Sitecore controls content for emedia

About emedia

Launched in 1999, emedia manages multichannel B2B lead generation campaigns covering multiple industry sectors and geographies, delivering privileged content and exclusive offers to clients’ target markets for generating sales leads.  

In addition, emedia provides complementary content creation, webinars, and lead enhancement services.  

Back in 2011, the company needed a family of targeted websites to present industry and/or audience specific content, such as whitepapers, products documentation, videos and demos. The content would be promoted by email and/or telemarketing campaigns, and accessed by registering on the website to generate sales leads for clients.  

emedia screenshot

Challenge

The “Web Leads” Platform, as the project was named, presented a complex, integrated content sharing and tracking challenge. The solution needed to:

1.       Access the base content from the existing bespoke CRM/ERP, a separate system that had been developed internally

2.       Serve content to different audiences at different times, plus showing which articles were related to one another based on content tags, and presented across multiple pages and websites

3.       Present content in accordance with pre-determined criteria, such as ‘Editor’s Picks’ and other selections

4.        Track content downloads via an online form and uploading this information to the contact database, to be reported back to clients  

Plus each industry/audience-specific website needed to present cross-website content in a consistent and logical manner, but with its own look and feel.  

The family of websites, or web leads platform, would form the hub of the content management ecosystem, requiring both customisation and integration with the existing CRM/ERP system and contact database. The project was a lot more than simply building a website, or two, and required advanced customisation, integration, workflow and, of course, programming skills.    

“We needed a web development team that could extend and customise the selected platform. Once we’d met with 3chillies, we knew we’d found a partner with all the required technical and project management skills in-house.” Sam Winstanley, Head of Content, emedia.   

Solution

emedia selected Sitecore as the platform of choice, as a key requirement was that the solution could be extended and customised through .NET and C# applications. This was important as emedia’s current delivery system was built on a C# backbone. 

Sitecore’s multi-site management and multi-lingual capabilities were also key factors in its favour. Plus emedia’s sister company in the UK, TotalJobs.com, used Sitecore and emedia wanted to follow best practice.

Next, emedia needed to find a Sitecore partner with the proven technical skills required to deliver the project. emedia decided to work with 3chillies, as not only is all technical development work undertaken in-house, but emedia was impressed by the company’s ‘can do’ ethos and openness to discussing innovative and ‘non-standard’ solutions. 3chillies also needed to work closely with emedia’s web design agency, so it was crucial the two teams followed similar working practices and would take an open, constructive team approach.

“3chillies has partnered with a whole spectrum of design agencies and they certainly know what they’re doing. We found the business and development teams great to work with, and most importantly they were immediately able to work well with our other external agency.” Aaron Kelly, Applications Manager, emedia.  

As mentioned above a key element of the technical design called for content re-use. The delivered solution organises content at two levels, namely inclusions and iterations. Inclusions are the content received from emedia’s internal CRM/ERP system. Inclusions are then iterated out across the appropriate domains, and sub domains, allowing the same content to have a unique presentation across the entire family of websites.

The whole process is managed using tailored workflow, with all iterations published to the relevant websites using automated, rule-based workflow. This enables emedia to maintain control by ordering the inclusions by client, and the iterations by website domain and sub-domain.

“There are a couple of aspects of the implementation that we are particularly proud of, firstly the ease with which content can be re-used both within a specific website, and across multiple websites, all within the Sitecore Webleads Platform. In addition, the entire portfolio of websites can be managed using the same workflow, providing a systematic approach to publishing content.” Paul Spearman, MD, 3chillies.

The emedia Sitecore implementation integrates seamlessly with both the existing CRM/ERP system and contact database. This enables emedia to pull information into Sitecore and then push information back into the internal system – a fully automated and integrated content publishing and tracking ecosystem. 

“We are now in the process of creating new functionality in our internal systems, for the organisation of content, that will rely on information retrieved from Sitecore. This quite simply shows how important and integral Sitecore is to our overall business approach.” Sam Winstanley, Head of Content, emedia.  

Benefits

emedia has immediately seen a significant return on their investment as the quality of leads generated from the websites are not only considerably higher than those generated from their other lead generation communications, but the churn of leads is significantly lower.

By working with 3chillies and choosing Sitecore as their website platform, emedia now has an integrated, workflow-driven solution so that they can manage their entire web presence from one Sitecore Instance, complete with custom editor tabs providing real time reporting. In addition, the Sitecore platform provides the basis for future enhancements and expansions of the websites.  

Future Developments

Planned future developments include dynamic personalisation based on geographic region and visitor retention, and further utilising the fully integrated Adobe Marketing Cloud Analytics to provide enhanced customer insight.

Currently the solution is deployed purely in English. However, the longer term plan includes launches for all emedia locations in France, Italy, The Netherlands, Australia, Spain, requiring multiple language deployments. 

“We’re delighted we chose to partner with 3chillies for this business-critical project. Their technical expertise, in-depth knowledge of the Sitecore platform and ability to keep us in the loop at all times, made the whole project relatively stress-free.” Sam Winstanley, Head of Content, emedia.

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