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Future direction for digital marketing realised in eight weeks for Metsä Group

The development of processes and digital capabilities has been on Metsä Group’s strategic agenda for the past few years. Viewing marketing as an essential part of customer-facing processes, it was time to document the maturity across business areas and detail how marketing can best create business value. 


At the end of August 2020, Metsä Group and Avaus held the kick-off meeting for the Pre-study on Marketing Automation development. Eight weeks later, the final report was presented to a wide group of Metsä’s decision-makers from all business areas, showcasing use cases, a phased roadmap for digital marketing development and the current state of marketing visualised with the marketing maturity matrix.  


“Avaus was able to bring their expertise to the project and fit it well into our context, helping us better understand how digital marketing and marketing automation can be used to deliver business results”, says Jani Rissanen, Vice President of Group Business Process, Sales and Marketing.


At the kick-off three questions were confirmed to be at the heart of the project: 


  • What is the current maturity level of digital marketing & marketing automation at Metsä? 
  • What kind of business opportunities can a highly advanced marketing automation stack enable? 
  • What to focus on to reach the desired target state, i.e. what is the roadmap? 



Assessing maturity with a standard approach


To document the current state, the project methodology dealt with these questions using a double-pointed approach: A long-form, quantifiable questionnaire was sent out to relevant stakeholders with the topic of marketing maturity. Interviews with all business areas and group functions were then carried out over a few days. 


“Having gathered both quantitative and qualitative insight from across the company, we were able to draw a comprehensive picture of the current state by utilising our standard marketing maturity matrix”, comments Avaus Chief Technology Officer Tuukka Valkeasuo


“The maturity assessment was well-received by all business areas. It enabled us to both use a visual, easily readable representation of our current state and to see differences between business areas. This helps us identify strengths as well as development areas, as Avaus also performed a gap analysis”, adds Rissanen. 


Uncovering priorities with facilitation  


The lion’s share of discussions – running two online workshops a week for four weeks – centred on the desired target state of digital marketing, the use cases that will drive business value and the roadmap to get there. 


“The consultants at Avaus had a good way of bringing the right mix of repetition and new stuff to the table in each session. Frameworks and best practices were presented, discussed and are now available for us to use as tools”, Rissanen describes. 


Use case prioritisation was an essential part of the work. Using Avaus’ library as the starting point for a long list of use cases, this list was augmented with insight gathered through interviews and workshops. Online facilitation methods used against the backdrop of mutually defined business objectives produced a prioritised set of use cases. 


“Mapping marketing automation use cases along the customer journey and our internal processes put some flesh on the bones”, says Rissanen. 


“Combining business needs and use cases also give us the best perspective to assess future needs of technical capabilities, and enables the development roadmap to be planned”, adds Valkeasuo. 


Looking ahead 


“It is said that science is the arrow between hypotheses and results that can be replicated. Now, this project was not strictly scientific, but the method was very clear in going from the  identified development areas across business areas to forming a roadmap with a phased approach”, ponders Rissanen. 


“Metsä is on a transformation journey, developing many levels of the company and equipping itself with digitised capabilities. I feel that Metsä can build upon particular data assets and further strengthen its position as the preferred partner in developing a sustainable business, also from a digitalisation perspective. Marketing automation will play an important role in this”, comments Valkeasuo. 


The roadmap and its three phases map out the development themes for the coming years, connecting it to the desired maturity, technical capabilities needed and also provides concrete tasks to focus on in the very near term. 


“Avaus gave us high-quality and concrete deliverables. So the project is a success already in this sense. Beyond that, working across business areas made sure that the roadmap and recommendations can be taken into account in our overall planning and transformation. Lastly, it gave us a deeper understanding of how digital marketing could and should provide business value in the longer term”, concludes Rissanen.


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Tuukka Valkeasuo
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