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Digital upgrade drives up membership and engagement at HIA

Sitecore-powered digitisation increases membership by 10% and improves upselling and cross-selling opportunities by 800% at Australian Housing Industry Association

The Housing Industry Association (HIA)




Project Brief

Set up in 1945, the HIA is the largest residential building organisation in Australia and represents an industry that contributes AUD$95 billion a year to the Australian economy. The organisation is responsible for providing its membership base of builders, developers, manufacturers, engineers, surveyors, designers, and other building professionals with trusted guidance — from up-to-the-minute industry information, explanations of regulations and legal requirements, to government advocacy.


Digitising the voice of Australian construction

“The dream is using augmented reality to stitch together every construction system, from local authority permits and building codes to suppliers and materials. That would be a game changer for us and every builder and homeowner in Australia,” says Ben Brooker, General Manager for Digital at the Australian Housing Industry Association (HIA).

The HIA offered a wealth of information and knowledge on the residential building and construction industry via its website, social media, and press coverage. But it needed to focus on delivering a more intuitive experience and satisfy 18 lines of business. The website also had no clear customer journey through to acquisition, and much of the content was locked to non-members.

There was growing pressure to change. Members, especially younger ones, expected a better digital experience with online tools and services. Brooker – the HIA’s first head of digital – wanted to create a centralised and unified digital customer experience that would raise and capitalise on awareness, increase sense of belonging, grow the membership and revenue, and build an efficient digital operating model.



More upselling and cross-selling opportunities


Increase in new business and upsell leads


Rise in membership sign-ups


Increase in customer goal completions


Fall in customer service calls

AUD$ 95bn

Annual contribution to Australian economy


Customer personas in Sitecore


Building a centralised digital platform

Working closely with Sitecore implementation partner, Switch, the HIA developed a comprehensive digital transformation strategy encompassing almost every aspect of the organisation. The HIA upgraded to a centralised, Sitecore-powered digital platform that delivers hyper-personalised experiences, uses data at the heart of decisioning, and enables e-commerce and marketing automation and other features like geolocation.

By consolidating data within the platform, the HIA has developed three primary personas of core members, non-members using services, and anonymous users, with 26 additional sub-personas to fine-tune personalisation.

Using Sitecore technology, the HIA has improved its onboarding and membership model, overhauled its structure for e-commerce and continuing professional development, and created a digital resource library. Plus, to overcome the issue of previously hidden content, the organisation created three tiers – free, register-based, and member-only.

A key element of driving digital transformation was getting buy-in across the organization, including hands-on involvement from senior management.

“We took a huge step with the Sitecore-powered digital transformation project,” says Brooker. “Sitecore has been pivotal in changing how our service delivery models operate and is now the foundation for us for the future.”


“By upgrading Sitecore and using multiple personas to improve personalisation, the HIA is delivering relevant and valuable digital services to members. We have evolved our services and use digital technology to create a genuine sense of belonging within our membership community.”

— Ben Brooker, General Manager, Digital, Housing Industry Association


Seamless customer experiences drive up membership and engagement

Within a month of deploying its new Sitecore-powered digital platform, the HIA experienced a 10% increase in membership sign-ups. HIA also saw a 40% increase in customer goal completions, an 800% increase in upselling and cross-selling, a 370% increase in new business and upselling leads and a 10% fall in customer service calls, indicating improved UX and effective self-service features.

Internally, Sitecore has improved and streamlined business processes, helping the HIA to document, unify, and integrate business systems, processes and operations that used to be fragmented. For example, by successfully integrating Sitecore with Microsoft Dynamics and fulfilment, the HIA is now providing seamless commerce experiences to customers and automated processes that make payments more secure. Internal attitudes to digital transformation have also changed.

"Sitecore enables the HIA to see how the customer views us, our products and services, and also to modify the way we speak to them and about ourselves to ensure their journey is consolidated around customer need,” concluded Brooker. “It has made a huge improvement in the way that we talk about ourselves and with our members.”

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Switch improves customer experience management utilizing Sitecore XP, XC and Content Hub. It is one of the most awarded Sitecore agencies globally, picking up multiple Sitecore Experience awards year-on-year for excellence over the last 10 years. It takes a strategy first approach, collaborating with businesses to connect their customers with an intelligent experience that is continually optimized and improved.

Learn more about Switch