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How digital improves lactose-intolerant lives

increase in searches
engaged users

With 12,500 affiliated dairy farmers, you see Arla on various dairy packaging in supermarkets. And with The Netherlands being a real dairy country you would expect everyone to enjoy it. Still, The Netherlands counts 1.5 million Lactose intolerant residents who can now enjoy Arla Lactofree. To create awareness in the lactose-intolerant target group, Dept was enabled.

A smooth and subtle approach

Reaching the relevant target group via the Google display network (GDN) comes with limitations when it involves health. Google does not allow to follow individuals via cookies when it involves sensitive information, which means you cannot target and remarket on such basis. This implies that we don’t have all the behavioural targeting solutions, like affinity targeting, remarketing and Display Select Keyword to our disposal. At the same time, relevant targeting of the target group is essential, because the subject is so sensitive.


We ditched the aggressive target marketing in exchange for service

The lactose intolerance-journey

The campaign is aimed at Dutch people who are (presumably) Lactose-intolerant. By offering relevant information in micro-moments during the Lactose-intolerance journey, we give the target group the feeling that we are providing them with a service, instead of approaching them by way of an aggressive marketing strategy. Micro moments are crucial touchpoints in the Lactose-intolerance journey. At these moments the target group is most receptive to the information or – in this case – products that Arla offers.

The audience targeting in GDN was adjusted to the specific phases of the Lactose-intolerance journey. We did this through smart combination of the available solutions (placement targeting with keyword and topic targeting) and then optimising based on which combinations in which phase of the customer journey reveals the best user interaction.


Success factors

  • What – offering relevant (unique) content:
    The combination of the knowledge of Arla and Google Search (search) data. By combining contextual insights and analyzing online behavior on the website, a basis has been formed of data on which we could revise the content strategy.
  • How – at the right time and place:
    Using contextual targeting and placement targeting to offer the relevant content directly in the micro moment, the public will experience exceptional service.
  • Connecting the dots:
    To connect all these facets together, we created a model that visualizes the customer journey with the most important micro moments, online channels and content.


We started the display campaign in March. Since then we have seen a strong increase of 48% in searches for ‘Arla Lactofree’ compared to the first two months of this year, while searches for the general term ‘lactose’ has declined since March. This allows us to conclude that the increase in the search volume for the brand was not related to the search volume for general terms concerning lactose. Since the start, not only the quantity, but also the quality of visits on the website has improved considerably, with 70% engaged users. These figures confirm that we use our campaign to target and support the right audience.

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