Sunstar’s Digital Transformation Story

15 November 2021

How has Sunstar GUM evolved from being nearly undetectable as an oral care brand and solution provider in 2018 to 600k visits monthly by the end of 2020 in Europe? The answer is undertaking a major digital transformation.

Before 2018, GUM’s digital presence in Europe was articulated through static local sites that mainly worked as a catalog of products. Fortunately, in 2018, the ACHIEVE initiative kicked off and the two first dynamic websites were launched: Sunstar GUM consumer site and professional site in English. By the end of 2019, twenty-five dynamic websites were up and running in thirteen languages.

Before the roll-out of these websites, local marketers in Europe couldn’t author their own content or rely on content marketing strategies to increase brand visibility. However, after the rollout of the Adobe Marketing Suite, each market had the ability to publish changes to their website, publish content, create landing pages (with Adobe Experience Manager), upload, search, download assets in the Digital Asset Manager, execute marketing campaigns with Adobe Campaign, personalize content and run A/B tests with Adobe Target and access real-time data with Adobe Analytics.

With the right tools in place, the pandemic breakout speeded up the digitalization of local marketing strategies and the results followed shortly: from 1,700 GDPR-compliant subscribers at the beginning of 2020 to 50,000 B2B contacts – a growth rate of 2,400 percent – in just a year.

The right tools and the right people in place

Likewise, this rapid growth would not have been possible without the backup of a growing digital team which started with the hiring of a Digital Communications Manager for the EMEA region, followed by a new hire dedicated to digital marketing and operating Marketing Technology tools in each market, and ended up with the creation of the Digital Transformation Strategy & Services (DTSS) team which currently consists of 9 digital experts.

The next goal? Onboarding the Sunstar Americas’ markets and creating a Western Hemisphere united by the Adobe Marketing Platform to support stronger synergies in content, digital marketing, and daily operations in 2022, followed by the extension of the Adobe platform to other regions and markets in 2023.

“Perhaps the greatest indicator of commitment to transformation and the enablement of digital business through the use of marketing technology is the creation of the DTSS department. The support of developing this department is an undeniable signal that Sunstar is committed to investing in the tools and resources this company needs to meet the changing needs of customers post-covid. This includes extending knowledge beyond “for marketers’ eyes only” to advancing and embedding digital knowledge across the organization. The transformation began in marketing but it won’t end there!” says Kelly Hungerford, Director of DTSS.

Sunstar Summit

Aligned with the idea of “extending digital knowledge beyond marketing”, in October 2021, Sunstar held its first ever digital event: the Sunstar Summit. The aim of the Summit is to serve as an educational North Star for Sunstar teams and leadership on understanding the current state of digital, transformation, and digital business. Under the theme of “Elevate”, all the sessions of this first conference were focused on topics relevant to elevating the customer experience. For this occasion, an A-list of world-renowned industry experts participated in the Summit sharing key insights for further digitalization of other departments across the company.

Get the key takeaways from the session: