New Culture, New Customer Services, Targeted Sales and Marketing

This is my story how I have seen Ruukki Roofing business to transform from material supplier to end user driven business over the past 7 years. A huge service transformation has happened.


Background to Business

Ruukki Construction is a division within SSAB (Swedish Steel). Ruukki Construction yearly turnover is around eur 570M (2015), of which around half is from Roofing business. Ruukki Roofing provides roof materials and installation services to private house owners and housing companies. Ruukki Roofing has a premium brand position and sales network across Central Eastern Europe, Nordics, Poland and Russia.

Challenge during 2010

Roofing business was pretty much focused on dealers, resellers and there was not a clear grip of the end users – households that actually buy roofs. Sales and marketing focused their effort in helping the channel. Ruukki hardly created demand directly to the end users. At the same time steel material demand and competition in the market had increased due to overcapacity in the market.

Obsessed about Customer Pain Points and Needs

We had to do something and I started in-depth customer research on consumers unmet needs, pain points, channel preferences etc. We realized that new households and renovation projects had very different purchasing life-cycle. Also, women played a different role in these two scenarios. Consumer expectations had changed over the years and majority of end users expected full delivery with installation.

Defining Value that Ruukki Roofing Offers – Business Transformation

Equipped with consumer insight we started to facilitate internal workshop how to change our business to meet up the increasing competition and alleviate customer pain points. We had workshops were we looked at the competition and compared that to the actually consumer pain points. We realized that majority of the competitors acted exactly the same way. We needed to change in order to differentiate in the market. We needed to become obsessed about the end user needs. We launched a new positioning and brand promise: ”Worry Free Roofing”. See YouTube.

New Services – New Positioning and Brand Promise

”Worry Free Roofing” thinking launched a creation of new end user services. We launched a RoofDoctor and online chat that provides advice and assistance to consumer questions. Before starting a renovation project all consumers have a lot of questions.

We started to boost renovation and installation services to meet up expectations of full service delivery. We also started to make rapid prototyping and testing of various services like cleaning of roofs. We quickly learned that it is much harder to create services than just sell steel materials. Creating services required new skills e.g. customer centered service design and training service agents on delivering good customer experience.

Targeted Sales and Marketing – Need Based Segmentation

Based on the facts that we knew more about the consumer needs, channel preferences and purchasing pattern, we were able to start more targeted sales and marketing.

This gave an idea to target and boost up marketing and sales performance with marketing automation. We created click through patters, created new content and selected IDBBN agency to lead us with the journey. Based on the performance we won Oracle Eloqua global marketing automation award twice. Read more about the case from IDBBN. View award ceremony picture in my blog here.

During 2015 Ruukki also launched a customer needs based segmentation. Segmentation offered framework to think: How sales and marketing should be operated, what kind of key messages and content is needed etc. This is another big accelerator for customer centered thinking.


Digital Evolution – It is Continuous Journey

In the construction industry there has been tremendous cost pressure to get OPEX down but at the same time seek for new improvements and digital enhancements. Web pages had become outdated and renewal of started at the end of 2015. At the same time Ruukki Construction selected a new CRM solution.

Transformation of Ruukki Roofing business has been extremely rewarding over the past 7 years. Here are my takeaways from the transformation:

  1. Obsess about customers´ pain points.
  2. Define the value you want to offer.
    1. Be bold and transform your business.
  3. Build new services to alleviate customers´ pains.
    1. Use agile, CX and service design.
  4. Segment your customers based on needs.
    1. Start targeted sales and marketing.
  5. Create solid vision, digital governance and roadmap.
    1. Good background work on processes should be done before jumping to a new technology
    2. Avoid fragmented decisions. How and who is leading digitalization
    3. Empower and trust subject matter experts


You can also view slides from my presentation at Trelleborg at the end February 2017.

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