BNP Paribas Fortis: Aligning marketing teams and resources to improve productivity

For BNP Paribas Fortis, an international bank based in Belgium, developing complex marketing campaigns requires careful synchronization among the 300-person marketing team, as well as visibility into planning and workflow. However, the bank’s existing applications -- a mix of internal web apps, free cloud tools and even Excel spreadsheets -- meant that its marketing teams were effectively working in silos, with little insight into the progress and workloads of other teams.

The bank needed a single platform that would allow its marketers to align their efforts and synchronize campaigns. While marketing campaign planning for this particular platform includes no personal financial data whatsoever, security, reliability and performance were still top of mind as the organization worked to identify an improved approach. BNP Paribas Fortis engaged Fourcast, which helps companies collaborate digitally, to build a new planning system for their marketing communications. Fourcast chose Google Cloud Platform because it allowed the company to deploy new applications quickly, without the need to invest in physical infrastructure.

“We needed more flexibility in channels, technology and marketing in general. Now we’re working in the cloud, so we only have to enter our marketing campaign planning data once and by using Google BigQuery, it’s automatically linked to our reporting tools.”

— Jo Vandenhaute, Head of CRM, BNP Paribas Fortis

Reducing development time and cost

Fourcast used Google Cloud Platform to create a flexible, scalable platform for applications that integrate and share data. BNP Paribas Fortis uses Google App Engine for fast hosting and upscaling from one to multiple departments, without the need to configure servers, hard disks, or networks. Google Cloud Storage stores marketing campaign data, Google Cloud Dataflow performs Extract Transform Load operations (ETL), and Google BigQuery reports into internal business intelligence tools.

Since the bank also needed an analytics tool, Fourcast used Cloud Dataflow to set up a BigQuery project in just two days. The speed of the platform’s overall development allowed the bank’s marketing team to start using the applications right away. Fourcast developed the first part of the tool in six weeks, instead of the several months it would have taken without GCP. Because Fourcast used feedback-based, iterative development, each application was ready to use immediately after its release, helping the marketing team improve project productivity.

The quick development, automated deployment and integration with G Suite helped Vandenhaute and the Fourcast team reduce development time and cost for technical setup, authentication and access control management. Fourcast wrote the application code, and Google provided a serverless platform. Since developers didn’t have to spend time and budget on managing infrastructure, they could focus on improving the business value of the new applications.

“We could never have achieved these fast results with our internal team – not as quickly as Fourcast did,” Vandenhaute says. “The integrated solution is web-based, instantly scalable, secure and fast, because it’s accessed from the cloud.”

User-friendly tools that contribute to higher productivity and foster cross-team collaboration

With applications built on Google Cloud Platform, the BNP Paribas Fortis team can easily integrate new marketing campaign data and transfer it to other applications. The bank can keep budgets in check, thanks to Google Cloud Platform’s pay-per-use model, which is less costly than investing in infrastructure. In addition, if the marketing team needs to adjust applications or add new ones, developers can change strategy and quickly respond to the bank’s requests in real time.

“Because the applications that Fourcast developed are so easy to use, people are more inclined to adopt them. With easy-to-use applications, people are more likely to complete important administrative tasks, such as updating project timelines and results, that they would normally put off. With more timely data from the marketing team, everyone can make better decisions about strategy,” Vandenhaute says.

“The tools created by Fourcast are much more user-friendly than the old ones and foster collaboration between teams and departments. They offer us realistic planning data and contribute to our productivity. In the end, this allows our employees to achieve better results,” says Vandenhaute.