Data-Driven Marketing Techniques for High Customer Engagement [Infographic & Step-by-Step Guide]

January 30, 2018
June Moore

Here's An Inside Look at How Heineken Turned Traditional Marketing On Its Head and What You Need to Know About It

Marketing can be tough, especially if it doesn’t come naturally to you as a business owner, entrepreneur or executive. But when it’s done right, a well executed campaign has the power to captivate your audience.

Take it one step further, and true mastery strikes when your customers feel deeply connected to your product or service as a result of your marketing efforts.

Bottom line, as any sales person will tell you, connection is key to converting a sale.

So how can we satisfy this need for connection? My answer today may seem unconventional, but stay with me here. The answer and politics. Let me tell you why.

On April 25, 2017 Parker Molloy wrote an article for Upworthy illustrating how the Dutch brewing company Heineken ditched the typical advertising gimmicks and delivered a refreshing and unexpected viewer experience.

Instead of scantily clad women and party-goers, Heineken paired people together with opposing political views to chat over a beer in their ad campaign, #OpenYourWorld, this one aptly named Worlds Apart.

The result? A touching exchange between complete strangers, showcasing the power of human connection with over 14 million views.

Now you may be wondering, can the act of sharing a beer be enough to help us overcome our personal differences? Surprisingly, yes. As Molloy shares in her article, it turns out the ad is pretty spot-on. A number of studies have shown that short, casual, in-person conversations with someone with an opposing viewpoint is one of the easiest paths to changing someone's mind.

Now here comes the marketing brilliance; in a strategic move, Heineken places itself in the background as the casual meeting place for these important conversations, allowing the individuals’ perspectives - which include differing opinions on transgender rights, climate change and feminism - to be honored and shared with equanimity.

Heineken is careful not to take sides. In the ad, the strangers finish by sitting down and sharing their opposing views over a cold one. Hats off, Heineken, nicely played.

Now to expand on Molloy’s article, let’s breakdown how Heineken created pure marketing magic:

#1 - Heineken’s initial focus is on task completion

Each pair of strangers in the ad meets in an empty warehouse and moves through a series of activities together. Their actions are directed so that their focus is not on each other but rather on achieving a given task together. As a result, the strangers share a sense of accomplishment when tasks are completed. Brilliant, send in that hit of dopamine.

# 2 - The strangers reveal their vulnerable side

In the ad, the strangers are asked, “Describe what it’s like to be you.” This prompt invites the individuals to reveal personal things about their lives that illuminate vulnerabilities.

Building on this connection, the strangers are then asked to describe what they have in common. With the focus on commonalities, the strangers continue to connect positively over the things they share with one another. Rapport building at its finest.

# 3 - The strangers are faced with a tough decision

At the end of their time together, the strangers are faced with a tough decision, will they stay and discuss their newly revealed differences over a beer?

In the segments selected for the campaign, each pair happily agrees to sit and share a cold one, and Heineken has just won us over, with the touching conclusion that despite our differences, we can come together in civil discord.

So how does this translate to your marketing efforts?

Let’s take a look:

#1 Focus on the need for task completion:

Focusing your marketing content on how your products or services will allow your customers to complete critical business tasks, will help them experience a sense of achievement, due to the increased efficiency or automation, for example, your product or service may provide.

As a result, this outcome can help your clients expand their capacity to take on new business or bring new products to market, ultimately increasing their bottom line. Make sure you articulate what your customers will be able to achieve and how their lives will be enhanced by adopting your product or service.

#2 Define what a typical day is like for your customer, and identify their major pain points

Engage your clients with thoughtful strategic questions during the discovery phase, to get to the root cause of their frustrations and pain points. When do they get derailed in a given business day? Where are they feeling most vulnerable? Demonstrate that you understand your client’s pain by developing valuable content that helps them resolve their concerns and provide regular follow up.

This will allow you to establish trust and credibility with your client base, and be there waiting in the wings when they’re ready to purchase a product or service.

#3 Create an exceptional customer experience and recruit brand evangelists

  • What is your customer journey like?
  • Is it easy for customers to navigate your website?
  • Is the language on your site friendly to your users or is it industry jargon?
  • Do your customers know who to contact when they need help?
  • Do they get what they need?
  • Is there a clear path for them to engage with your products and services?
  • Do you ever wow them with free goodies or upgrades?
  • Do you brag about their successes and feature them in blog posts?

Create an exceptional customer experience and you’ll have brand evangelists and customers who champion your products and services, driving new prospects and leads to the top of your sales funnel.

According to Rob Fuggetta, Founder and CEO of Zuberance, each evangelist, on average, produces about three new customers. So, if you’re able to build up a following of 100 brand evangelists, you could easily be looking at 300 new customers.

Sounds easy enough right? Need some data to back up your decisions? Us too, that's why we created this infographic with stats to support our recommendations:

Download this infographic: Affari-Tips-For-Better-Business-Engagement

By clearly articulating the business outcomes your customers will achieve as a result of purchasing your product, demonstrating empathy through solving your customer’s problems with valuable content, and by providing an exceptional customer experience, you’ll be well on your way to delivering magic moments to your customers and your bottom line.

Interested in checking out Heineken's ad campaign for yourself? You can do so below.

*Images used in this blog post are from: Heineken, Open Your World

About Affari

If you’re a business owner who wants to amplify your voice in the market and connect your brand and products to more customers, you’re in the right place.

At the Affari Project, we’re a creative agency that puts our clients at the center of everything we do, from branding, web design and development, print and graphic design, to marketing strategy and analytics.

We believe in delivering exceptional customer service through every touch point and interaction with our clients to deliver stunning designs and fully customized, digital experiences.

Whether we’re working with a local non-profit or a well-known brand, our team approaches every project with the same heart, passion and creativity.

Ready to Talk?

For more information about our services, drop me a line at, I'm our director of growth and I’d be happy to help you determine the best solution for your business goals. Wanna chat instead? Feel free to call me at 202-643-9322.

Heineken | Worlds Apart | #OpenYourWorld

June focuses on Affari's sales and marketing efforts. She loves helping position businesses for optimal growth with Affari’s suite of services and considers herself lucky to be surrounded by a fantastic team that supports and inspires her on the regular.

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