SGS strengthens brand awareness, communication and customer experience with its new global web presence based on Sitecore

SGS needed a new web presence that included the corporate website and 60 country websites in more than 20 languages. The goal of the new web presence was to manage Web content from one CMS for brand consistency while the regional websites add localized content and offers.

Challenge

SGS provides inspection, testing, certification & verification services to ensure that products, services & systems meet quality, safety & performance standards With the corporate headquarters   based in Switzerland, the SGS network comprises over 1,350 offices and laboratories and more than 70,000 employees around the world.

The original SGS website was based on Livelink WCM from ex-Obtree and consisted of one corporate site and 60 country websites in over 30 languages. In addition, 215 mini-sites in a number of languages existed. From the marketing perspective, the goal for the new website was to ensure that SGS remains competitive by pushing sales, promote the brand globally and facilitate the delivery of high quality services to customers.

Another important goal was to streamline the huge portfolio of services SGS offers. With over 2,500 services described in a variety of languages across the multiple sites, there was a lack of consistency in communication, different quality levels and thus a great deal of work inefficiency. Pulling the services onto one platform would allow a unique corporate language and brand awareness, resulting in in increased upselling and improved customer experiences.

The previous website (corporate and country sites) made it difficult for visitors to find the information they were looking for. Competitors` websites provided information according to the conventional industry / market structure and therefore were more transparent and provided easier access to the required information. Due to the confusing navigation structure and the lack of easy access to the requested content on the previous SGS website, local businesses had started to create their own specific sites.

As a result, SGS`s business and capabilities were fragmented across more than 270 websites on the centralized web platform. The range of services offered by SGS was presented suboptimal as well as the corporate brand. In addition, SGS`s marketing efforts were not really effective as the different business lines were competing for similar key words and content.

Due to the complexity of the structure and functionalities needed by SGS, Livelink WCM, the previous system used by SGS, had reached its limits.

Also, the previous system allowed local country editors to adjust content in many different areas and thus made governance extremely difficult. The quality of content and translation was extremely different. A process to make both unique was absolutely necessary. 

Solution

To solve these issues, SGS worked together with Sitecore solution partner Nemetos.

Over a period of 12 months, SGS evaluated all main Content Management Systems and chose Sitecore as the leader for a wide range of reasons including:

  • Sitecore solution allowing multiple content servers
  • localization and translation capabilities
  • integration with third party technology

SGS has customized the Sitecore solution and extended it in many ways. Custom fields were created on a number of templates for SGS specific content and a number of standard fields were adapted.

Also, many Sitecore modules were implemented, like SEO and Web Forms for Marketers (WFFM).

The most important integration was the Languagewire module and its supporting process. This ensures that content in all languages stays up to date. The primary language for the solution is English but as the site serves over 60 countries, the content is delivered in 21 languages. In addition, the company CRM is integrated to ensure efficient lead tracking.

The use and full integration of the Endeca enterprise search engine gives the site a strong navigational anchor. One of the next steps will be the integration of Sharepoint to share key documentation. To improve website performance from China, Akamai Technology is partly used. Web analytics tools including Google and WebTrends are also integrated into the new website.

The whole architecture of the site is based on delivering localized content. In addition, the visitor`s possibility to select between service and industry information gives implicit personalization. The service area provides three content areas, depending on specific choice of a country. The global description is combined with the local description of the service. If the visitor selects a specific industry, this content will be added to the service description. In addition, the visitor can select specific preferences for creating personalized lists for media, training, events and news. For the US site, GeoIP detection is used to redirect their users from the corporate website to the US website.

The overall usability and site experience have been changed completely compared to the previous website. SGS now offers a user-centric navigation to enable visitors to approach the site from their perspective rather than reflecting the internal structure of SGS as it was before.

Result

The result of this new web presence is that all services and information are channelized on one platform. Furthermore, a coherent, brand consistent feeling of SGS services is presented. The decision to create a universal service directory that is available for the visitors through a number of navigation entry points is a way of turning the business model away from being service centric to being customer centric. In addition to the fundamental changes with regard to communicating the business SGS offers, there have been massive changes to the internal organization around the website structure. Content editors are very satisfied with the system due to easy maintenance and the ability to create a more compelling, personalized web experience for visitors.  

Technical Description

Solution Special Ingredients

  • Mobile Web: responsive design that allows varying screen widths and displays correctly in smartphones and iPad
  • SEO Module
  • Web Forms for Marketers
  • CRM integration  (Salespipeline from Oracle)
  • Email marketing platform uses landing pages located in Sitecore
  • Social Media on all relevant pages