Because of digitalization and the fast changing customer needs, a lot of different sectors slide closer together. Digital Transformation is the integration of digital into existing business processes and services. The long term cooperation between The Reference and OZ is proof that Digital Transformation is possible if all partners around the table work in an integrated way.

The Challenge

A digital, future proof strategy and implementation  

In 2011, the organisation was in need of a strong digital impulse for the brand OZ. They were in need of a strong communication tool and an integrated future proof online platform to bring to life the digital plans of the marketing and service departments. 

The solution

We started with the choice of a trustworthy CMS to create a performant website where OZ could demonstrate their customer friendliness and accessibility in the digital world.    

The cooperation lead to an extensive and methodical digital transformation trajectory, which is still running today and is aimed at continuous optimization of the digital presence of OZ. 

Sitecore and Windows Azure

To make flexible content management possible, we chose the Sitecore CMS. The Sitecore Customer Engagement Platform makes it possible to get a more integrated and personalized focus on customers. The OZ team also gets the added value of mobile landing pages.

The SEO friendliness, supported by extensive keyword research, made the website an immediate hit in search engines. A perfect integration with Google Analytics ensures the constant monitoring and optimization of results.

At the recommendation of The Reference, OZ has chosen to host their website in the cloud with Microsoft Azure. This brings down the TCO and gives the possibility for a fast and dynamic growth path. Peeks in traffic can be easily handled this way. An SLA services contract with the The Reference makes sure the site stays online at all times.

As an extra, OZ and The Reference have won the Sitecore Digital Marketing Award in 2013 at the 'Sitecore Benelux Site of the Year'-event.

Digital transformation

The new website was only the first step of course. In the meantime we developed a new online office, a customer zone and more parts of the ‘holiday’ and ‘vitality’ divisions were brought online.

In 2014, OZ received the ‘Business Transformation Award’ for the extensive online & offline integration of their business. “The self-service platform ‘Mijn OZ’, which is our central hub for online service to our customers, is strongly optimized in experience and personalization”, says Sophie Meert, responsible E-business at OZ. “Because of the complete integration within OZ, the platform is actively used by most business units to offer extra services, but also to improve our service levels.” 

Online marketing: online requests from customers have tripled in only 1 year.

From the start we have worked with Google Adwords because it brings branded and generic traffic to the website. Primary focus was on the brand and offering more insight in the different benefits you receive at OZ. On top of this, there were 3 large media campaigns a year, where we saw more and more budget shifting from traditional media to the newest digital ad formats. In two years’ time, the brand awareness has gone up considerably because of this. The following formats were used in the past years by OZ:

  • Adwords & Bing ads search campagnes
  • Google Display Network banner campagnes
  • Remarketing
  • YouTube advertising
  • Engagement ads
  • Realtime bidding
  • Media buying & homepage takeovers
  • Facebook advertising
  • Twitter advertising


Under the flag of OZ, there are many different entities to be found with their own specific activities. Employee benefits, health promotion, travel, help with housekeeping, child care, … OZ asked The Reference to bring this complex range of products and services online in a structured, durable and client oriented way.

OZ Timeline



OZ collage

Lead generation tool

OZ grafiek

With the help of a good lead generation tool bereken je voordeel, it is easy to send visitors directly to the online OZ office. The rising number of online customer demands clearly follows the evolution of online marketing activities en campaigns.

Should we compare Q1 2015 with the previous year, there is a rise of 203% in customer demands, made possible by both organic and paid traffic. Also ROI has tripled in this period. In the meantime, social advertising (Facebook & Twitter) has surpassed regular Adwords campaigns when looking at the Cost per Lead.

The upgrade to Universal Analytics has made it possible to do a more advanced reporting. Also the simplification of tracking by means of the Google Tag Manager helped the OZ marketers a lot to optimize campaigns without the help of developers. Next to generating more revenue, The Reference also helped bringing down costs.

The growth spurt also brought on an expansion in the internal digital team. The Reference has taken it upon itself to bring up the maturity of the e-bizz team by several levels. To support this, we have done a set of workshops to teach the OZ team about social monitoring, content strategy, conversation management and social advertising. Also SEO was added to the curriculum, going in detail about the basics and writing SEO-friendly copy. The bridge between SEO and Social consultancy was neatly done through media monitoring in Engagor. The insights we get from the reporting there, can be used in social media and link building.         .

A lasting evolution

The cooperation with OZ is a story of evolution. The expansion to a multichannel approach goes hand in hand with a growth in digital maturity and further integration of their online and offline service offering. OZ has the use of an On-Site online marketeer from The Reference to help out with their daily decisions.

Where some in the social sector still see digital as a threat, OZ and The Reference have found only opportunities in this changing market. Together we will keep converting these opportunities into lasting initiatives that serve both OZ and its customers.

[1] of which, amongst others, Onafhankelijk Ziekenfonds 501 (OZ501) is part

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