AE – Architects for Business & ICT helps companies achieve their business objectives in an increasingly-complex digital world. AE’s integrated approach to digital transformation combines outstanding knowledge of the market, technological expertise and innovative technologies. With a focus on co-creation, AE develops smart combinations of innovative methods, using practical models and proven technologies. Whether they’re helping clients to innovate business operations, build digital platforms, outline customer experiences or help generate market insights, AE’s emphasis is on creating long-term added value for its clients and partners.
Known as an experienced partner for digital transformation, AE needed to find a way to differentiate and promote the expertise of its various business units, or ‘hives’, each dedicated to a different sector. In the existing AE structure, the boundaries between the hives and the market sectors in which they are active was not clearly defined. AE’s important footprint in the financial sector meant that the Financial Services hive was the first to be chosen to clearly differentiate itself. Living Stone proved to be very skilled with these kinds of projects.
When it comes to digital transformation, it’s important to realize that different sectors require different approaches. Rather than offering a one-size-fits-all roadmap to digital transformation, AE recognizes that each sector requires a customized approach. “To start, we wanted to determine how digital transformation translates to the financial services market,” says Leen van Wambeke, Business Development Manager at AE Financial Services. “We wanted to highlight our extensive financial sector expertise, demonstrate that we know the specific challenges involved and that we have an appropriate digital transformation process to respond to these challenges. That is why we decided to market this hive as a separate entity, supported by its own marketing strategy. We searched for an experienced partner to support us in this.”
Total process support
AE soon discovered Living Stone. “As this marketing agency has an extensive list of references from similar projects, it was an easy decision to make,” says Vincent Guelinckx, Director AE Financial Services. “From the first workshop it was clear that Living Stone had a deep understanding of our business, and that we could rely on them to deliver work of high quality. Moreover, it was evident at an early stage that they would not restrict themselves to writing up an eloquent marketing story, but would be able to support us throughout the process. This end-to-end support was also really important for us and is vital for the continuity of the project.”
“From the start we felt that Living Stone had a deep understanding of our business and we were sure that their work would be of high quality. It was also quickly clear that we would receive end-to-end support.”
Vincent Guelinckx | Director AE Financial Services
Co-creation and training
A strong marketing story with a clear scope and well-defined key messages was the first tangible result. A tightly-structured website, perfectly tailored to the target audience in the financial sector, flowed seamlessly from this. AE also appreciated the fact that Living Stone didn’t assume ownership of the whole project. “Like us, the Living Stone team works on the basis of co-creation,” says Laura van Duijvenbode, Marketing Officer at AE. “They encouraged us to actively support the project and to master the website development. This meant that we didn’t need to call them each time we needed to make a small change. We created the HubSpot website together, while we were being trained.”
Positive, active response
Developing the marketing story also resulted in a detailed content strategy and a well-defined social media vision, as well as defining the look, feel and timing of the newsletters. “This gives us the tools to continue to address our financial clients in the right way,” says Laura. “And we really hit the mark! The website launch came at the same time as the new General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR). We saw from the positive, active interest and the numerous newsletter registrations that the rebranding was appealing and that our financial clients clearly appreciate that we have sound financial sector expertise and speak their language. The reading ratio of our newsletter is high.”
Professional & thorough service
The partnership with Living Stone has given AE a clear direction and a fixed procedure, enabling it to address the rebranding of hives for other sectors, such as utilities. “As our client base has a clear east and west cluster, in the future we would also like to examine the opportunities for implementing regional segmentation,” explains Laura. “Undoubtedly a conceptual dimension will be needed then too, for which we will be delighted to contact Living Stone again. We are extremely pleased with the professional, thorough service that we received. Their respect for deadlines made Living Stone great to work with.”