SME serves the most prestigious manufacturers in the business. While greatly expanding its website offerings over the years, SME developed an array of independent websites hosted on different platforms. In doing so, SME lost its direct value proposition and got lost in what internally SME referred to as “a house of brands.”
SME knew it was time for a change.
One platform for one voice.
In order for SME to create a unified voice, the entire organization needed to be on the same page—or should we say on the same platform. Staff investigated several content management solutions (CMS) before choosing to migrate its 25 unique websites onto a single software system, Episerver.
Episerver has the right tools that we need right now, such as personalization and A/B testing. The CMS is easy to learn and it's a known source for its open APIs, which is appreciated by developers, explained Andy Dempster, SME’s Web Master.
Once SME chose Episerver, it enlisted Brightfind for both website design as well as the CMS implementation. Brightfind is the best of breed integrator between Episerver and Personify360, our association management software, Andy explained.
- Digital Strategy
- Design and User Experience
- CMS Development
- Analytics and Support
Showcasing manufacturing today.
Brightfind quickly learned that SME’s new web design was the perfect opportunity to tackle the major public misconception that manufacturing is dark, dangerous, and dirty. Visuals highlight manufactures dressed in professional attire or white lab coats (versus dirty uniforms). Imagery showcases robotics and smart machine technologies (showcasing low-skilled manufacturing jobs are in the past). Improved content encourages students to enter the manufacturing field.
Constituents help design the new sitemap.
To help SME truly understand what constituents want and need via SME’s website (and to verify or negate staff assumptions) Brightfind interviewed constituents one-on-one and surveyed a larger group. SME invited Brightfind to its annual conference to run focus groups and a card sort to collect end-user options on how to best organize and label content in the new sitemap.
Bringing it all together.
Equipped with user research reports, personas, and SME’s goals and objectives, Brightfind’s creative team designed a website that serves as a unified voice for SME and has a purpose for each unique audience segment. Plus, there is now a taxonomy that works across SME's different websites—three of which were designed by Brightfind to match SME’s updated brand. The new look and feel can easily be shared across multiple sites thanks to Episerver’s reusable content blocks. This flexibility has enabled SME to consolidate several different websites into one platform—completing one project in just four weeks!
Numbers worth celebrating: