"Digital acceleration is not just a plan on paper, it's alive and well"
Since 2020, Valerie De Naeyer has been Strategy Executive at DPG Media. With a background in strategy and consulting, she was drawn by the promise of a dynamic work environment - and DPG Media delivered.
Valerie works on all kinds of strategic projects and helps manage the agenda and KPIs of the digital steering committee. Her main task is to support Kris Vervaet, CEO for Belgium and CDO for Belgium and the Netherlands, to keep the digital acceleration at cruising speed. "I've been here for almost two years now and I've had the opportunity to help develop several strategic projects," she says. Kris Vervaet is responsible for digital acceleration and I help him set up our digital strategy, translating it into concrete plans and providing a sounding board. We look at the bigger picture and make sure that all our business initiatives are linked to this strategy, which in turn fully fits within our overarching business strategy."
A plan for digital acceleration
The first assignment Valerie had in 2020 was immediately a high-profile project: to put the digital acceleration ambition into a plan, including KPIs, for the next few years.
"We always put the consumer first. Consumers are switching to digital at lightning speed; the corona crisis has reinforced that trend. And if consumers become digital, the advertisers will automatically follow. With DPG Media we want to measure up to the tech giants, but even more important is what our customers expect, that is the real driver of digital transformation within our company. Our mission is to be the first choice of consumers and advertisers, the local alternative to the tech giants."
Today, we continue to build on this ambitious plan. It is a living document that is constantly kept up to date and translated into concrete initiatives within the organization.
To keep it simple, Valerie outlines four main goals for our digital acceleration:
"One, we want to reach people, introduce them to our products, get them to come to our platforms and increase our visitor numbers. Two, we want to know who those people are. With third-party cookies disappearing, we have to collect that data ourselves, which means we have to get people to log in so we can get to know them. This helps us provide them with better, personalised offers, but it's also important for targeted advertising. Three, we want satisfied and committed customers. And as a result, number four, we want to increase the number of subscriptions and our income."
Our mission is to be the first choice of consumers and advertisers, the local alternative for the tech giants.
That all sounds very logical - on paper. The real challenge is to achieve those ambitions in practice. To do this, we defined several structural priorities. These building blocks of the digital plan are carried throughout the organisation: we put the consumer first and focus on ongoing development and innovative products, we combine the power of all our brands and bet on scalable digital business models, we create a smarter and more agile technology landscape, we invest in strong technical foundations and form 'high performing' teams where Business and IT work closely together.
"All teams play an important role in realizing our ambitions which we have summarized in an acceleration plan. In that multi-year plan, we make concrete how business and technology will put the digital ambition into practice. Sharing ideas with the teams and seeing what they are working on gives us all energy. Digital acceleration is not just a plan on paper; it is alive and well. It's so nice to see things evolve and grow. Even when we work remotely, the energy and enthusiasm leaps out at you from the screen."
The shared passion and hands-on attitude really appeals to Valerie. She says:
"From the outside you see the strong brand names and cool products that entertain, inspire and inform so many people in Belgium, Denmark and the Netherlands. The whole DPG Media team is enormously driven. Together we are shaping the future of digital media consumption. Who doesn't want to be a part of that?"