Content-first approach addresses complex challenges
Like most large global enterprises, BMC faced some complex challenges with their web content, from telling a consistent brand story across multiple business units to delivering information that customers need to evaluate, buy, and successfully use BMC’s products. Derek and Mark outlined five steps they took to meet customers’ content needs as well as BMC’s business goals.
- Define specific business goals and align them to touchpoints: Because the primary goal was increasing the marketing-sourced pipeline that could be attributed to the website, the redesign focused on the product pages where buyers make decisions. As Mark pointed out, people get to your pages via Google, not your homepage.
- Define the customer needs: Next, the team made some assumptions about what customers needed to do on the site and then tested them with actual customers. For example, BMC and the PK team had assumed site visitors would be most interested in the business benefits customers could see with BMC’s products, and they prioritized that information on the site. But Mark said one of the first “aha” moments they had was discovering that people were actually most interested in the product features. So they quickly reordered the content to prioritize datasheets. Mark said datasheets are valuable because they’re the one type of content asset that is consistent across vendors, which enables buyers to make “apples to apples” comparisons.
- Align pages to personas: Before launching into design, the PK team worked with BMC to align site pages to buyer profiles, distinguishing between the goals of different types of site visitors. This including developing user flows for key pages on the site, focusing on what users needed to learn or accomplish on each page.
- Define the content components—think modular: Derek said defining specific needs and identifying content to meet them enabled a modular approach. Every piece of information is a component with specific direction on its purpose and strategic rationale. “You must first think about the purpose of the copy and then structure it to serve that purpose,” Derek said. Copywriters were able to then translate the content model to copy decks, speeding production and ensuring alignment. This structured, modular approach also made it easier to reuse content across different formats, devices and channels.
- Think mobile-first, mobile always: The team started with the mobile experience, designing in the browser to see how real content would work on smaller screens. A mobile-first approach forces you to consider and prioritize tasks that users need to complete. “Mobile-first is actually device-agnostic,” Mark said. “The experience will be appropriate on any device, not just mobile devices.” Designing in the browser allows you to quickly jump to building a site rather than building pictures of sites. This allowed BMC to “get their hands dirty with the user experience instead of focusing on pretty pictures,” Mark said.