Award Winning

Best Use of Innovative Technology 2020: StoryStackr – Machine_ for Sanlam Connect

Client: Sanlam
Award: Best Use of Innovative Technology


Sanlam Group is the largest insurer in Africa. Its internal communications team has been producing a printed magazine to connect and engage its internal staff and stakeholders across its footprint: Africa and Europe. But a printed magazine has become expensive to produce and distribute, difficult to measure, slow and cumbersome in its process and lead times, and does not suit its employee behaviour whereby many staffers work remotely. Traditionally distributing its printed magazine via head offices in regions, Sanlam Group has realised very few of its audience ever actually receive the printed publication in hand.

Our job? Come up with a content platform solution that:

  • Does not add to existing email fatigue within the business.
  • Can integrate within existing digital communication channels, including Microsoft Teams and their intranet, but is not reliant on these or restricted by the limited functionalities of these channels.
  • Is highly trackable.
  • Is agile and adjustable, so that content can be updated urgently if needed, and optimised if needed.
  • Retains the premium, editorial nature of a magazine – it should not feel like corporate comms.
  • Be fully mobile immersive in line with a significant portion of the intended audience who do not work from an office, and who manage their work lives from their phones.
  • Can host rich media and allow for two-way engagement e.g. via quizzes and surveys.
  • Better reflects Sanlam’s values and promises to its staff internally.


We imagined and launched a world first: StoryStackr, an immersive storytelling experience supercharged by smart tech. This online platform projects custom content journeys with the use of advanced JavaScript, promising our client no capex, no build, no hassle

  1. StoryStackr as a content platform delivers:
    • Customised content journeys;
    • Fully responsive on mobile and desktop;
    • Distributable via any channel that can share a link;
    • Hosts rich media, forms, quizzes, documents;
    • Gamification, personalisation.
  2. In line with the needs of Sanlam – who already have investments in a host of existing platforms – we built StoryStackr to integrate with third-party platforms, like:
    • Google Marketing Platform
    • AWS Cloud Structures
    • Microsoft Azure
    • Google Cloud Platform and Functions
  3. StoryStackr can API into existing platforms, like Sanlam Group’s intranet.
  4. It delivers the rich insights and trackability Sanlam needed, with a client-friendly dashboard delivering relevant data in real time. 
  5. We built in GDPR-compliant data-collection forms for surveys, quizzes etc. 
  6. We used this content platform to launch a new digital magazine experience for Sanlam: Sanlam Connect. It retained its editorial, premium feel – but became trackable, mobile-first, agile and smart.
  7. Previous Sanlam magazines have lacked any connection to the Group’s values and employee promises. We needed to drive this more clearly with a new content strategy. So we took the Sanlam Employee Value Proposition (EVP), which promises delivery of six core values to its staff: reward, connectivity, reputation, leadership, balance and growth. We reimagined these as content pillars throughout the publication. We wanted to make these values more than just corporate speak.
  8. The Sanlam Employee Value Proposition is showcased to staff as values around Sanlam’s blue circle. But what’s been lacking is how this relates to you, the staff member – the reader. So, we decided to put you at the centre, positioning the publication as the six EVP values focused around the employee, rather than around the business. This strategic intent has underpinned the curation of content, the design of our key pillars and even the colours and circular design language woven throughout the new digital publication.
  9. Our designer was inspired by Sanlam’s icon blue circle element and created a circular design language integrated into the UI. From menu navigation devices to pull-out boxes and using curved edges to crop images, you’ll see the Sanlam circular design language brought to live in an editorial way. 


  • The first issue has been a resounding success, with 99% positive comments from staff, which were collected via a survey that was hosted within the digi mag. 
  • In the first 6 weeks we achieved a staggering 2,530.1% increase from the traditional PDF of the previous year’s old, printed publication 
  • 24% returning users.
  • An average of 19.11 pages viewed per visitor 
  • Winner of Best Use of Innovative Technology at the International Content Marketing Awards 2020
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