinds of media relationships and content consumption patterns. A better understanding of the parallel customer stories enabled Sanoma’s brand teams to learn from each other and build on their different success stories.