Briggs & Stratton, similar to all companies, depends on customer satisfaction to succeed. As such, it was looking for a better way to get feedback from the users of its products.
With smartphones--and, more specifically, mobile apps--becoming more and more ubiquitous, Houston Public Library wanted to offer an engaging experience to compete with the non-library digital resources that mobile users frequently rely on for their information needs. Simply put, the library needed an app.
By Mike Thompson
- May 2016 Issue
Posted May 25, 2016
As a provider of pet health insurance, Petplan possesses "a lot of data and a lot of different data points," says Gerry McGoldrick, chief digital officer of Petplan. The challenge, he says, was, "How do we leverage all that data and really begin to have a one-on-one conversation with our prospects?" In other words, Petplan wanted to provide a more personalized experience for its site visitors.
Janome wanted to overhaul its website--not just to make it easier to use, but also to make it more appealing to a younger generation of sewers inspired by creations they see on such sites as Pinterest and Etsy.
The digital revolution is nothing new, but many legacy media organizations are still trying to master the art of giving their online audience what they want, while bringing in enough revenue on the digital side to make up for dwindling income on the print end of the business. Winnipeg Free Press was no exception.
Despite Fast Company's reputation as a leader in progressive ideas about business, its mobile app was starting to seem stale. It was not exactly a problem, but as user expectations changed, it became clear that the app was going to need to evolve. Meanwhile, Adobe was starting to think about new ways to help its customers create more dynamic mobile apps. The two companies began a conversation that led to a collaboration in which Fast Company got a new, more dynamic web-like app, and Adobe was able to learn more about what kind of functions and features were of value to customers hoping to build these kinds of apps.
What would Thanksgiving be without the traditional turkey and a cornucopia of vegetables? In 2014, Del Monte was looking for a way to strengthen its ties to Thanksgiving in customers' minds-specifically, for its green beans. The company decided to implement a content marketing initiative, teaming up with POPSUGAR to create a branded portal for content, but it also wanted to amplify that content's reach. Additionally, Del Monte needed assistance with content creation.
For the 40th anniversary of Saturday Night Live, NBC wanted to introduce a new app that would make it easier for viewers on the go to connect with any one of the show's thousands of sketch comedy pieces. NBC turned to MarkLogic to make the app possible.
By Mike Thompson
Posted Jul 24, 2015
With non-U.S. use of AccuWeather's digital offerings dramatically increasing in recent years, the company wanted to find a way to better translate and localize its weather forecasts to meet the needs of the wide variety of languages, in which its offerings are accessed every day.
Sundance Channel Global wanted to regionalize its offerings in Brazil, replacing selected content on its Latin American satellite feed with content that was more localized and relevant for Brazil. Sundance Channel first launched in 1996. Strictly an American cable channel for many years, the company gradually started global distribution in the late 2000s, starting with Europe in 2009. In 2014, the channel launched a Portuguese version, in Brazil--and, from the start, the company knew it wanted regional, locally relevant content, to better benefit the channel's viewers.
By Mike Thompson
Posted Jun 19, 2015
Although traffic to Total Gym's mobile site is rising, the conversion rate from smartphones is significantly lower than from desktops and tablets. "As mobile is getting to be a bigger piece of traffic, it leads to the challenge of, ‘How do we get that traffic to be as productive as possible for us, and how do we convert more of that traffic to orders?'" says Joe Crowley, American Telecast Products' VP of marketing. Total Gym launched a live chat option in 2013, but months later, the company wondered if another resource would help increase engagement and, ultimately, conversion rates.
The Baseball Hall of Fame wanted to release an app that would not just teach people about baseball history, but also entice them to visit the BHOF itself. While BHOF attendance continues to be robust -- the museum drew 300,000 people in 2014, according to Brad Horn, the Hall's vice president of communications and education -- the BHOF wanted to entice still more people to visit, as well as get those already coming more excited about their journey.
By Mike Thompson
Posted May 22, 2015
Launched in 2013, Plano, Texas-based ITContract.com describes itself as "a specialist employment solutions website designed to make job hunt and talent sourcing faster and smarter." The site is specifically geared toward people looking for jobs in the IT field-both in the U.S. and abroad. ITContract wanted to develop a better job-searching experience for its customers: Make navigation of the site faster? and also provide filters to help people narrow down what they're looking for.
By Mike Thompson
- May 2015 Issue
Posted May 20, 2015
Each year, SAE organizes about 27 international meetings, serving those three sectors related to the mobility industries, Fadik says; from those events, nearly 3,000 technical papers and journal articles are produced. "So that's really kind of where our whole scenario started," she says. "What we needed to do was to publish the documents in a consistent format. Print still is very important to our customers, so we still have to maintain that print product; so when we looked at the challenges we were facing, that led us down this path."
Author Rich James wanted to use existing technology to write fiction in a way that he hadn't seen done before-with hyperlinks embedded in the story, directing readers to external sites that enhance the story being told. "From the perspective of an author, I wanted to show that by using new technology interactively/innovatively an author could publish their work and stand out-and continue to stand out-in an overcrowded marketplace," James says.
PostOffice Films needed a solution that would provide it with the ability to connect to anywhere in the world and transfer files quickly to partners and clients. Previous solutions-ranging from other file transfer programs to old-fashioned courier services such as FedEx-were impractical, says David Jancso, owner and film editor at PostOffice Films.
When Merchant Warehouse launched its Genius Customer Engagement Platform-which "supports mobile commerce and traditional payments on the merchant countertop from a single customer engagement device," according to its website-the company was looking for "a glossy, high-end PowerPoint that we wanted to do for presentation decks" that could be used as a sales tool, says Reichenbacher.
Condé Nast is a New York-based media company that produces many globally known print, digital, and video titles. Its portfolio includes such titles as Vogue, Vanity Fair, Glamour, Brides, SELF, GQ, The New Yorker, Condé Nast Traveler, DETAILS, Allure, Architectural Digest, bon appétit, Epicurious, WIRED, W, Lucky, Golf Digest, Golf World, Teen Vogue, and Ars Technica. After launching The New Yorker's iPhone edition, Condé Nast was looking to do the same with Vanity Fair. However, the company knew that the same solution would not work for the two very different magazines.
From the experience of publishing her first book with the Penguin Group Australia, Boling had firsthand knowledge of the disruption underway in traditional publishing. "I knew, with this book, that I wanted to start from a spot ahead of the curve from a technical standpoint," Boling says. Historical fiction, she believes, is a perfect genre for allowing readers to enrich their reading experience by referring to maps, character biographies, photos, and drawings. But Boling was adamant about not allowing those enhancements to interrupt the flow of the story. "I thought a lot about how I could use technology developments to provide a great reader experience, something that would provide seamless integration between the story and the technology," she says.
The American Kennel Club (AKC) wanted to build a unique site celebrating and serving all dog owners and dog lovers, sharing information and stories in an engaging and social fashion. This was the impetus for creating WOOFipedia, the AKC's new site for canine enthusiasts. It includes interactive snippets of information, videos, breed profiles, photo contests, games to earn "woof points," and quizzes. All of these components come together in a youthful, fresh design that's focused on the user and dog. The AKC wanted a fun, interactive addition to the site and the WOOFipedia brand that would also allow the organization to monetize this otherwise free site and service.
By Tracy Wu Fastenberg
Posted May 02, 2014
One of Rockfish's clients, Corner Bakery Cafe, was looking to relaunch its website with content at its heart, and Rockfish was selected to be the agency to relaunch the site. Rockfish needed to find the right CMS to address the needs of its client.
The e-reading space is a hot one, and when your company is competing with the likes of giants such as Apple and Amazon, it's imperative that you stay on the cutting edge. Kobo's chief content officer Michael Tamblyn says his company needed a "best-in-class" digital magazine retail and conversion experience. "We needed something that could compete with, and even be better than, the offerings that were out from Apple and from Amazon," he adds.
In targeting ads that would engage readers and drive revenues for its thousands of advertisers, BlogHer already uses traditional keywords and key values such as age, geography, and time of day. But in an industry in which there is constant pressure on ad prices, and growing expectations by readers that they will be served contextually relevant content, BlogHer wanted to achieve higher precision for keyword and key value targeting in a way that was scalable.
In order to support its mission to provide free hosting, 4shared sells advertising, allowing companies to capitalize on 4shared's roughly 132 million visitors per month. However, running a variety of dynamic advertising campaigns was proving to be a problem. Dealing directly with advertisers as well as with ad servers was too labor-intensive, and the company needed a better solution.
The library at Olin College serves as an integral part of students' education by helping them to achieve critical research and information literacy competency, adhering to standards set forth by various academic associations. Olin's library wanted a different method of teaching these skills, one that coincided with the college's unique teaching approach of classroom experiences blended with digital exercises and tools. This original method was designed using a Microsoft Word document, a PDF, and a course libguide. These proved awkward for students to use, and the Olin team members realized they needed something more streamlined for more effective learning.
With the launch of the iPad in 2010, the leaders at Design Central knew that the world of digital publishing was on the verge of a major technological revolution. Before long, both its internal and external clients would expect to use tablets and other emerging digital publishing platforms to the full extent of their capabilities. This meant interactivity, ease of publishing, integration into smartphone apps, and more. The folks at Design Central understood the task in front of them and wanted to choose the right suite of digital publishing tools to integrate into their production process.
Kalooga, with clients all over the globe, was looking for a content delivery network that would provide it with some flexibility and not lock the company into an expensive, long-term contract. "We did contact several big CDNs," explains Bram Noordzij, one of Kalooga's developers. "And they basically said, ‘You have to take on contracts for one or two years; and we would have to commit, and we have to pay at least this amount of money. For us, since we work with many publishers, we needed flexibility."
By Chris Seymour
Posted Jul 08, 2013
Citrix's marketing team had outgrown its old web platform. For about 7 years, all Citrix product websites followed rigid templates. Building any customization beyond text and images could take weeks to process as the marketing team sent requests to the development team, who would then hand code the changes. The arrangement rendered last-minute alterations difficult or impossible and sometimes resulted in product launch delays. As the web has grown more rich, fast-paced, and socially focused, Citrix's marketing team needed a more agile and flexible website-building tool.
By Matt M. Casey
Posted Jun 12, 2013
With no traditional sales department, Atlassian's primary marketing and sales tool is its website, Atlassian.com. As its array of products grew, the company's sales and marketing needs broadened, meaning it needed to easily add new content to its site. The process for adding new, dynamic web content via thousands of JavaServer Pages (JSP) was not efficient enough to keep pace with the demands of a growing business operating in an international, global market. Atlassian knew it needed to streamline the process quickly.
By Tracy Wu Fastenberg
Posted May 27, 2013
BillyFish had just set out to create the ebook version of its flagship book, a story of the first human-powered circumnavigation of the globe, which came out Aug. 1, 2012, in print. Without the ebook version, the company faced losing revenue in the expanding digital market, which includes, says Stevens, "a surprisingly broad demographic including seniors and people traveling on vacation." With this travel and adventure book, missing the August vacation traveler on his e-reader would be a critical mistake. However, as the print date approached, the vendor chosen for the task of producing the ebook showed signs of distress. Once the people at BillyFish Books found the problem, they were concerned they might miss their publication deadline.
As with many software providers, WhatsUpGold has an active userbase that has a lot of questions. And like those other companies, WhatsUpGold often deals with this base of users through social media, such as Twitter and user message boards. However, WhatsUpGold's user forums were not quite up to snuff, and the company found itself looking for a new solution.
As mobile devices proliferated, NBC ND found itself faced with a problem that is familiar to digital publishers across the spectrum. The content management and video delivery solutions those publishers had relied on were not up to the task of delivering and monetizing content across a variety of devices and platforms in a simple, streamlined way. With these new considerations in mind, NBC ND went in search of a new video delivery and monetization solution.
In 2007, Wiley acquired Blackwell Publishing, growing its Scientific, Technical, Medical, and Scholarly (STMS) content to more than 1,500 journals, 9,000-plus books, reference works, and databases offered in print and electronically. This content is invaluable to the world's research and scholarly communities, and granting permission for reuse of this information posed a great challenge for Wiley's rights and permissions team. Following the merger, Wiley was suddenly receiving hundreds of permissions requests each day, with no efficient way to provide prompt turnaround. Its former manual email-based procedure would not suffice, and Blackwell's semi-automated method was also not satisfactory. Customers and employees alike were frustrated, and Wiley knew that it needed a solution that would please everyone and streamline the process.
These days, having a good digital strategy has become a business staple for successful publishers. Hearst Magazines has not shied away from this challenge, making it a priority to keep up with its technology-driven readership by creating both websites and mobile sites for its brands and their content. But even with all of its efforts, Hearst realized it needed to find a publishing solution that would not only provide a more efficient way to publish content to multiple venues, but would also streamline its workflow process.
With more and more information going online, AMR has not had as much of a need to stockpile physical copies of sports publications, such as team yearbooks, as it had in the past. "We have gone more to online yearbooks and media guides, where before we used to print all those out, but print has kind of gone away a little bit," says W. Brandon Kolditz, assistant media relations director/publications coordinator for Memphis AMR. As a result, the department wanted to find a way to save money on printing costs while still having enough printed team yearbooks on hand for anyone wanting one.
In a world of constantly shifting consumer demand and increased market competition, publishers of all kinds, no matter their field of expertise, need a little help in understanding how they can stay ahead of their competitors and increase their revenue, and perhaps most importantly, what their customers are looking to get from their brand. Academic publisher, SAGE, recognized this need. That's why in 2011, it decided to cut out the guesswork of consumer targeting and, instead, get a handle on its customer data by implementing a customer insights program.
With more than 6,500 employees, a number of locations, and a broad mandate, managers at Dartmouth-Hitchcock health care system are responsible for a steady and diverse stream of projects at any given time. Dartmouth-Hitchcock's interim director of content and publications, communications and marketing, Ryan Newswanger, supervises a wide range of short and long-term web projects at any given time. His team was using a content management system and basic project management software to keep track of the team's activities, but was struggling to keep projects on track and on time. Newswanger felt his team constantly risked missing deadlines. He decided that deeper insights were needed into the entire scope of the projects he managed in order to better meet deadlines, but also to set realistic goals and project requirements.
By Michelle Manafy
Posted Jul 13, 2012
As Cooking.com acquired more and more properties, it became more and more difficult to manage its email marketing and to deploy as many emails as it needed to in an efficient manner. Emails were sent using an in-house email system that was just not scalable to the growth of the company. "There was the need [for] an enterprise email system that could handle not only the volume, but also the multiple organizations," says Matt Bunn, director of email marketing for Cooking.com.
By Kelley Bligh
- June 2012 Issue
Posted Jun 08, 2012
The Martha Stewart Show needed to prepare for an upcoming fall season and wished to reengage viewers lost during the summer season reruns. So, The Martha Stewart Show turned to Facebook to reach out to its existing fans. In addition to reinvigorating and expanding the fan base, it sought to expand its mailing lists to promote the show as well as cross-promote its other diverse offerings. However, the company felt it needed more social marketing expertise and started looking outside of its offices for help.
Despite the site's success, Destructoid needed to find a way to get revenue and get it fast, since it normally takes advertisers -- its primary source of income -- weeks to pay bills. Gonzalez had no luck when he turned to the banks. "When I walk into a bank and say, 'I need a small-business loan,' they say to me, 'Well you don't have a house, you don't have a car; you have this video game thing on the internet that we don't understand. You're not worth anything -- I'd rather give a loan to a guy with a food truck than your company.'"
The ASA has been around for more than 100 years and publishes several different peer-reviewed journals as well as books, which means that its library is quite substantial. In order to give its members access to this plethora of information online, the library had been hosted by a third-party vendor. Unfortunately, this made it difficult to manage the content the way the ASA wanted within the vendor's capabilities while staying within the organization's budget. It needed a cost-effective way to house, manage, and control all of this content to fulfill the growing and evolving needs of its members, which included web and mobile access to information in the field.
March 2012 Issue
Posted Mar 23, 2012
At a state level, new bills and amendments are introduced every day. LegiNation founder and president, Karen Suhaka, knew that gathering these files (there were 140,000 in 2011 alone) from all 50 states into one database would take a lot of work, and that was only half the battle. Once the bills were collected, she then needed to summarize, classify, and create keywords for each document, and began looking for an outside vendor to help her complete the process.
By Eileen Mullan
Posted Feb 29, 2012
Though best known for its rigorous educational material intended for college bound kids, William H. Sadlier decided that in early 2011, it wanted to expand its repertoire, and target struggling middle school students and English language learners as well. Working with educational experts, Sadlier settled on creating a vocabulary program that used audio and video to not only engage students, but provide an alternative teaching strategy for educators.
By Eileen Mullan
Posted Jan 20, 2012
For MLBAM, being in charge of MLB.com and the league's 30 team sites means managing a lot of digital content. Whether it is baseball season or the off season, MLB fans are always hungry for everything from statistics to video highlights, and it is MLBAM's job to keep them satiated with fresh content. When MLBAM realized that it was wasting too much time with traditional methods of logging and publishing all the different kinds of baseball related information, Rob Boysko, manager of multimedia publishing at MLB, started looking for a solution to simplify the process and cut down on content headaches.
By Eileen Mullan
Posted Dec 28, 2011
Despite always having a strong consumer following, in 2009, Kirkland's found that the traditional marketing techniques it had always relied on to engage customers were no longer producing the same positive results they once were. Instead of sinking more money into mail flyers and promotional postcards, Kirkland's decided on a new approach, jumping into the social media and e-marketing sphere with hopes of attracting new shoppers, boosting sales, and further strengthening their relationship with their existing customer base.
By Eileen Mullan
Posted Nov 18, 2011
Thomson Reuters needed to find a way to streamline its data monitoring and collection processes so that they could increase productivity and improve the quality of the data that they brought in. Content operation groups within the organization had been searching hundreds of websites manually, an ad hoc and unmanaged routine that didn't easily allow the sharing of best practices between the groups. Not only was it time-consuming, but it also posed a risk of coming up with inaccurate and incomplete data.
As the journalism industry continues to face declining readership, newspapers such as the St. Petersburg Times are relying on websites to engage readers. While Tampabay.com has been up and running for years, it had never really taken advantage of Search Engine Optimization (SEO) to grow its traffic. When it decided to start taking baby steps with SEO, link building, and social networking, Tampabay.com had some early successes, but it quickly realized that in order to reach its full potential, it would have to develop a much more organized and holistic SEO approach.
By Eileen Mullan
Posted Oct 21, 2011
As a website known particularly for its classified listings, original editorial content had always been put on the back burner for AutoTrader.com. Scott Markle, now the website's senior manager of content strategy, asked for a chance to see what could be done with editorial content in early 2009 and has been working on it ever since that summer. In order to work toward publishing more original editorial content, AutoTrader.com needed to find a CMS that could handle its high traffic as well as simplify its complicated initial model.
With 165 million viewers, MBC is constantly striving to provide its audience with the highest quality content and best user experience possible. When MBC found that its content management system (CMS), Vignette, which was acquired by Open Text in 2009, was no longer reliable or scalable enough to handle its media demands, it started looking for a replacement; one that would not only support the group's extensive current requirements, but plans for future improvements.
Posted Sep 16, 2011
Permitting for water rights is a complicated process that includes legal and scientific information, including details that describe locations, quantities, and limitations. The process can be time-consuming and confusing with standard and varying elements; every water rights situation is unique with specific characteristics but standard legal language. This leaves a great margin for error. Any error could lead to water rights disputes or, worse, lengthy legal action to resolve the situation.