Clas Ohlson is a Swedish hardware store chain and mail-order firm that specialises in home, leisure, electrical, hardware, and multimedia products. With 230 stores and a large ecommerce business in the Nordics and a loyalty club of 2.5 million members, it is one of the largest companies of its kind in Scandinavia.
Leading the company’s digital marketing program in Finland is Deneb Petterson. Deneb and his Online Marketing team is responsible for generating interest in the company’s products and driving traffic to their website through compelling digital campaigns, an effective social media strategy, and online advertising. To do all of this successfully, and ultimately prompt online orders, everyone on the team needs to be tightly coordinated.
When Deneb began leading the team seven years ago, they were using spreadsheets to plan and manage their work, which made real-time collaboration impossible. Only one person could be in a file at once, so multiple versions of the same spreadsheet were often created and no one knew which was the source of truth. The team also wasted significant time manually updating their sheets as work progressed or plans changed—if they remembered to update it at all.
Deneb knew there had to be a better way for the team to manage all of their work and collaborate more effectively. As luck would have it, he was planning to attend the famed Slush conference in Helsinki around this time and hoped to find his answer while networking with other tech-enthusiasts.
While at Slush, Deneb chatted with other digital marketers and shared the challenges his team was having managing their campaigns and social media calendar. A few people recommended he look into Asana. After doing some research, he found that:
Asana ticked all the boxes Deneb was looking for, so once he returned to the office he introduced his team to Asana. To get everyone comfortable with the new tool and way of working, he hosted trainings to familiarize everyone with how Asana worked. He also created guidelines and conventions around how the team should structure their work so everyone was planning and managing their work in a consistent manner. From there, he encouraged them to start small by building out one of their projects in Asana and was available to answer any questions they had.
“With Asana, you get the flexibility to manage work in different views depending on what makes the most sense for the project or process. For example, we use the Calendar view to manage our social media program so when can easily see when posts will go live.”
Now the entire Finnish office uses Asana to manage their work. Everyone can see what’s being worked on across teams, which helps them stay in sync because they’re working off of the same information. Some examples of how the Clas Ohlson’s Finnish office is using Asana to operate more efficiently include:
Strategic planning: They track strategic initiatives for the year in Asana so everyone in the office has visibility into top regional, as well as company, priorities. This helps them ensure they’re spending their time on the right work, and they can clearly understand how their individual tasks contribute to larger goals.
Digital and social media campaign management: Seasonal digital campaigns, as well as regular social media posts, are important traffic drivers for both their e-commerce and brick-and-mortar locations. The marketing team uses project templates to kick off each new campaign since they follow the same steps every time. This enables them to get to the execution phase right away, and assign out action items with just one click. As campaigns progress, they can see when work is happening on the project timelines and shift work around if there’s dependency or capacity conflicts. And these updates happen in real time= so everyone has access to the latest campaign plans at all times.
“We launch 11 or 12 campaigns for each of our five seasons, and now with project templates we’re able to save so much time during planning. Plus, we can easily reference what we’ve done in the past as a starting point since all of our plans are in Asana.”
Meetings: To ensure meetings are an effective use of everyone’s time, agendas are created so it’s clear what will be discussed, and teammates have the opportunity to contribute topics as new items come up. To further keep meetings on track, the team uses custom fields to track how many minutes will be spent on each topic, and action items are captured in real time and assigned out as they go.
Clas Ohlson’s website is a key driver for not only ecommerce purchases, but in store as well. The team just launched a new website that will offer an even better experience to their loyal shoppers. With this, they’re testing out new marketing activities that incorporate predictive technology to provide a more curated experience with targeted product recommendations. To ensure the new launch was a success, the team relied on Asana to keep them all in sync.
“Now that we’re all managing our work in Asana, everyone is in sync and we have a single source of truth for our campaigns—there’s no more guessing if we’re looking at the right version of the plan.”
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