SparkOptimus wins Emerce100 top spot for the 7th time

SparkOptimus wins Emerce100 top spot for the 7th time
SparkOptimus TeamKatja Knox
Written by
Katja Knox
The SparkOptimus Blog Team
April 26, 2024

SparkOptimus has been recognized as a leading force in the digital business landscape once again, securing its seventh No.1 position in the prestigious Dutch Emerce100 ranking.

Emerce100: The benchmark for digital excellence

Emerce is the top Dutch media platform for digital marketing, media and e-business, and since 1998 has been a leader in identifying emerging technologies and innovative business models. The annualEmerce100 is a benchmark for digital excellence, signifying not just technical expertise, but the ability of competing organizations to deliver impactful and sustainable results.

“We are incredibly honoured to receive this award again,” says Hidde van Manen, Managing Partner at SparkOptimus. “Our focus has always been on strategic partnerships with clients: rather than simply implementing solutions, we empower clients to drive their own digital journeys. The Emerce100 ranking is based on client feedback data, and so our year-on-year success speaks volumes about our ability to create value for clients that last.”

Client success stories: Putting digital transformation into action

Holding the top spot in the Emerce100 ranking for almost a decade is a testament to the long-term trust we build with clients through the ever-evolving digital landscape. And this trust is based on hard numbers: in one example, we built an app for a client that rapidly netted over $10 billion in sales, achieving a staggering 150% year-on-year growth, and transitioning 75% of net revenues to eB2B in 35 global markets. At the same time, customer satisfaction soared by 70% and internal productivity increased significantly.

We have achieved this kind of success over and over again with different clients in a range of markets, and through successive waves of digital technologies. Let’s look back over some cases from the last seven years.

2024- Budget Thuis leverages GenAI

Together with Budget Thuis, we identified new potential Generative AI applications, prioritized three for piloting, and built Minimum Viable Products (MVPs) within eight weeks. These pilots integrated into Budget Thuis’ existing GenAI tools to improve customer service (e.g. reduced call times) and optimise internal processes (e.g. automated call summaries). Finally, we established a framework for Budget Thuis to continue innovating with GenAI independently.

<div class="insights_cta-component">“Although we usually prefer to do as much as possible in house, Spark’s practical support enabled them to blend into our teams easily. They made Generative AI easy to understand and focused on practical, effective results.” – Job Schipper, Budget Thuis Manager of BPM & Digital</div>

2023- Eneco’s dynamic pricing launch

Using a “discovery and delivery” approach, we launched a dynamic pricing product with Eneco, a large Dutch energy company. By simultaneously developing and testing the product with a pilot group, we were able to innovate fast prior to the broader launch. Eneco became one of the first energy giants to offer dynamic pricing and successfully incentivise sustainable energy consumption.

<div class="insights_cta-component">“SparkOptimus have been fantastic partners, deeply invested in our success, building our capabilities and inspiring us to celebrate every milestone.” – Wilko Schuijff, Lead Propositions & Pricing at Eneco</div>

2022- - Empowering newcomers to the Netherlands

In2022, in response to the Ukraine crisis, SparkOptimus built in collaboration with Vluchtelingenwerk Nederland. It quickly became the go-to online resource for Ukrainian refugees, providing them with essential information while connecting volunteers, NGOs and other stakeholders. The site was developed, crucially, with refugee input, and its success was soon recognized by the Dutch Parliament. Within a year it was expanded to become the landing page for refugees not just from Ukraine, but from anywhere in the world, seeking information and support in the Netherlands.

2021- JDE’s Direct-to-consumer platform growth

We collaborated with JDE to improve their DTC platform, focusing on quick wins to demonstrate immediate results, while simultaneously implementing a long-term plan for sustainable growth. This included improvements to customer experience, technology and organization. Our collaboration also established clear communication channels and a structured roll-out plan to ensure successful integration with local markets and central teams.

<div class="insights_cta-component">“SparkOptimus distinguishes itself from the crowd through their ability to transform needs into unique digital solutions that have enabled us to accelerate our digital transformation agenda.” – Ludovic Auffret, Director Global E-Commerce at JDE.</div>

2020- Henkel Adhesive Technologies - Customer experience transformation

We helped Henkel Adhesive Technologies to improve customer experience through a comprehensive digital transformation strategy for their five key markets. These varied massively: from enormous global key accounts to highly fragmented local landscapes. Our approach involved analyzing customer journeys, identifying improvement areas, and launching pilot projects that tested new ways to serve clients while strengthening digital foundations. Finally, an implementation plan was drawn up to scale successful initiatives.

<div class="insights_cta-component">“SparkOptimus’ laser-sharp focus on how to transform the experience of our customers and partners has been instrumental to defining our change agenda, building new capabilities and transforming our organization.” – Frederic Chupin, SrVP, Customer Experience, e-Commerce & Digital Marketing Transformation at Henkel Adhesive Technologies</div>

2019- Colgate-Palmolive Europe’s digital and ecommerce strategy

We worked with Colgate-Palmolive Europe on their digital and ecommerce strategy, including assessing their current situation, defining key initiatives, and creating a roadmap for implementation. This led to the establishment of an “Online Acceleration Centre” to train local country teams, pilot new online initiatives and lead the wider digital transformation.

<div class="insights_cta-component">“Our thinking was, why not get ahead of the trend? So we went to the experts [SparkOptimus] and asked them to help us with external benchmarking, to conduct a capability assessment of where we were from a digital maturity standpoint, and also to look at how other companies had organised themselves to unlock digital.” – Prabha Parameswaran, Group President of Growth & Strategy at Colgate-Palmolive</div>

2018– Heineken’s B2B sales digitization

Together with Heineken, we developed a strategy to digitize B2B sales channels, improve customer satisfaction, grow sales, and position Heineken as the preferred partner for distributors worldwide. The initiative’s success involved navigating the complexity of Heineken’s decentralized structures and varying digital landscapes.

<div class="insights_cta-component">“SparkOptimus has helped us to walk a path we otherwise never would or could have. [...]Their strategic capability and digital expertise, combined with their ability to truly transform analogue businesses on the ground in varying local market contexts, allowed us to successfully embark on a digital transformation that will significantly improve the way we do business with our customers across the globe.” – Jan Derck van Karnebeek, Chief Commercial Officer at Heineken.</div>

2017-Intersport’s omnichannel transformation

We collaborated with Intersport to create a seamless shopping experience across their physical stores and digital platforms. This involved streamlining operations that were previously quite independent, while acknowledging the diverse needs of the customer base. To achieve this, we emphasized understanding customer preferences through data collection across all channels, thus allowing Intersport to adapt their offerings in response to feedback. This empowered local stores to leverage the expertise of a centralized team while retaining their individuality, creating a win-win-win for HQ, stores and customers.

The SparkOptimus approach: Building success together

At SparkOptimus, we empower our clients to build self-learning organizations. We do this by fostering a collaborative environment, demystifying challenges and translating complex situations into clear action plans. Our approach emphasizes:

• A culture of innovation: SparkOptimus attracts and develops diverse talent with expertise in strategy consulting, startups and online businesses. This blend isn’t just about having the latest knowledge; it’s about building a culture of continuous learning, which is the strategic advantage in today’s dynamic markets. We leverage it to help our clients stay ahead of the curve.

• Customer-centricity: At the core of every project lies a deep understanding of customer needs. SparkOptimus believes that new technology should serve the customer, not the other way around.

• Tangible business impact: SparkOptimus doesn’t just provide a roadmap; we help clients execute and achieve real-world results, and fast. We offer the practical expertise to get things done and see them working.

• Capability building: SparkOptimus empowers its clients to continue their digital journeys independently. Through knowledge transfer, on-the-job coaching and workshops, we equip our clients’ internal teams with the skills they need to thrive in the ever-evolving digital environment.

Looking ahead: Social responsibility and continued thought-leadership

At SparkOptimus, our core mission is to “create long-term value and change the world for the better.” As a B Corp-certified company, we prioritize social responsibility and sustainability in all our endeavours. Our dedicated purpose, combined with our proven track record, position us to lead on as the no. 1 digital consultancy in the Netherlands for years to come.

Looking to achieve transformation success? Get in touch to learn about our unique approach to building long-term digital and sustainable capabilities.  
Hidde van Manen
Managing Partner

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